Re­gion sheds 3,000 jobs

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Ottawa -

The num­ber of peo­ple work­ing in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion fell for the sec­ond straight month in Au­gust to reach the low­est level since last Septem­ber, Statis­tics Canada re­ported Fri­day.

There were 721,700 peo­ple work­ing in Ot­tawa-gatineau last month, down 3,000 peo­ple from July. The re­gion has shed 7,600 jobs since March.

How­ever, a sharp de­cline in the num­ber of peo­ple look­ing for work meant the re­gion’s un­em­ploy­ment rate ac­tu­ally de­clined from 6.3 per cent in July to 5.9 per cent in Au­gust.

The lat­est job re­ports casts a shadow over Ot­tawa’s eco­nomic re­bound un­der the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment, which re­placed the Con­ser­va­tive’s cost-cut­ting ef­forts with stim­u­lus spend­ing that co­in­cided with a dra­matic in­crease in the num­ber of Ot­tawa-gatineau res­i­dents work­ing for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

In less than a year, the size of the lo­cal fed­eral work­force bal­looned by 26,300 res­i­dents to reach a high of 153,800 staff in May.

Since then, how­ever, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has trimmed its pay­roll by nearly 10,000 res­i­dents to reach 143,700 lo­cal res­i­dents.

Fri­day’s Statis­tics Canada re­port con­tained some pos­i­tive news. Em­ploy­ment lev­els in the closely watched tech sec­tor reached its high­est level since Novem­ber as em­ploy­ers hired 1,600 staff.

Na­tion­ally, the in­crease of 22,200 jobs last month also helped nudge Canada’s un­em­ploy­ment rate to a nine-year low of 6.2 per cent, down from 6.3 per cent in July.

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