The region shed 2,700 jobs in June, the first decline since last October. However, there were also 3,200 fewer people in the labour force looking for work, which meant the unemployment rate held steady at six per cent.
To put the number in context, the National Capital Region has still created 17,300 net new local positions since the start of the year.
The largest declines last month were in finance, real estate, insurance, accommodations and food services, according to Statistics Canada analyst Vincent Ferrao. Gains were recorded in educational services, health care, social assistance, information, culture and recreation.
The closely watched technology sector is up by 2,600 jobs on a year-over-year basis, employing 48,600 local workers in June.
Somewhat surprisingly, the number of local workers employed in public administration - a category that includes many federal bureaucrats - was actually higher last month than in June 2011.
In March, local Conservative MP John Baird said 4,800 civil service jobs in the National Capital Region would be eliminated.
There were 169,500 local people employed in public administration positions last month, up nearly 6,000 from a year earlier.
That's down 1,000 from May, but still higher than in April.
Mr. Ferrao says the agency started recording declines in public administration positions in June 2011 through to this April.
Nationally, the unemployment rate inched down to 7.2 per cent last month as Canada's employers added 7,300 jobs overall, although Ontario was the only province showing any significant gains in Statistics Canada's report on Friday.
That number of new jobs usually isn't enough to reduce the national unemployment rate - it had been 7.3 per cent in May - but June also saw a 16,600 drop in the number of active workers that reduced the overall size of the labour force, Statistics Canada explained.
Regionally, there was an even split among provinces with employment increases as those with declines, but aside from Ontario - which added more than 20,000 jobs last month - the differences from the previous month were small in comparison to their populations, the agency said.
It was the second month in a row that Canada saw minimal job gains after two stunning months - March and April - when the economy added 140,000 jobs.
Still, given the size of the earlier increases, analysts said it is good news that the early gains were confirmed by May and June's numbers, rather than reversed.
And there were other aspects to like about the report, including that full-time employment rose by 29,300, offsetting a big decline in part-time work. In addition, the number of hours worked increased by 0.4 per cent and hourly wages rose 3.4 per cent on an annual basis, up from May's 3.0.
"I'm never going to complain about a dip in the unemployment rate, and we did have a solid increase in hours worked in the month and the second quarter as a whole, which in some ways is almost a better measure," said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets.
"People were working longer hours and getting paid more for their efforts," he added, which should support consumer spending.
Economists said Canada's jobs picture remained superior to that in the United States, which also reported minor job gains of 80,000 in June. That kept the jobless rate south of the border a full point above Canada's.
Given the gloomy overall global backdrop, Jimmy Jean of Desjardins Capital Markets called the Canadian employment result fair. "It could have been much worse," Jean said.
He added that the June employment numbers probably will have few implications for the Bank of Canada's interest rate policy.
The Canadian central bank had appeared itching to begin raising interest rates during the spring, but seems to have backed off in recent weeks. With Thursday's stimulative moves by central banks in continental Europe, United Kingdom and China, a rate increase from the Bank of Canada appears to be on hold for some time to come, analysts say, with some looking as far into the future as 2014.
Economists had predicted a tight job market in June given flagging consumer and business confidence picked up in recent surveys.
Their views were mostly ratified by the Statistics Canada report, with the exception of Ontario. Canada's most populous province added 20,200 new jobs in June, all full-time.
While June constituted a soft month for most workers, it was positively dour on the summer job front.
Employment as a percentage of their population among students aged 20-24 fell sharply to 63.2 per cent from 67.4 per cent in June 2011, matching the situation in 2009, when student employment was hit hard by the recession.
"(It) is also the lowest June employment rate since comparable data became available in 1977," the agency said.
Similarly, the employment rate among 17-19 year old students also fell, to 51.4 per cent, lower than existed in June 2009.
Most of the gains last month occurred in the public sector, which saw a large 38,900 gain, while the private sector shed 26,000 jobs. Self-employment fell by 5,500.
Statistics Canada said the biggest gains were in business, building and other support services, where employment rose by about 24,000. Health care and social assistance added 20,000 and there was a gain of 19,000 in educational services.
Offsetting the employment gains, the number of workers in the information, culture and recreation fields fell by 31,000, while there were 20,000 fewer agricultural workers in June. There were also minor declines in construction and manufacturing.
-With reports from The Canadian Press