The Annapolis Valley region recorded a steady and significant rise in employment in 2016 compared with 2015.
According to preliminary annual figures just released by Statistics Canada, the Valley gained 1,200 jobs in 2016, an increase of 2.2 per cent.
Most of the new jobs, however, were part-time. This rise in part-time work relative to full-time jobs was evident across Nova Scotia in 2016.
Over the same 12-month period, the labour force in this region grew by 1,000 people, or 1.7 per cent. As a result, the average unemployment rate for 2016 fell by 0.4 percentage points to 8.0 per cent for the Valley region.
Halifax was the only other region in Nova Scotia to record job gains for 2016, but the rate of employment growth was greater in the Valley than in Halifax.
These figures, which are only preliminary and may be revised, are positive.
They also suggest there is room for Valley businesses to make greater use of the available workforce, by engaging more people in full-time rather than part-time jobs. Greater full-time employment could increase productivity and would expand the economy.
In the year ahead, the Valley Regional Enterprise Network will continue to provide support to employers through our BusinessNow suite of services for the local business community. And through our sector table initiative, we will be exploring new ways to create economic opportunities for the Valley region.