The unemployment rate has gone down 1.6% in the Kootenays, falling to 11.3% in August, as compared to 12.9% in July.

Michelle Mungall, B.C. Minister of Jobs, said the main reason for the drop is the fact that businesses are once again starting to open since they first closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you go up and down Baker Street, for example, you see more restaurants having opened up, you see more people and restaurants having space on outdoor patios, you see retailers opening up and the numbers reflect that,” said Mungall.

The B.C. Jobs Minister also said most of the jobs that are back, are full-time positions.

“Over the last month, we’ve seen more manufacturing and agriculture jobs come back online.”

Mungall said 87% of the jobs that returned are full-time.

Besides the unemployment rate dropping 1.6%, Mungall said the B.C. Government will soon be unveiling its plans to further support the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People here in the Kootenays can anticipate some good news with that $1.5-billion economic stimulus plan that we promised back in March,” said Mungall. “There should be some announcement in the coming days of what that $1.5-billion investment is going to look like.”

MORE: Kootenay’s Employment Profile (WorkBC)