The Kootenays had the highest unemployment rate in BC last month.
Statistics Canada says in November the local jobless rate stood at 6.9 per cent, up from 5.7 per cent in October and 5.2 per cent at the same time last year.
There were 79,900 people working (up from 78,800 the previous month and 77,700 in November 2022) out of a population of 143,200 (up from 143,100 in October and 141,100 the previous year). However, the number of people looking for work saw a sharp increase: there were 5,900 job seekers last month, compared to 4,700 in October and 4,300 a year ago.
Nationally, the unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 5.8 per cent, continuing an upward trend that began in April. StatsCan says while the economy gained 25,000 jobs, population growth continued to outpace employment growth.
Employment increased in manufacturing and construction but declined in wholesale and retail trade, and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.
On a year-over-year basis, average hourly wages rose 4.8 per cent to $34.28 in November.
The number of private sector employees rose by 38,000 in November, the first increase since June. The number of public sector employees didn’t change much. The number of self-employed workers decreased by 25,000.
StatsCan also noted most immigrants who arrived in the previous five years had trouble finding work related to their post-secondary credentials or work experience acquired abroad.