New Brunswick sees biggest job gains in Atlantic Canada: Statistics Canada

The economy added 15,400 net new jobs last month and the unemployment rate edged down 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.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the overall job market added 282,500 positions for an increase of 1.5 per cent, and all of that year-over-year growth came from full-time work.

New Brunswick saw a gain of 5,100 jobs in total, while 3,900 were full-time positions and 1,200 were part-time jobs. 

The province also saw its unemployment rate drop from 9.1 per cent to 8.2 per cent in February. 

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

Last month's job growth, while small enough to be statistically insignificant, represents an improvement over the January report that showed a drop of 88,000 positions for the labour force's steepest one-month drop in nine years.

The February numbers nudged the unemployment rate down to 5.8 per cent from 5.9 per cent in January. 

~ With files from The Canadian Press.