People looking for work are a rare breed in the Kootenays.
Statistics Canada says the local jobless rate stood at 3.5 per cent in January, down from 5.9 per cent in the same month of 2022.
The population of 141,200 was an increase of 1,200, while the number of people working grew from 74,200 to 79,100 and the number searching for jobs dropped from 4,700 to 2,900.
However, the rate was up from 2.9 per cent in December, when 77,300 people were working and 2,300 were looking for work.
The national unemployment rate held steady at five per cent as employment increased by 150,000.
Stats Can says the gains came mainly in people aged 25 to 54, evenly split between men and women. Gains were also seen in people 55 and older.
The biggest increases were in wholesale and retail trade, health care and social assistance, and educational services. But employment declined in transportation and warehousing.
The number of employees grew in both the private and public sectors while the number of self-employed workers held about steady.