New Brunswick's unemployment rate jumped to 10.5 per cent in March as the province's economy lost 2,100 jobs, according to Statistics Canada.

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New Brunswick lost 2,100 jobs in March, according to Statistics Canada. (LM Otero/Associated Press)

The province's growing unemployment rate comes after the jobless rate had dropped to 10.1 per cent in February.

Saint John was a bright spot in the monthly labour force report. The unemployment rate in the province's largest city dropped to 9.1 per cent in March from 9.6 per cent in February.

Moncton, however, saw its jobless rate inch up to 6.6 per cent last month from 6.3 per cent in February.

New Brunswick lost 2,700 full-time jobs, but saw an increase of roughly 700 part-time jobs in March. The province's labour force fell by about 400 people, according to the labour force report.

The unemployment rate has been stuck above 10 per cent since July 2012.  Since that time, the number of people in the labour force has dropped to 351,200 from 353,700, according to Statistics Canada.

But the province's economic trajectory has been moving steadily downward since the global economy started slowing down in 2009. In December 2009, there were 364,200 people in New Brunswick's labour force, which 13,000 more than in March 2013.

Meanwhile, Canada's economy lost 55,000 jobs in March and the national jobless rate ticked higher to 7.2 per cent.

Northeastern unemployment rate passes 20%

The single-digit jobless rates being witnessed in southern New Brunswick stands in contrast to the unemployment rate in northeastern New Brunswick.

Statistics Canada reported the unemployment rate in the Campbellton-Miramichi region was 20.2 per cent in March, which is up from 19 per cent last March.

The jobless rate in the northeast is by far the highest across the province.

By comparison, the unemployment rate in the Edmundston-Woodstock zone was 12.6 per cent and 10.4 per cent in Saint John-St. Stephen.

The lowest unemployment rates continue to be in the Fredericton-Oromocto (9.6 per cent) and Moncton-Richibucto (9.3 per cent) areas.