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Kootenays have BC’s lowest unemployment rate

Last month’s unemployment rate in the Kootenays of 2.9 per cent is the lowest in the province.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 83,300 people working and 2,400 looking for work out of a population of 141,300.

At the same time in 2022, there were 75,200 working and 4,300 job hunting out of a population of 140,100 for a rate of 5.4 per cent.

The local rate was also 2.9 per cent in December.

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Provincially the rate in February was 4.6 per cent, down from five per cent in February 2022.

Nationally the rate was five per cent, unchanged from January. Stats Can says the economy picked up 22,000 jobs. Gains came in health care and social assistance, public administration, and utilities, but fewer people were working in business, building and other support services.

Employment rose among those aged 55 to 64 but there was little change among other age groups. The private sector added 39,000 jobs while the public sector and number of self-employed held steady.

Average hourly wages rose 5.4 per cent (up $1.69 to $33.16) on a year-over-year basis.

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