City’s unemployment rate drops
As fears mount over the possibility of a second global- economic meltdown, there is some positive news coming from the Tournament Capital.
According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Kamloops dropped by more than a percentage point last month — to 7.2 per cent in July from 8.4 per cent in June.
The unemployment rate in July 2010 was an even eight per cent.
Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod credits the growth in jobs to the private sector stepping up and doing most of the hiring.
“Really, it’s private business starting to pick up in terms of being drivers of our economy,” she said.
“Over the last few years, where we’ve had to support the economy with public-sector spending and jobs, I think this a really important transition to our recovery.”
Nearly 400 people dropped off the unemployed list, putting the overall number of jobless in Kamloops to 4,400.
When compared to other cities of similar size in B.C., Kamloops is sitting in the middle of the pack when it comes to workforce-employment statistics.
Chilliwack and Prince George are faring better, with unemployment rates of 4.5 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively, while Vernon is at a 9.9 per cent and Nanaimo is at 14.5 per cent.
Despite the positive local numbers, there are fears Canada could succumb to the economic troubles plaguing the U.S. and other countries in Europe.
In the last few days, markets around the world took a tumble, in part due to the U.S. debt-ceiling crisis and a downgrade of that country’s credit rating.
McLeod said she is concerned and watching the developments around the world closely.
“We know Canada continues to be in a much better position to weather these storms,” she said.
Though McLeod wouldn’t speculate on what action her government might take if indeed Canada slips back into recession, she said her government has “tools” to support the country’s economy.