Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

New Brunswick experiences record labour force statistics for 2008 (09/01/09)

NB 13

Jan. 9, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick's annual averages showed record labour force and employment levels in 2008 as compared to previous years. These were some of the highlights as Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Donald Arseneault reported today on the province's annual average labour statistics, following the latest release of Statistics Canada's labour force survey.

"I am pleased that New Brunswick's labour force statistics for 2008 finished on a positive note," Arseneault said. "Given the current state of the economy, our government will go forward with a balanced approach and decisive actions that will lead our province through this crisis."

Figures show that the average number of employed New Brunswickers in 2008 increased by 3,400, to 366,200, compared to 362,800 in 2007. The labour force average for 2008 was 400,600, which was up by 8,200 compared to last year's average. As well, New Brunswick's 2008 participation rate experienced the largest per cent increase compared to all other provinces.

In the monthly statistics, Arseneault reported a significant increase to the labour force, and a steady provincial unemployment rate. Statistics Canada figures show 3,100 more New Brunswickers in the labour force last month as compared to the same time last year. The monthly unemployment rate edged down slightly to 8.6 per cent, compared to last month's rate of 8.7 per cent. There were also 366,600 New Brunswickers employed in December, unchanged from the same time last year. The labour force stood at 400,900 in December.

"I am confident that recent record capital investments will help New Brunswick remain competitive during the economic downturn," Arseneault said. "We will continue to work with our stakeholders, industry and community leaders, to better equip our workforce to meet the changing needs of our economy, and keep on the road to self-sufficiency."

Employment growth in December was strongest in the following areas: agriculture, utilities and public administration.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Josée Groulx, communications, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-444-3465.

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