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Prince George unemployment rate down by half from last year

The city's unemployment rate was 3.2% in February, compared with 6.4% a year ago
The unemployment rate in Prince George stood at 3.2 per cent in February. Glacier media file photo

Prince George’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 per cent in February, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

Unemployment in the city was down from 3.6 per cent in January and half what it was in February 2021, when unemployment stood at 6.4 per cent.

There were 54,200 people holding down jobs in the city in February, up from 53,900 a month before. The workforce participation rate – the percentage of people working or actively looking for work- was 68.1 per cent, down from 69.5 per cent in February 2021.

"B.C. continues to lead the country in economic recovery, having recovered all jobs lost at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, 84,000 more people are working in B.C. than prior to the pandemic - the highest job recovery rate in Canada (103.2%),” B.C. Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon said in a statement issued Friday. “British Columbia's strong economic recovery continued during the second month of 2022 with new job gains building on the 100,000 jobs created in 2021. In February, we created 21,000 new jobs, marking the first month that many businesses, especially in the event sector, returned to full capacity. This helped keep B.C.'s unemployment rate one of the lowest in Canada at 4.9 (per cent) - a level not seen since before the pandemic began.”

The unemployment statistics were released the same day the province’s mandate requiring people to wear masks in indoor public places was dropped.

“People in B.C. have stepped up in a big way to follow public-health direction and to get vaccinated. It's made a huge difference. Our steady economic recovery is thanks to your resiliency and commitment to the people you serve,” Kahlon said. "I thank the B.C. business owners and workers who continue to work tirelessly to help keep our communities safe and provide the goods and services people count on - even as the past few weeks have brought new global challenges.”

Nationally the unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent in February, Statistics Canada reported.