October’s given us a lot to talk about!


The unemployment rate in the Kootenay region saw its first drop since June, falling 1.2% to 4.9%*. Compared to the provincial unemployment rate of 4.2%** and national rate of 5.2%**, our region aligns quite closely.

At a glance:


  • The Kootenays saw a 100 person population increase for the fifth month in a row
  • 3,000 fewer people are actively looking for work
  • Employment fell 1,900 while the total unemployment dropped 1,100


  • 4.2% unemployment rate was a slight drop from September
  • BC added 9,800 people and the same number of new jobs to the labour market
  • Full time employment increased for people 15-24 years and 55+ while part time positions grew for 15-24 and 25-54 year olds


  • 5.2% unemployment rate was unchanged this month
  • Canada reported just over 108,000 more people with jobs in October
  • Employment was up for men and women 25-54
  • The unemployment rate for men 25-54 decreased slightly while the rate for women 15-24 increased 1.7%
  • Driven largely by the increased price for gas, inflation was up 0.7% from September marking the highest increase since June
  • Inflation is 6.9% higher than this time last year (find out your personalized inflation rate here)

What does this all mean?

The drop in the unemployment rate is not an entirely positive sign of the state of our local economy. Coupled with 3,000 fewer people in the labour force, the number of employed people down 1,900, and a participation rate decrease of 2.2%, it begins to highlight there may be more going on.

Traditionally, a decrease in the unemployment rate is encouraging as it can be a signifier of health in an economy. It can indicate that job seekers are getting jobs at a greater rate than not – so, it’s a good thing! In our current economy though, we’re operating in a bit of an unknown. Along with the unemployment rate drop, we saw an increase of 3,000 people not in the labour force. We will see in the coming months just how much of this can be attributed to job seekers securing sustainable work versus other contributing factors such as a discouraged labour force.

We continue to navigate a complex and unique economic time, hearing of local employers struggling to fill vacancies, a sometimes discouraging labour market, and record high inflationary impacts. We also hear of innovative approaches to addressing new workforce pressures and career advancing opportunities for job seekers that maybe didn’t exist two or three years ago. We’re seeing employers evaluating their hiring and retention practices.

It is not possible to predict the future of the labour market, however, we can conclude a few important things. Being knowledgeable on evolving labour market trends and changes will remain critical in supporting informed decision making. Trends in data do exist and we track them. These are both areas we report on – when it comes to the data, let us be your expert! Check our News section for insightful labour market blog posts and be sure to follow us on social media for updates.

Interested in the full survey? Check it out here. Looking for key definitions? Our July blog can help.

Note: October reported on youth (15-24), if you want to know more about youth in the Trail area, Statistics Canada’s Portrait of Youth Data Visualization Tool (picture below) gives a great interactive snapshot for ages 15-34. Find the full tool here.

Alia Locken, Research Officer at the Skills Centre, prepared the statistical interpretations of Statistics Canada’s data release. If you have any information and/or questions, or would be interested in sharing about your experience in our local labour market, contact Alia at alocken@skillscentre.ca or by phone at (250)368-6360 ext 223.

*Unadjusted, 3-month moving average
** Seasonally adjusted

Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0387-02 Labour force characteristics by province and economic region, three-month moving average, unadjusted for seasonality (x 1,000) Nov 8, 2022
Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0287-01 Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle, last 5 months Nov 8, 2022
Labour Force Statistics Highlights Issue #22-09 (gov.bc.ca) Nov 9, 2022
The Daily — Labour Force Survey, October 2022 (statcan.gc.ca) Nov 8, 2022
The Daily — Consumer Price Index, October 2022 (statcan.gc.ca) Nov 17, 2022