Unemployment rate hits 10% in New Brunswick
1,100 jobs lost in July
New Brunswick's roller coaster economic performance continued in July with the unemployment rate increasing to 10 per cent as the provincial economy shed 1,100 jobs, according to Statistics Canada.
That brings job losses in the province over the last two months to 3,000, the report released Friday shows.
But there are questions about the accuracy of the enormous swings in job numbers that have been recorded in New Brunswick this year.
According to Statistics Canada's seasonally-adjusted estimates, New Brunswick lost a near-record 8,300 jobs in February and March, only to gain a near-record 9,800 in April and May.
The latest loss of 3,000 in June and July continues the dramatic up and down movement that even those behind the numbers acknowledge are problematic.
Monthly stats can produce faulty results
"As with all surveys, there is always a margin of error," Statistics Canada senior analyst Jason Gilmore stated in an email about the numbers being recorded in New Brunswick this year.
"Obviously there is no clear trend in the short term."
Gilmore says individual monthly numbers can produce faulty results, but over time, reliable trends do get recorded.
Those trends show job numbers peaked in New Brunswick in the fall of 2009 at 362,400.
The province lost 14,000 jobs during the recession and although numbers began to rebound in the spring of 2011, less than half of the lost jobs have returned so far.
In July, estimates suggest 353,700 New Brunswickers had work and the unemployment rate inched up half a percentage point from the 9.5 per cent recorded in June.
Full-time employment in the province was down by more than 3,000, while part-time work was up by more than 2,000, the July figures show.
The job picture varies greatly around the province and actually improved in the Moncton Richibucto area, where the unemployment rate fell to a province-wide best 7 per cent.
By contrast, northeastern New Brunswick, between Miramichi and Campbellton, recorded an unemployment rate of 14.9 per cent, the highest in the Maritimes.
Across Canada, the unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 7.3 per cent, due largely to employers cutting back on part-time workers, according to the agency.
The loss of 30,400 jobs in July is the largest dip the country has seen since October 2011, Statistics Canada reports.