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Economic outlook: City unemployment rate dips in October


In October 2017, Prince George’s unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent, a decrease of 1.3 per cent when compared to the same month in 2016 when it was 6.5 per cent, according to the city’s economic update for October.

The unemployment rate was slightly higher than the provincial rate of 4.9 per cent but substantially lower than the national rate of 6.3 per cent.

 Prince George’s employment rate in September 2017 was 68.3 per cent, an increase from the same month last year when it was 65.7 per cent, a 2.6 per cent positive change. The employment rate of 68.3 per cent was also much higher than the national rate of 61.6 per cent and British Columbia’s rate of 61.8 per cent.
Total employment in the Cariboo Economic Development region was 83,100 for October 2017. This represented a net decrease of 200 jobs when compared to the previous month. Wholesale and retail trade saw the highest increase, adding 700 jobs. The highest decrease in jobs occurred in the Information, culture and recreation sector with a decrease of 500 jobs.
House construction
There were 22 total housing starts in Prince George during October 2017 (21 single family dwellings, one multiple), compared to 19 (18 SFDs, one multiple) in October 2016. There were 13 completions in October 2017, while October 2016 had 26.
Across BC, housing starts increased by 112 per cent, from 2,132 (951 SFDs, 1181 multiples) in October 2016 to 4,511(916 SFDs,3595 multiples) in October 2017. The total number of completions in B.C. increased by 43 per cent, from 1,866 (819 SFDs) in October 2016 to 2,662 (924 SFDs) in October 2017.
Building permits
The City of Prince George issued 45 building permits valued at $11.7 million in October 2017, including $5.77 million in residential permits and $5.89 million in commercial permits. There were no industrial or institutional permits issued.This is a 126% increase over October 2016 when 34 permits were issued at a value of $5.2 million.
The Planning and Development department issued 419 permits from January to October 2017. The total value of building permits year to date in 2017 is $107.46 million.

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