New Brunswick's jobless rate holds firm at 8.9% in February

New Brunswick's unemployment rate held steady at 8.9 per cent in February, according to the Statistics Canada monthly labour force report released Friday.

- New Brunswick's jobless rate jumps to 9.4% in December 

But this is an improvement from the same period last year, when the unemployment rate was 9.9 per cent.

Canada as a whole added 15,000 jobs in February as the jobless rate declined to 6.6 per cent. New Brunswick was one of five provinces where the rate stayed essentially the same.

Within the province, the unemployment rates still show quite a range and in some cases are lower than last year.

The highest jobless rate was in Cambellton-Miramichi, where it reached a whopping 16.4 per cent in February — up from 15.4 per cent in January and about where it was in February a year ago.

In the Moncton-Richibucto region, the jobless rate was at 9.5 per cent, up from 8.9 per cent in January and 8.1 per cent a year ago.

In three regions of the province, the employment picture appeared to be slightly brighter in February than it did a year ago.

In the Fredericton-Oromocto area, the rate rose to 6.3 per cent in February from 5.7 per cent in January, but was down from 8.9 per cent last February.

In the Saint John-St. Stephen region, the February unemployment rate was at 7.8 per cent, up from 7.4 per cent in January but down from nine per cent last year. 

In the Edmundston-Woodstock region, the unemployment rate rose to 7.7 per cent in January from 6.1 per cent in February, but it was still lower than the rate of 9.3 per cent a year ago.

Nova Scotia's unemployment rate rose to 8.1 per cent in February from 7.7 per cent in January and Prince Edward Island's rate increased to 10 per cent from 9.8 per cent.

Across the country, an increase in the number of people working full time offset a decline in the number of people working part time, Statistics Canada said.

In the past 12 months as a whole, February's total means Canada has cranked out 288,000 jobs the past year, the agency said.