The Kootenay unemployment rate stood at 6.4 per cent in January, down from 7.2 per cent in the same period of 2021.
Statistics Canada says 73,500 people had jobs in our region last month, while 5,000 were seeking work. In January 2021, 75,800 were working and 5,900 were job hunting.
The population is estimated to have grown over the past year from 137,800 to 140,000.
The provincial jobless rate was 5.2 per cent, down from 7.4 per cent a year ago. Nationally, the economy shed 200,000 jobs and the rate stood at 6.5 per cent.
Stats Canada says that was due in part to the Omicron variant, which resulted in capacity limits or closures of retail stores, restaurants, bars, and gyms.
The agency says January employment declines were driven by Ontario and Quebec, and accommodation and food services was the hardest-hit industry.