Unemployment fell to 3.3 per cent in Nanaimo last month, one of the lowest in the country.
The news comes from Statistics Canada's quarterly Labour Force Survey ending in November.
The national survey found sizable increases in the numbers working in health care, and the retail and services sectors throughout the Vancouver Island-Coastal region, which includes the Sunshine Coast.
Among a population of 88,900 people, 34,600 are not counted as part of Nanaimo's labour force, measured at 54,300. Of those, 52,500 are employed, the agency reports.
Numbers don't indicate the number of workers who have left the city to pursue employment elsewhere.
"We have more people working in Nanaimo," said Vincent Ferrao, Statistics Canada labour market analyst.
"Over the last 12 months we have more people in the workforce and more people working, which is good."
The wholesale and retail trade sector added 1,600 employees in the region from a year ago last month.
"Obviously it's encouraging," said Sasha Angus, Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation CEO. "As we see economic conditions improve, we see companies starting to do business, anecdotally."
In retail, 744 new businesses formed in Nanaimo through the end of November, "and about 14 per cent of those are in the retail sector," Angus added.
Transportation and warehousing added 1,500 jobs, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing grew by 1,800 jobs and another 2,500 people found employment in the professional, scientific and technological sector, while 1,700 people found work in educational services compared to last year.
Some job-seekers have left Nanaimo for jobs in the north. "(Sometimes) we have a candidate in our waiting room, then we call them next week and they've left and gone to Alberta," said Melodi Wood, owner of Express Employment Professionals.
- Nanaimo Daily News
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