Unemployment rises in the Cariboo

The unemployment rate for the Cariboo region has risen to 8.1 per cent in July, up from 7.8 per cent in June, says Statistics Canada.

The unemployment rate for the Cariboo region has risen to 8.1 per cent in July, up from 7.8 per cent in June, according to Statistics Canada.

With the exception of a 0.1 per cent dip in June, the unemployment rate has been increasing in the Cariboo since March, when it was 7.5 per cent.

The rate is also up compared to the same time period in 2011 when the July unemployment rate in the Cariboo region was 7.5 per cent.

Responding to the overall 14,500 loss of jobs in July for the province, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Innovation Pat Bell says it was news the provincial government did not want to hear. However, he suggested it is important to look at some of the details behind those statistics.

“There were job gains in the full-time side of employment with a 9,600-person, full-time job gain.

That was against a loss of 24,100 part-time jobs,” Bell says.

The sector hit hardest was education, which was down 11,000 jobs.

Bell suggested that was anticipated, given the time of year and the layoffs in public and private education systems.

“Last year we saw significant job growth in the educational services sector in the month of September and I’m confident we’ll see that again this year,” he says.

Year over year numbers, compared to July 2011, show the province is up by 33,400 jobs, representing about a quarter of all of the job gains across Canada.

“That puts us in third behind only Alberta and Ontario for that same period of time. The employment picture over the longer range is still very stable,”

Bell says, adding “good” job growth continues in the areas of mining, forestry, natural gas and professional services.

The minister says he is concerned about the decline of jobs in the food services and accommodation sector, which saw a loss of 2,300 positions.

“That is really bucking a trend of what we should see at this time of year and we will be looking more closely at that area to determine what is causing that and what we can do to mitigate or ensure that area starts to grow again.”

The recent stats also reveal that youth employment is on the decrease across the country.

There was growth a few months ago, but that growth has been offset by recent decline.

Their employment rate was 29 per cent, the lowest on record, with the unemployment rate being 31.2 per cent, the highest ever posted for the 15- and 16-year-old age group.

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