New Brunswick's unemployment rate increased to 7.8 per cent in August, when 5,000 more people joined the jobless, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

The latest monthly labour force report shows 1,700 full-time jobs were lost in August, while 1,200 part-time jobs were added.

About 4,500 people joined the labour force but did not find work, the report says.

In July, the province's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 per cent, the lowest in the Atlantic provinces.

But in August, the number of people looking for work in New Brunswick rose to 29,700 people.

The August jobless rate is still better than a year ago, when it sat at 9.4 per cent, after a loss of 3,000 jobs. The full-time job losses were so large they erased three straight months of gains in that category that looked to be turning the province's economy around.

This year, Canada's economy added 22,000 jobs in August, with a surge in part-time work offsetting a loss of full-time jobs.

Although New Brunswick's rate was up 1.3 per cent, Statistics Canada reported the national jobless rate declined by 0.1 percentage points, to 6.2 per cent — the lowest it's been since October 2008, right before the financial crisis.

The economy added 110,000 part-time jobs during the month, offset by a loss off 88,000 full-time jobs.

Recruiting new workers

On Thursday, the provincial government said it would be organizing a series of job fairs across the province and Canada in coming months to recruit new workers to fill job vacancies.

The province said it's hoping to make potential workers aware of opportunities in their own region. The job fairs will also be held in cities across the country where there are many former New Brunswickers and Atlantic Canadians working, and in regions with high unemployment rates.

"New Brunswick's economy is growing and is the strongest it has been in a decade," said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry in a statement earlier this week.

"It is your government's hope that these job fairs will bring more attention to the exciting prospects here in the province, and will give potential employees a platform on which to further their careers."