More people were working in the northwest in January than the month before, indicate figures from Statistics Canada.
The January 2011 tally was 42,000 people, a slight jump over the 41,200 in December 2010.
But more people were looking for work in January as well, a factor that increased the jobless rate from 7 per cent in December 2010 to 7.5 per cent in January.
The number of people who declared themselves as part of the workforce, whether employed or not, was 45,400 in January compared to 44,300 the month before.
The climb in the number of people working continues a trend that began last fall in the area from Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands) to just this side of Vanderhoof.
The January 2010 jobless rate was 10.7 per cent with only 39,300 people listing themselves as working. In that month, 4,700 people also listed themselves as unemployed, a figure that declined to 3,400 this past January.
These statistics are derived from interviews by Statistics Canada of people over the age of 15 who consider themselves part of the workforce whether they are working or not. They are not taken from Employment Insurance figures.
January’s 7.5 per cent regional jobless rate was tied with the provincial rate and only three other regions in BC – Vancouver Island and Coast, the lower mainland and the Cariboo – had lower rates.
The region once had the worst jobless rate in BC approaching the 14 per cent range.
In British Columbia, employment edged down in January and the unemployment rate increased over December.