The unemployment rate in January was 5.5 percent compared to 4.7 percent in December of 2018.
He credited recent job gains drawing people back in as for why the participation rate is running at its highest level since 2017.
Kelowna boasts the province's lowest unemployment rate, dipping two ticks last month to 3.1 per cent.
"It might catch your eye that you have this massive print in youth employment, but the actual story is that youth employment over the a year ago is just flat; it was reversing some of the losses we've seen recently", said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC World Markets. The trend of more people entering the workforce and either working or looking for a job also continued, with the labour force increasing from 22,500 to 23,700.
The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. edged up to 5.5% in the first month of 2019.
That six-percentage point decline was about three times faster than that of Canada as a whole.
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"The wild ride continues for Canadian employment readings".
Employment was up slightly - rising from 61 per cent in December to 61.2 per cent in January - as was the participation rate, which rose from 64.6 per cent to 64.7 per cent during the period. "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.
"There had been some risk going into the report that a big print was coming, given that the survey had lagged the job gains seen in the more reliable payrolls report over the past year".
"Volatility returned with a notable increase in employment during the month of January", he wrote. Unemployment in that province increased by 0.4 percentage points.
"As demonstrated in the newest results, higher wages, low unemployment and good jobs in British Columbia show that people are at the centre of our strong and stable economy".