P.E.I. could lose almost 1,000 jobs if the federal government cuts $8 billion from its budget as promised, says a labour union representing federal white-collar workers.

The Canadian Association of Professional Employees, which represents thousands of economists and social scientists who advise the federal government on public policy, estimates most of the jobs will be in the private sector.

That loss of money will hit small businesses the hardest, especially retail trade and the restaurant and bar industry.

"This means there are waiters and waitresses, cooks, accountants, construction workers, architects and hospital employees in Atlantic Canada who will be joining the ranks of the unemployed," said CAPE's president, Claude Poirier in a news release.

Details for P.E.I. show repair and renovation businesses are also expected to suffer job losses.

The group used what it calls a tried-and-tested economic model employed by Statistics Canada to make the predictions.