Nearly 25 per cent of the province’s labour force is aged 55 or older, compared to less than 10 per cent 20 years ago, according to a Statistics Canada report.
The year-end snap shot was included as part of the national agency’s monthly labour force report for December.
The number of people employed in the province increased by 5,000 on a year-over-year basis, driven by those aged 55 and over (24.6 per cent by the end of 2019), compared with 9.3 per cent at the end of 1999.
The report says construction and public administration were the largest contributors to employment growth since December 2018, while accommodation and food services followed a downward trend throughout the year. Over the 12 months in 2019, the unemployment rate in the province declined by 0.9 percentage points to 7.5 per cent.
On the monthly numbers, the province’s unemployment rate fell from 8 percent in November to 7.5 per cent in December, and the economy added 2,100 jobs.
In Moncton, the unemployment rate fell from 5.6 per cent in November to 5.3 per cent in December and the city’s economy added 600 jobs.
In Saint John, unemployment also fell, from 8.2 per cent in November to 7.8 per cent in December. The city region lost 500 jobs, though, and the participation rate fell from 65.6 per cent to 64.7 per cent.