PRESTON MULLIGAN (CBH): Unemployment has hit a record low in one Maritime province. New labour statistics appear to paint a rosy outlook for New Brunswick, but some say they don’t show the whole picture.

Susan Aitken has more

SUSAN AITKEN (Reporter): 6.9 is a magic number for New Brunswick. That’s the unemployment rate in the province, the lowest it’s ever been since Statistics Canada started keeping track 31 years ago. Ian Monro from the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies says 6.9 percent also comes with bragging rights.

IAN MONRO (Atlantic Institute for Market Studies): The province has the best unemployment record not only of the Atlantic provinces, but all five eastern provinces.

AITKEN: Betty-Anne Mercier from Enterprise Restigouche says all that’s great if you live in the south of the province.

BETTY-ANNE MERCIER (Enterprise Restigouche): Well from where we’re sitting, we’re certainly not as lucky as some other areas of the province that are able to get those numbers down.

AITKEN: In the north that record setting provincial number nearly doubles to 13.2 percent unemployed. Now that’s way down from almost 20 percent a decade ago, but Mercier says that could be misleading because there are actually fewer people in the workforce, many having gone out west for work. On the other hand, she says the north is struggling to deal with the ups and downs of seasonal work and a resource-based economy. So scoring a record low is tough.

MERCIER: Well I think it is something to be proud of at a provincial level. Now let’s strive to try and get that level closer in all areas of the province.

AITKEN: Nationwide unemployment was at 6.1 percent, with Alberta coming in lowest at just 3.5.

Susan Aitken, CBC News, Bathurst.