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Prince George, province sees slight improvement in unemployment rate for June amid COVID-19

Canada also sees small drop in those unemployed
(via Getty Images)

The unemployment rate in Prince George as well as B.C. and Canada all saw slight improvements last month. 

In numbers released today (July 10) by Stats Canada, Prince George recorded an unemployment rate of 11.8 per cent in May while June dropped by over one point to 10.7 per cent. 

B.C. meanwhile saw an unemployment rate of 13 per cent last month compared to 13.4 per cent in May. 

Nationally, the country went from 13.7 per cent in May to 12.3 in June. 

Stats Canada says from February to April of this year, 5.5 million Canadian workers have been affected, adding that it included a dip in the employment of 3 million and a COVID-19 related increase in absences from work of 2.5 million. 

By the week of June 14 to 20, the number of workers affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown was 3.1 million, a reduction since April of 43 per cent. 

In May, Canada saw an increase of 290,000 jobs and employment rose by nearly one million in June of 953,000 jobs which is an increase of 5.8 per cent. 

In B.C., there was an increase of 180,000 jobs in June (5.4 per cent) following an increase of 43,000 in May. Those employed in the province worked less than half of usual hours (a decline of 2.9 per cent) to 14.6. 

"The monthly labour force numbers for June continue to show signs of our province's gradual economic restart, with more than 118,000 people finding jobs last month. Employment gains in May and June have recovered 40 per cent of the total jobs lost since February," B.C. Minister of Finance Carol James said in a release after the numbers became available. 

"While these numbers are encouraging, the road ahead is a challenging one, as total job losses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic remain at 235,000. B.C.'s June unemployment rate is down 0.4 per cent since May at 13 per cent. The rate stood at five per cent at the start of the pandemic in February."

James also added that the government continues to support British Columbians during the pandemic, with many still struggling to get by due to the effects of COVID-19.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged and changed our province," she said. "Thousands of families, young people and businesses continue to struggle to make ends meet. That's why it was essential that we acted quickly to put supports in place through our COVID-19 Action Plan. Our focus on restarting B.C.'s economy in a safe, responsible manner has also been a key contributor to our success in both battling the pandemic and gradually turning our economy around."

According to the latest data, Stats Canada says the number of people working from home fell by 400,000 nationally which saw an increase of two million people working at locations in June. 

In the accommodation and food industries, employment increased by 164,000 and 184,000 respectively. 

The information, culture and recreation industry saw an increase of 60,000 jobs in the sector for June while business, building, and other support services also saw an increase of 71,000 jobs in June. 

Employment in construction also saw a slight rise and between May and June, 160,000 jobs in the sector have been recorded.