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Province leads country in job losses and Kootenay region suffers

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

With the latest unemployment figures painting a bleak picture of the province, the situation appears equally dismal in the Kootenay region.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada indicate the unemployment rate reached 7.6 per cent in December, up from 6.9 per cent in November — with the rate at 8.7 per cent in the Kootenay region, up from 8.5 per cent last year.

In fact, the province lost nearly 20,000 full-time jobs and 2,600 part time jobs last month — the largest loss in Canada — and over 5,000 in the last year in the Kootenay region.

A marginal gain in job creation is predicted over the next 12 months.

Despite the winter gloom that has settled in over the province, the national jobless rate remained unchanged from November to December at 7.6 per cent.

The B.C. Federation of Labour has called on the provincial government to develop a jobs strategy for the province following release of the job loss numbers for December. 

They have said a jobs agenda for the province must also include the creation of good, green jobs to make the economy more environmentally sustainable.