Youth unemployment dropped more than two full percentage points last year in Nova Scotia to 15 per cent, but remains above the national average of 13 per cent, according to new Statistics Canada numbers released Friday. 

Youth unemployment covers those between the age of 15 and 24 who are looking for work but can't find it. Since 2009, Nova Scotia's youth employment numbers have been in rough shape, but the latest data may signal a change.

"From 2009 to 2014, there was a steady recovery in youth unemployment across the country. Nova Scotia's youth rate did not recover and actually worsened," said Thomas Storring, the provincial Finance Department's director of economics and statistics.

"We are starting to pull out of it." 

Statistics Canada said 1,300 additional full-time jobs opened up in 2015 for people under age 25. The gains came in professions like accounting, engineering, public relations and IT. By comparison, the youth unemployment rate was 19.5 per cent in February 2014.

But the labour news from Statistics Canada isn't all rosy.

Statistics Canada said in December, the province shed 3,000 jobs, a number that has been adjusted for seasonal variations. There were declines in sectors such as construction, forestry, fishing, call centres and health care.

The unemployment rate did not increase because roughly the same number of people stopped looking for work or retired. The current provincial unemployment rate for all age groups is 8.6 per cent.

"Since 2000, the unemployment rate has actually averaged about 8.9 per cent and for much of 2015, we've seen it lower than the long-run average," said Storring.