Nelson is struggling with a high rate of unemployment, according to the 2016 census. File photo

Census: Nelson’s unemployment rate higher than national average

The latest stats were released Wednesday following last year’s census

The latest census date shows Nelson is an educated city struggling with high unemployment.

Information made public Wednesday by Statistics Canada reveals Nelson has an unemployment rate of 8.8 per cent, which is far higher than the national average of 7.7.

Women are also far more likely to be unemployed than men — 9.4 per cent of unemployed people are women, as opposed to 8.3 per cent of males surveyed in the 2016 census. Those numbers are specific to people 15 years and older in the labour force during the week of May 1 to 6, 2016.

The majority of Nelson’s workforce is part time. There were 3,885 people working part of the year or in part-time status last year, as opposed to 2,190 people in full-time employment. Self-employed workers also make up 1,165 of the population, while 590 work from home.

Stats categories released Wednesday also included education, journey to work, language of work, and mobility and migration.

Of the 10,572 people living in Nelson, 21 per cent (2,310) who are 15 years or older have a high school diploma or an equivalent, which lines up exactly with the national rate.

Fifty per cent of Nelson’s residents (5,300) have also completed a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree. That’s higher than the national average of 45 per cent.

Most Nelsonites also still use their own vehicle to get to work.

Sixty per cent (2,795) of Nelson’s total 4,645 commuters drive to their place of employment in a car, truck or van. Twenty-five per cent (1,185) of commuters walk, while 235 people use a bicycle and just 65 use public transit.

Across Canada, 73 per cent of people use their own vehicle to get to work, while only 12 per cent use public transit.

Related: Census: Nelson’s population up 3.3%

Related: Census: 47% of Nelson renters paying more than they should

Related: Census: More singles than people in relationships in Nelson

Related: Census: Nelson’s household income below national average

When they are at work, the dominant language spoken is unsurprisingly English. Just 35 residents speak French in the workplace.

Residents also tend to stay put when they find housing in Nelson. The census revealed 8,415 people had not moved from their residence a year prior, as opposed to the 1,745 who had changed addresses.

Those numbers are dramatically different over a five-year span, in which 5,265 people remain at the address while 4,565 changed homes.

The census also shows how many people are moving to Nelson from outside Canada. New residents included 135 people who had lived in a different country a year prior to their settling down in Nelson, while 270 had done so five years prior to the census.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

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