National, provincial unemployment rate drops in February

The economy added 15,400 net new jobs last month and the unemployment rate edged down one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.8 per cent, but the gains were due to a surge in part-time work that offset a decline in full-time positions.

Statistics Canada's latest labour force survey also says the job gains in February were driven by an increase of 50,300 in public-sector jobs.

Employment rose by 2,800 in Nova Scotia due to increases in full-time work, dropping the unemployment rate by three-tenths of a per cent to 7.9 for February.

Statistics Canada says the province has added 10,300 net jobs year over year, again entirely due to a jump in full-time employment.

For February, the report also found that average hourly wage growth across the country, which has been scrutinized by the Bank of Canada ahead of interest-rate decisions, stayed solid at 3.1 per cent.

(With files from The Canadian Press)