The NWT’s unemployment rate rose to a historic high of 11.3 per cent in August, according to a Labour Force Activity report from the NWT Bureau of Statistics, released Friday.
The unemployment rate rose slightly due to 200 more people seeking employment. However, the number of employed people in the NWT also rose by 200 in August, marking an employment rate of 62.6 per cent, a 0.4 per cent increase from July.
“Following months of record low labour force participation, these changes suggest an increase in economic activities following the relaxation of constraints introduced to contain the coronavirus pandemic,” the report said.
Employment gains were noted in the finance, insurance, real estate and construction industries, with other industries experiencing marginal increases or decreases.
The job gains were driven exclusively by increased employment among youth aged 15 to 24 years. However, employment in that age bracket was still lower by 700 people compared to August of last year.
In other main worker groups, month-over-month employment rates rose among women, Indigenous people and those living outside of Yellowknife.
Across Canada, the employment rate was at 57.9 per cent for August, following a 1.7 per cent increase from July.
The number of laid-off workers peaked in April, then declined over the last four months as more people returned to work.
All provinces and territories recorded employment rate increases, with Yukon (67 per cent), NWT (62.6 per cent) and Saskatchewan (62.1 per cent) having the highest rates.
Despite the gains over July, August had the lowest employment rate for that month in the last 10 years in the NWT. The highest rate for August was recorded in 2013 when it was 74.2 per cent.