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NWT employment rate in September rose to highest level since April, as jobless rate fell

Northland Utilities crews work to replace streetlights along a median on Franklin Avenue. Re-lighting the street is one of the final steps of a two year construction project. James O'Connor/NNSL photo

September's employment rate in the NWT rose to 63.2 per cent, a 0.6 percentage point increase from August and the highest employment rate since April, according to the NWT Bureau of Statistics' Labour Force Activity report, released on Friday.

The employment rate rose by 200, all in the private sector and in full-time employment.

While the job rate increased, the unemployment rate decreased to 9.3 per cent, representing 500 people. That follows the "historic high" unemployment rate of 11.3 per cent in August.

A total of 200 more people were employed in September compared to August, according to the NWT Bureau of Statistics' Labour Force Report, released on Friday. Blair McBride/NNSL photo

After the employment rate dropped from 63.6 per cent in March to 62.3 per cent in April, it fluctuated and reached a low of 60.6 per cent in June, then climbed to September's rate of 63.2 per cent.

But despite the increase, monthly employment rates in the territory after the arrival Covid-19 are lower than previous years, and last month's level was the lowest of any September in a decade.

Compared to September of 2019, the employment rate dropped by 5.2 per cent, marking 1,500 fewer employed people.

The lower rate was highest among males and non-Indigenous people, falling by 7.6 and 7.3 per cent, respectively.

On the industrial level, the service industry accounted for the loss of 1,300 jobs, while the goods-producing sector lost 200 jobs.

Over the year-long period, private sector employment decreased by 11 per cent to 9,700, public sector employment decreased by 5.1 per cent to 9,300, while self-employment rose modestly to 1,500.

Across Canada, the employment rate went up 0.8 percentage points to 58.7 per cent between August and September. Employment rates increased in all provinces and territories except for Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Yukon.