ECO­NOMIC OVER­VIEW

Ottawa Business Journal - Book of Lists - - By The Numbers -

“Slug­gish” and “sub­dued” are two words the Con­fer­ence Board of Canada uses to de­scribe the Ot­tawa-Gatineau econ­omy, which was out­per­formed by ev­ery other ma­jor metropoli­tan area in Canada ex­cept Vic­to­ria in 2012-13.

That’s largely the re­sult of ef­forts to bal­ance the fed­eral govern­ment’s bud­get that re­sulted in job losses in pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion and re­duced spend­ing on goods and ser­vices from lo­cal sup­pli­ers and con­trac­tors.

Mean­while, the con­struc­tion sec­tor keeps chug­ging along as low mort­gage rates con­tinue to fuel de­mand for new homes, keep­ing hous­ing starts close to the 10-year av­er­age, ac­cord­ing to the Con­fer­ence Board. While that’s ex­pected to ta­per off in the com­ing years, the non­res­i­den­tial sec­tor will re­main strong as work con­tin­ues on Ot­tawa’s light-rail tran­sit line, widen­ing the Queensway and ex­pan­sions of sev­eral shop­ping cen­tres.

The tech sec­tor is another lo­cal bright spot, with em­ploy­ment grow­ing and sev­eral firms land­ing high-pro­file clients and large fund­ing rounds.

Over­all, Ot­tawa-Gatineau’s un­em­ploy­ment rate sits roughly 45 ba­sis points above the mean and me­dian rate over the past four years.

The num­ber of peo­ple work­ing in Ot­tawa-Gatineau reached an all­time high in Jan­uary 2013. That had de­clined 3.3 per cent by Novem­ber, but the labour mar­ket in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion has since staged a mod­est re­cov­ery, adding some 6,400 po­si­tions in the first half of 2014.

Real GDP growth

Source: Sta­tis­tics Canada / Con­fer­ence Board of Canada

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