‘Disconnect’ drives rise in unemployment rate in region
The rising unemployment rate in the Kootenay region may have less to do with the slowing economy and more to do with an inability to connect.
According to an insights report — Addressing the Labour Market Gap — released earlier this year by the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, both employers and job seekers are having a hard time finding each other in the Kootenays and across the province.
“Over 60 per cent of employers surveyed said it was harder to find qualified candidates now compared to prior to the pandemic while less than 40 per cent of job seekers said it was harder to find jobs,” the report stated.
The employers who reported the most difficulty finding qualified candidates were highest in the Kootenay (79 per cent). The unemployment rate in the Kootenays rose again last month to 5.7 per cent — up compared to last month and one year ago.
Over 78,000 people were working in the Kootenay region in October and 4,700 were looking for work out of a population of 143,100, according to Statistics Canada. Compared to last month and at the same time last year
The local rate last month was exactly the same as the national rate, which was up for the fourth time in the past six months.
One of the top challenges for Kootenay employers was finding qualified candidates that matched the job description. For job seekers, the most common challenge was finding jobs that met their salary expectations.
“Half the job seekers surveyed reported difficulty identifying positions for which they are qualified and over a third found application requirements too complicated,” the report noted. “Job seekers identified training as the most important service when seeking new career opportunities, followed closely by online services and job search/resume assistance.”