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NWT employment rate in April falls to lowest level in 10 years, GNWT says

Recommendations issued by the Business Resilience Working Group, a partnership between the Yellowknife and Canadian chambers of commerce seek to find solutions for Yellowknife businesses facing downturns during the Covid-19 pandemic. Blair McBride/NNSL photo

The employment rate in April in the NWT fell to its lowest level for that month in 10 years, according to the Labour Force Survey released by the NWT Bureau of Statistics on Friday.

Sectors will the most job losses were in transportation and warehousing, utilities, forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas and educational services.

"Compared to last year, the NWT labour force declined by 800, while employment dropped by 1,100 and unemployment increased by 300. Unemployment rates rose among all major worker groups, increasing the highest among those who live outside of Yellowknife, among females and among persons aged 25 and older," the report said.

April's employment rate of 62.3 per cent was lower than the 63.6 per cent in March, with the number of employed people dropping from 20,600 in March to 20,200 last month, when the jobless rate also reached its highest level in four years. The employment rate was 65.5 per cent in April of last year.

RELATED REPORTING: Covid-19 measures help drive NWT jobless rate to four-year high

Across Canada, the number of employed people between February and April who were away all week from their workplaces rose from 317,100 to 2.4 million, an indication of the impact of measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The amount of Canadians employed and absent 50 per cent or more from their usual work hours increased from 503,600 to 883,500 during the same period.

Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for April, also released on Friday reflected the toll the pandemic has taken on the economy, with the unemployment rate rising by 13 per cent in April, representing almost 2 million job losses that month, following more than 1 million loses in March.