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Prince George unemployment rate improves nearly one per cent in July amid COVID-19

B.C., Canada also saw better numbers after several months of large increases
(via Getty Images)

The latest job force numbers from Statistics Canada show some positive news economically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The monthly numbers released this morning (Aug.7) show declines of unemployment in Prince George, across B.C. as well as Canada. 

In the northern capital, the rate went from 10.7 per cent in June to 9.8 per cent in July. 

Provincially, the rate dropped from 13 per cent to 11.1 per cent. Nationally, the country went from 12.3 per cent to 10.9.

B.C. Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness Michelle Mungall says the most recent numbers are positive news for British Columbians. 

"B.C.'s Restart Plan continues to create positive signs for our economy, but we still have a long way to go as we build a strong recovery," she said in a release. 

"The Labour Force Survey for July showed British Columbia created another 70,200 jobs last month. Added to the employment gains we saw in May and June, B.C. has recovered about 58 per cent of the jobs lost in March and April. This month saw significant job gains in some of the hardest hit sectors as more and more businesses reopen their doors. Wholesale and retail trade, along with food services and accommodation, increased by 48,300 jobs in July."

Mungall added while the numbers this month are a good sight, the effort that has been put in by residents of the province needs to continue.

"British Columbians have made enormous sacrifices to keep our communities safe from COVID-19 so far. We all need to be careful to protect the progress we've made."

The province gained 70,000 jobs last month (+3.0 per cent). Those that were employed but working have of their normal hours was 12 per cent in July, down from 14.6 per cent in June. 

Across Canada, employment rose by 419,000 jobs last month (+2.4 per cent) compared to 953,000 in June (+5.8 per cent). 

Retail trade jobs grew by 91,000 (+4.6 per cent) in July while the health care and social assistance industry rose by 41,000 jobs (+1.7 per cent). 

Employment in the 'other services industry' also increased by 40,000 jobs (+5.8 per cent last month. Jobs included in the industry include personal care services establishments such has hair and beauty salons which reopened progressively in the majority of the provinces from June to July.