Unemployment in Kelowna continues to climb

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KELOWNA – A month after a Bank of Montreal report declared Kelowna the second worst city in Canada to find a job, employment numbers continue to fall in Kelowna’s fastest growing city.

At the start of 2016, Kelowna plummeted from the second-best city in the country to find a job to the second-worst. According to the report, Kelowna’s jobless rate fell 2.2 per cent to 7.6 per cent unemployment in one year.

Things aren’t looking any better since the report came out with Statistics Canada saying since January, the unemployment rate in Kelowna rose another half a per cent to 8.1, significantly more than the rest of the province.

While the province continues to create jobs each month, Kelowna still finds itself low on the list of Canadian cities if you want to find a full time job. The situation is almost as bad as it is in Calgary, which sits at 8.4 per cent, suggesting some Kelowna residents who find themselves out of a job recently were working outside the province but living in the Okanagan.

According to Statscan’s latest population estimates, Kelowna tops the list for population growth at just over three per cent, perhaps due to unemployed Albertans seeking greener pastures.

Last month Alberta lost 22,800 jobs and another 38,000 the month before, and their provincial unemployment rate rose to 8.5 per cent in January. B.C. currently sits at around 7.2 per cent, slightly better than the national average of 7.7.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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