The unemployment rate in the Kootenays stood at 5.5 per cent in February, which exactly matched the national average.
Statistics Canada says there were 75,100 people working and 4,400 people looking for work in our region last month out of a total population of 140,100.
Compared to the same time last year, the population grew but the overall workforce shank. In February 2021 there were 78,600 people working and 5,800 job hunting, for a rate of 8.8 per cent. The population was 137,900.
The BC rate of 5.1 per cent last month was down from 7.5 per cent a year ago.
Nationally, gains in accommodation and food services helped Canada’s unemployment rate drop lower than before the pandemic began in 2020. Stats Canada says over 335,000 new jobs were created in February.