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Lowest level of total employment in northwest in a decade

Northwest BC saw its lowest level of total employment in a decade in 2014 according to a report from the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC.

The Regional Check-up noted that the region stretching from Prince Rupert to Vanderhoof saw an overall loss of 1,600 jobs in the services sector.

Jeanne MacNeil, a partner with Edmison Mehr Chartered Accountants in Smithers, says the job loss coincides with slowing port activity and the completion of two major industrial projects.

But MacNeil says economic activity in the region should pick up again this year as four projects worth $12.4 billion are scheduled to proceed in Prince Rupert.

MacNeil says the future economic outlook for the region, and the province as a whole, will depend on the go-ahead of at least one of the proposed LNG projects, but there still may be hurdles ahead.

Petronas announced the conditional approval last week of its $34 billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project near Prince Rupert  while Ottawa and BC gave the environmental green light to LNG Canada’s project in Kitimat Wednesday.

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