March 13, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The unemployment rate in New Brunswick stayed relatively stable in February, standing at 8.8 per cent. Meanwhile, the labour force was fairly strong, staying at more than 400,000 as the province continues to battle through tough economic times.
"Compared to the increases in the national and other provincial unemployment rates, New Brunswick is still weathering the economic downturn fairly well," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. "Although we are starting to see the adverse effects of this economic environment, I am confident that recent capital investments made by our government will help our province over the long term as we continue to move toward self-sufficiency."
Figures released by Statistics Canada indicate that the unemployment rate stood at 8.8 per cent, up slightly from last month, when it registered 8.7 per cent, and also up from 8.3 per cent from the same time last year.
However, the New Brunswick unemployment rate fared better than the national rate, which was up 1.8 of a percentage point in February compared to the same month last year, and 0.5 of a percentage point from last month.
In addition, New Brunswick's labour force was still relatively strong, standing at 400,600, down slightly from the same month last year, when it was 400,700.
"The size of the labour force is a sign of confidence in New Brunswick's ability to create and maintain jobs here at home," said Arseneault. "We will continue to monitor the labour statistics to prepare ourselves for any possible adjustments to employment programs. We want to ensure that New Brunswickers have the tools they need to be employed in their province."
Employment growth in February was strongest in the following areas: agriculture, utilities and public administration.
MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Josée Groulx, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-444-3465.