FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – According to statistics released today by BC Stats, the unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. sat at 10.5% in December. That is up from 10.1% in November.Overall for 2016, the unemployment rate started at 8.5% in January and ended at 10.5%, an increase of 2 percentage points in Northeast B.C. due to the oil and gas downturn throughout the region.The rate across the province for the month of December was 5.8% and for 2016 was 6.0%. B.C. did have the fastest employment growth rate among provinces for the second straight year going up 3.1% (+72,000).- Advertisement -Across the country, the unemployment rate grew to 6.9% but employment also rose by 54,000 jobs (0.3%).