New Brunswick's economy adds 22,000 jobs in June
The province gained 13, 500 full-time jobs and 8,700 part-time jobs
As the first province to begin easing COVID-19 restrictions, New Brunswick saw employment increase by 22,000 jobs last month, bringing levels back to 97.1 per cent of what they were in February, before COVID-19.
New Brunswick's recovery performance in June was the best of the 10 provinces, which have been reopening at different rates after the shutdown forced by the pandemic.
The province gained 13, 500 full-time jobs and 8,700 part-time jobs, Statistics Canada reported Friday in its monthly labour force survey.
The New Brunswick unemployment rate is at 9.9 per cent.
The unemployment rate was 8.5 per cent in February after the loss of 900 full-time jobs.
The latest numbers from June don't reflect job losses at Moncton-based cannabis producer Organigram Inc., which recently cut 220 of its workers. They also don't include the 173 New Brunswick jobs cut at Irving Oil on Wednesday.
After learning about the job cuts at Irving Oil, Premier Blaine Higgs said, he was disappointed, but the job losses reflected changing market demands because of COVID-19.
Brian DePratto, senior economist at TD Bank in Toronto, applauded New Brunswick for controlling the COVID-19 curve, which led to more people able to return to work.
He said stores are hiring additional staff to help "normalize" a new reality with COVID-19 and help prevent the spread.
"You're getting a lot of low hanging fruit," he said.
DePratto expects to see continued improvement in the province, but not necessarily at such a fast pace. He used the example of the travelling tourism sector and indoor sporting events.
"It's a very impressive performance," he said.
Jobs added across Canada
Canada's economy added almost a million jobs last month, as businesses reopened.
Statistics Canada revealed the economy added 953,000 jobs during the month, adding to the 290,000 it added the previous month. But despite that two-month stretch, there are still 1.8 million fewer jobs in Canada today than there were in February.
The jobless rate fell to 12.3 per cent, down from the record high of 13.7 it hit in May.