The local jobless indicator was up last month according to Statistics Canada.
The unemployment rate in the Kootenays stood at 5.5 per cent, with 82,600 people working and 4,800 looking for work out of a population of 142,000.
At the same time last year the rate was 3.9 per cent with 83,100 working and 3,400 searching out of a population of 140,600.
The figure is also up from April’s 4.3 per cent, when 82,700 people had jobs and another 3,700 were out of work but looking for employment.
The local rate was also higher than the provincial rate of five per cent and the national rate of 5.2 per cent, which rose 0.2 per cent last month in the first increase since August.
StatsCan says employment in May fell by about 77,000 for youth aged 15 to 24 but increased by 63,000 among people ages 25 to 54.
Fewer people were employed in business, building and other support services, as well in professional, scientific and technical services. But employment increased in manufacturing and utilities.
Compared to last year, average hourly wages rose 5.1 per cent to $33.25.