The Kamloops region continues to hold its own as the jobless rate eased slightly for the second month in a row while the rest of the province again saw an increase.
A report from Statistics Canada says unemployment in B.C. inched up a tenth of a point to 6.8 per cent in November compared to October.
Jobs Minister Pat Bell said the province lost about 4,700 jobs, all of them in the part-time sector, while the number of full-time jobs remained stable.
Locally, the region saw its jobless rate dip slightly, falling from 4.4 per cent in October to 4.1 per cent in November, said Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake.
The region also saw a net gain of 400 jobs, which is good news for Kamloops, said Lake.
“Things are heading in the right direction,” he said.
With almost $200 million in building permits issued in Kamloops this year and stable job numbers, it’s obvious to Lake that people have confidence in the Thompson-Okanagan, he said.
Bell said the province is living in challenging economic times, but the government’s jobs plan will help create long-term jobs through spending on roads, rail and ports and by continuing to attract foreign investors to the province.
Economist Helmut Pastrick said the province is feeling the pinch of the global economic slowdown and that’s coming through in the employment rate.
“Overall, it’s a really modest growth performance,” said Pastrick.
The government is inclined to put the best spin on the situation, emphasizing certain numbers in favour of others, he said.
Employment has slowed in B.C. during the last 12 months and is now growing at one per cent as opposed to the 1.7 per cent a year ago.
“Part-time employment has generally declined over the last couple of years and full time has increased. That’s certainly a positive development,” said Pastrick.
Canada’s economy overall showed surprising bounce last month, churning out an impressive 59,300 jobs and dropping the unemployment rate two-tenths of a point to 7.2 per cent.
All the gains were in full-time employment and in the private sector. As well, hours worked increased 0.2 per cent in November.
The month turned into the second most productive of the year on the job front, only bested by March’s outsized 82,000 jobs increase.