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Kootenay unemployment rate keeps increasing

The downward spiral continues for the Kootenay region’s economy as the unemployment rate across the southeastern section of the province slipped again.

Between the West and the East, the unemployment rate for the region in March was a combined 7%, the highest in the province and the fifth highest amongst economic regions across the country — outside of the Maritimes and the territories — according to Statistics Canada.

One year ago the region was one of the lowest in the nation at a measly 3.2%, but 12 months later the rate of unemployed people in the Kootenays — which includes Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, Cranbrook and Grand Forks — has steadily risen.

The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 5.5% in March, up .3 percentage points from February and up 0.9 percentage points from 12 months ago.

In March, both the labour force (up 18,800) and the number of people employed (up 6,600) increased on a month-over-month basis, while over the past 12 months it grew by 108,600 and 75,000, respectively.

At 5.5%, BC had the fourth lowest unemployment rate in Canada during the month of March, with only Manitoba (5%), Quebec (5%) and Saskatchewan (5.4%) ahead of BC.



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