Province saw 15,200 officially lose jobs in first month of COVID-19
Unemployment rate rose to 8.8 from February to end of March
The unemployment rate in New Brunswick rose to 8.8 per cent from February to March, for a total loss of 15,200 jobs, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.
The 8.8 per cent unemployment rate is an increase of 1.9 percentage points from February.
The statistics are the first to be released since the province declared a state of emergency on March 19 because of COVID-19.
New Brunswick lost 10,000 full-time jobs and 5,200 part-time jobs in March, according to Statistics Canada.
But the actual figure is higher, since many lost jobs because of the emergency declaration.
As of Friday morning, about 64,000 people who lost their jobs as a result of business closures have applied for the province's $900 one-time payment to help with immediate needs until a federal assistance program began, Premier Blaine Higgs told Information Morning Fredericton.
Statistics Canada said the country's economy as a whole lost more than one million jobs in March, for a national jobless rate of 7.8 per cent.
New Brunswick's unemployment rate is 0.2 percentage points behind Nova Scotia's unemployment rate, which is nine per cent.
Within the province, the highest unemployment rate in March was 14.7 per cent in the region that includes Campbellton and Miramichi.
The regions that include Moncton and Richibucto and Fredericton and Oromocto were tied for the lowest rate at 7.6 per cent.
The area including Saint John and St. Stephen has an unemployment rate of 8.7 per cent in March.
The area that includes Edmundston and Woodstock has an unemployment rate of 8.2 per cent.