03/16/2015 13:53 EDT | Updated 05/16/2015 05:59 EDT

Statistics Canada withholds unemployment numbers for northeast B.C.

The unemployment rates for northeastern B.C. aren't being released due to privacy reasons.

Vincent Ferrau with Statistics Canada said if there are less than 1,500 people unemployed in any region, the agency will withhold the numbers.

"In some communities you have some companies which are dominant employers and if you do some cross tabulation of the data, you can possibly identify what companies are affected and possibly which individuals are affected," Ferrau told Daybreak North's Carolina de Ryk.

Ferrau said other information, including the number of people employed, the number of people in the labour force, the employment rate and the participation rate, is made available monthly.

The last time unemployment rates were available for the region was Sep. 2014, when roughly 1,600 people were unemployed.

To hear the full interview with Vincent Ferrau, click the audio labelled: Why isn't Statistics Canada releasing northeastern B.C.'s unemployment numbers?