City release July economic update

Prince George’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in July, according to the city’s economic report.

In July 2017, Prince George’s unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent, a decrease of 1.9 per cent when compared to the same month in 2016 when it was 7.7 per cent. The unemployment rate was higher than the provincial rate of 5.3 per cent but lower than the national rate of 6.3 per cent.

Prince George’s employment rate in June 2017 was 67.3 per cent, an increase from the same month last year when it was 66.2 per cent. The employment rate was higher than the national rate of 61.6 per cent and B.C.’s 62.3 per cent.

Total employment in the Cariboo Economic Development region was 82,400 for July. This represented a net increase of 1,100 jobs when compared to the previous month. Wholesale and retail trade saw the highest increase with the addition of 700 jobs in this sector. Manufacturing jobs also increased by 500 jobs. The highest decrease in jobs occurred in Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction with a decrease of 400 jobs.

Real Estate

Eight newly constructed single detached houses were sold in Prince George in July 2017 at an average price of $494,124. This is in comparison to 18 newly constructed single detached houses sold in July 2016 at an average price of $453,434.

Home sales in northern B.C. totaled 364 units in July 2017, a decline of 14.8 per cent from July 2016. The average price of homes sold in Northern BC was $281,369 in June 2017, an increase of 5.0 per cent from June 2016. Dollar value of home sales totaled $102.4 million down 10.5 per cent from the same month last year.

Housing Construction

There were 18 (18 single family dwellings, zero multiples) total housing starts in Prince George during July 2017; this was the same as July 2016, 18 (18 single family dwellings, zero multiple). The number of completions decreased to seven (four single family dwellings, three multiple) in July 2017 compared to 14 (12 single family dwellings, two multiple) in July 2016.

Across B.C., housing starts increased by 19.5 per cent from 3,281 (998 single family dwellings) in July 2016, to 3,920 (1,011 SFDs) in July 2017. The total number of completions also increased in BC by 3.8 per cent from 2,055 (777 single family dwellings) in June 2016 to 2,133 (772 single family dwellings) in July 2017 with multiple completions leading the way.

Building Permits

The City of Prince George issued 49 building permits valued at $24.5 million in July 2017 including $11.93 million in commercial permits, $4.00 million in institutional permits, and $8.61 million in residential permits.

This is a 30.3 per cent increase over July 2016 when 49 permits were issued at a value of $18.8 million.

Business Licences

The City of Prince George received 35 new business license applications and 2 renewal applications in July 2017.