The Kootenay region has the highest unemployment in B.C., according to data released by B.C. Stats. (Courtesy of B.C. Stats)

Kootenay region unemployment highest in B.C.

The Kootenay region has the highest unemployment of any region in B.C.

The Kootenay region has the highest unemployment of any region in B.C., according to statistics recently released by B.C. Stats.

Data shows that the Kootenay region’s three-month moving average unemployment rate was 8.1 per cent in September, the highest regional unemployment rate in the province.

This a shift from 2016, when the Kootenay region had the second-highest unemployment rate in B.C. at 8.0 per cent, with the Northeast region ahead at 9.7 per cent.

But the Kootenay region has seen a growing three-month moving average since April when the average unemployment rose from 6.4 to 7.4. Between January and September, the rate rose from 7.7 to 8.1.

Meanwhile, every other region in the province saw at least a slight decrease between January and September.

Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff was surprised by the news.

“I see more businesses moving into the community, industry doing tons of stuff out there, so … it would be nice to look at how it’s broken down,” he said.

But the statistics provided by B.C. Stats did not break down the data by community or regional district.

The Kootenay region, as defined by B.C. Stats, includes the regional districts of Kootenay Boundary, Central Kootenay and East Kootenay.

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