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Prince George’s economic region down 4,300 jobs

Monthly economic data is starting to reflect the realities of COVID-19
(via the City of Prince George)

It’s no surprise that the local economy is taking a hit as the world tries to battle the spread of COVID-19.

This reality is reflected in the city of Prince George’s monthly economic data, which tracks economic indicators like employment, real estate and building permits, business license applications and airport numbers.

The numbers show that the Cariboo Economic Development region is down 4,300 jobs in March 2020. Manufacturing decreased by 2,400 jobs and construction decreased by 2,300 jobs.

The only uptick is in wholesale retail and trade which increased by 1,400 jobs and other services, except public administration increased by 1,300 jobs.

There are 73,000 people employed in the region.

Prince George’s unemployment rate in March 2020 is 8.9 per cent which is higher than in March 2019 when it was 5.9 per cent.

The unemployment rate in B.C. for March 2020 has also jumped up to 7.6 per cent which is higher than it was in March 2019 when it was 4.7 per cent.

march economic data 1March 2020 economic data. (via City of Prince George)

There’s also been a slight drop in the value of building permits issued in March.

The total value of building permits issued in Prince George through the end of March 2020 reached $8.8 million, a 25 per cent decrease since March 2019, when it reached over $11 million.

However, building permits are still $4.1 million ahead of the year-to-date compared to the previous year.

One thing that’s remained the same is business license applications, there was no change compared to the previous month. There were 38 new business applications issued in March 2020.

The Prince George Airport (YXS), however, has seen a drop in passengers throughout March as COVID-19 travel restrictions have been implemented.

It's reported 44,817 passengers going through the airport in March 2019. In March of this year, there was a 44 per cent decrease with 24,964 passengers arriving and departing.

As for real estate, even though the number of homes sold in March has decreased the average house sale price has increased quite a bit.

There were 53 homes sold in March 2020 which represents a 15 per cent decrease in homes sold between the two periods.

The average house sale price was $408,570 in March 2020, which is an increase compared to last March when there was an average house sale price of $361,179.

There were 37 more multi-family dwellings in March 2019 compared to last month when there were only six starts.

The city collects this information form a variety of sources, including Statistics Canada, the BC Northern Real Estate Board, the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation and the Prince George Airport Authority.