The unemployment rate for the Thompson-Okanagan in January 2013 dropped to 6.5 from 7.7 a year ago, the latest figures from Statistics Canada show.
But that seemingly good news is tempered by a lower participation rate. In January 2012, 62.4 per cent were in the labour force. This January it was down to 60.3 per cent.
That means the employment rate dropped to 56.3 from 57.7.
B.C. Jobs Minister Pat Bell said the latest jobless numbers prove Canada is facing a volatile economic situation and the government will stick to its jobs plan, but the NDP says the plan isn’t working.
Figures from Statistics Canada show B.C. lost nearly 16,000 jobs in January, the second highest number of job losses in the country, behind only Ontario.
Bell said this is not the time to abandon the Liberal jobs plan because B.C.’s unemployment rate last month remained at 6.3 per cent, well below the national setting of seven per cent.
But NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston said since the jobs plan was introduced in September 2011, B.C. has seen stagnant job numbers overall and huge losses in the private sector.
Meantime, he said the government is spending $15 million in tax money on ads telling people the jobs plan is working great.
He says the ads claim B.C. is leading the country in job creation, but that’s incorrect and in fact, B.C. is now second worst of all the provinces for job growth.