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N.B. Loses 1,100 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Jumps to 8.3 Per Cent

Uptown Saint John. Image: iStock.

The province’s economy shed 1,100 jobs in August and the unemployment rate increased from 7.5 per cent to 8.3 per cent, according to the latest Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey.

The province lost 1,700 full-time jobs but gained 700 part-time ones.

But the main urban centres continue to perform better than the rest of the province. Saint John gained 500 jobs and its unemployment rate increased only slightly from 5.4 per cent to 5.5 per cent. The rate increased because the city’s labour force grew from 62,600 to 63,100.

Moncton showed a loss of 500 jobs in August and saw its unemployment rate grow to 6.7 per cent from 6.4 per cent in July.

But the city’s year-over-year numbers continue to be strong. It shows a gain of more than 3,000 jobs since August of 2017, while Saint John shows a loss of 4,400.

The two cities had unemployment rates lower than the national average.

Nationwide, the economy lost 51,600 jobs and its jobless rate hit six per cent in August, up from its 5.8 per cent reading in July.

Economists had expected an increase of 5,000 jobs for August and the unemployment rate to be 5.9 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Average hourly wage growth, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, continued its gradual slide last month to 2.9 per cent after expanding 3.2 per cent in July and 3.6 per cent in June.

By industry, the goods-producing sector lost 30,400 jobs last month in a decline led by notable losses of 16,400 positions in construction and a drop of 9,200 in manufacturing.

The services sector shed 21,200 jobs in August after shedding 22,100 positions in professional, scientific and technical services.

Compared with 12 months earlier, Canada’s overall employment was up 0.9 per cent following the addition of 171,700 jobs, including 326,100 full-time positions.

With files from The Canadian Press