New Brunswick's unemployment rate drops in March

Statistics Canada says New Brunswick's unemployment rate dropped slightly in March.

The latest labour force survey released Friday said the province added 1,700 jobs last month – nearly all of them part-time positions.

The agency says the boost pushed the unemployment rate down to 8.4 per cent from 8.9 per cent in February.

Year-over-year, the unemployment rate dropped from 10.2 per cent in March 2016 as around 8,000 new full-time jobs were created.

National unemployment rate rises despite net-gain in jobs

Canada's labour market gained another 19,400 net jobs last month – and the vast majority of the new work was full time.

But the job survey also shows the bulk of those new positions were in the self-employment category, which can include people working for a family business without pay.

The agency says the country's unemployment rate crept up in March to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent because more people were looking for work.

The country lost 2,400 positions in the services sector last month, but added 21,800 factory jobs thanks to the biggest month-to-month surge in manufacturing work since 2002.

Alberta easily saw the biggest boost among provinces by adding 20,700 full-time jobs last month and, at the other end of the spectrum, Quebec shed 17,800 full-time positions.

The number of private-sector jobs rose 13,700 between February and March, while public-sector positions dropped by 12,700.

With files from The Canadian Press