Halifax, Nova Scotia (AHN) – As Canada’s unemployment rate inched up to 7.7 percent in February, jobless Canadians are moving in numbers to Atlantic provinces in search of work.

The migration influx is the result of large number of layoffs in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and parts of central Canada. In contrast, unemployment levels in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia stayed flat since October, while for the same period Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick laid off only a total of 6,000 workers.

Charles Cirtwill, executive vice president of Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, explained to the Globe and Mail that the global financial crisis also hit the area, but on a lesser scale. He pointed out the diversified nature of Atlantic provinces’ economies, it lower level of exposure to commodities and non-dependence on car manufacturing has protected it from massive job losses.

It was the fourth straight month of job losses reported by Statistics Canada since October 2008 when 295,000 jobs were shed.

Recruitment companies in Halifax are happy with the move of more Canadians to their area since it will provide the province a larger pool of skilled manpower to select from.