N.B. unemployment rate jumps to 10.1%

New Brunswick's unemployment rate jumped to 10.1 per cent in July as the provincial economy lost 1,500 jobs, Statistics Canada reported on Friday.

New Brunswick's unemployment rate jumped to 10.1 per cent in July as the provincial economy lost 1,500 jobs, Statistics Canada reported on Friday.

The province's unemployment rate increased last month even though the national jobless rate dipped to 7.2 per cent in July.

New Brunswick's unemployment rate stands at 10.1 per cent up from 9.6 per cent in June.

The national statistics agency says there are 348,000 people working in New Brunswick down from 349,500 in June.

Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador posted job gains in July, while Ontario saw 22,400 job losses.

Saskatchewan's 4.9 per cent jobless rate was again the lowest among the provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador's 11.9 per cent unemployment rate was the highest.

The gloomy economic news for New Brunswick gets worse when the long-term trend is analyzed.New Brunswick has lost 10,000 full-time jobs in the last year.

Kurt Peacock, an economic analyst for Enterprise Saint John, said July's jobless statistics are the worst monthly numbers for the province since the economic crisis started in 2008.

"The wheels are literally falling off. We have probably one of the worst job creation records of any province in the country," Peacock said.

Peacock said that 10.1-per-cent unemployment figure hides the fact that Saint John and Moncton are still doing fairly well. Moncton's unemployment rate is 7.6 per cent and Saint John's jobless rate is 6.3 per cent.

Peacock said those unemployment rates are equivalent to most big cities in the country. So he said the unemployment rates are a lot worse in the rest of the province.

"Where the real job losses have been taking place is actually outside the major cities," he said.

Peacock said the unemployment numbers for the rest of the province is closer to 12 per cent.

The economic analyst said the provincial government has some tough choices to make in order to rev up the faltering economy.

He said that since big cities, with their diverse economies, are more likely to create new jobs, the provincial government should work towards making Moncton and Saint John even bigger.