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Unemployment rate in the North almost double that of southern areas

The provincial unemployment rate in January held steady at 5.8 per cent, according to figures released by Statistics Canada.

That rate has been relatively steady over the past four months, dipping slightly to 5.7 per cent in November and December of 2016.

The story in northern B.C. however, is vastly different with the unemployment rate in the northeast more than double the provincial rate, at 10.5 per cent. It has climbed from 9.4 per cent in September.

The story is somewhat better in the North Coast and Nechako regions where the rate was 7.5  per cent in January, down slightly from 7.8 per cent in September.

In the Cariboo region, which includes Prince George, the January unemployment rate hit 8.8 per cent, a jump of more than a full point from September, when it was 7.4 per cent.

For the Cariboo and Northeast regions, even though the unemployment rate has increased, the number of people working has also increased.

In the Cariboo, the number of employed people went from 79,600 in September to 80,300 in January of 2016. In the Northeast, the number of those with a job went from 38,300 to 39,900.

In the North Coast and Nechako Lake regions, employment went from 42,800 in September of last year to 40,700 in January.

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