Region sheds 3,000 jobs
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.