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Kootenay unemployment rate rises to 5.1%

The unemployment rate in the Kootenays crept up to 5.1 per cent last month, compared to 3.9 per cent the month before. But that was still lower than the 6.7 per cent recorded in August 2021.

Statistics Canada says 81,600 people were working in August and 4,400 were looking for work. In the same period last year, 79,900 people were employed and 5,700 were job hunting. The population grew from 138,800 to 140,900.

Nationally, the rate was 5.4 per cent in August, which was the first increase in seven months. In July, the jobless figure was 4.9 per cent, the lowest since record-keeping began in 1976.

Stats Can says the economy shed 40,000 jobs. Employment fell among youth aged 15 to 24 in August, primarily young women, as well as among people aged 55 to 64.

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Employment gains in various industries, including professional, scientific, and technical services, were offset by declines in educational services and construction.

There were fewer public-sector employees in August, while the number of employees in the private sector and the number of self-employed workers held steady.

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