FREDERICTON (GNB) – The government has surpassed its target of helping to create 10,000 jobs by 2018, announced Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, who is also chair of the Jobs Board.

Between October 2014 and December 2017, he said, 15,126 jobs were created in the province.

“We made a promise to support the creation of 10,000 jobs by 2018 and we delivered on that promise,” said Melanson. “As a small province we cannot always control the forces and impacts of the global economy, but we can and have taken the actions required to help create jobs and provide meaningful work for New Brunswickers.”

Investments by Opportunities NB contributed to the creation of 3,639 jobs, while the creation of another 3,740 jobs was assisted by the Regional Development Corporation and 787 jobs were created through the Jobs Board Secretariat.

A further 6,960 jobs were attributed to the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour and its programs for youth and recent graduates, including the Youth Employment Fund, One Job Pledge and Workforce Expansion programs.

Since 2015 several economic indicators in the province have shown improvement, and Melanson said this positive trend is projected to continue. The economy is now 4.9 per cent larger than it was in 2014. Melanson said real GDP growth in 2018 is expected to surpass 1.0 per cent for the fourth consecutive year, a period of sustained growth not seen in more than a decade.

“Growing the economy continues to be our number one focus and we will continue to work hard to address the challenges facing the province’s labour market and put more and more New Brunswickers to work,” said Melanson.