Prince George’s unemployment rate rose to 7.9 per cent in May, up from 7.3 per cent in April, according to data reported by Statistics Canada on Friday.

The number of people holding jobs remained steady from April at 49,300, but the number of people seeking work rose from 3,900 in April to 4,200 in May. The city’s labour force participation rate – the percentage of working-age adults working or actively seeking work – rose from 63.6 per cent to 63.8 per cent.

May’s unemployment rate was more than double the city’s unemployment rate in May 2022, which stood at 3.9 per cent. In May 2022, there were 54,600 people employed in the city and 2,200 people seeking employment. The labour force participation rate in May 2022 was 68.9 per cent.

Nationally, the Canadian unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 5.2 per cent in May, while the B.C. unemployment rate remained steady at five per cent.

“Earlier today, Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey reported that B.C.’s economy is continuing its stable growth of 1,400 jobs in May, for a total of 17,800 jobs added in 2023. That increase was driven by a gain of 4,300 full-time jobs, including 1,500 in women’s full-time employment,” B.C. Jobs Minster Brenda Bailey said in a statement issued on Friday. “As another sign of our strength and stability, B.C.’s unemployment rate is at 5.0 (per cent), which is fourth-lowest among all provinces, but above the historic lows we saw in winter. This means businesses are seeing more applicants for their vacant positions.”

Prince George’s unemployment rate in May was higher than many other B.C. cities such as Abbotsford-Mission (4.9 per cent), Chilliwack (four per cent), Kelowna (3.1 per cent), Nanaimo (3.8 per cent), Victoria (3.5 per cent) and Vancouver (5.1 per cent).

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