Several key sectors for Ottawa-Gatineau had fewer people working in August than the year before, Statistics Canada reported Friday, as the region saw its unemployment rate climb for the month.
However the area still had a higher total number of people working last month than in July.
The number of people employed jumped to 693,300 for the month, up from 691,400 in July. Last month’s figure is the lowest for August in the past three years.
The growth in the unemployment rate was largely due to an increase in the number of people who were part of the labour force. That figure clocked in at 744,400 in August, 4,400 people larger than 741,000 in July.
The unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent for the month, up 20 basis points from 6.7 per cent the month before.
A number of sectors experienced a drop off in employment numbers.
Those working in public administration – which includes the region’s federal government employees – fell to 149,300 in August from 166,600 during the same month a year previous.
Information, culture and recreation dropped to 30,800 last month compared to 44,700 in August 2012.
Construction decreased to 33,900 from 42,200 the year before, while retail and wholesale also fell.
Several areas experienced the opposite trend. Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing increased to 37,900 from 33,200 while educational services grew to 61,800 from 45,700.
Professional, scientific and technical services and business, building and other support services increased as well.
More people were employed on both sides of the Ottawa River even as the unemployment rate on the Ottawa side increased.
There were 524,900 people working in August, an increase from 523,400 in July. The unemployment rate was up 30 basis points to 7.1 per cent.
In Gatineau, 168,400 people were working, compared to 167,900 the month before. The unemployment rate there was down however, dropping 30 basis points to 6.0 per cent.
Nationally the country’s jobless rate fell to 7.1 per cent in August from 7.2 per cent the previous month.
Statistics Canada says most of the 59,000 net jobs created during the month were in part-time work.
Employment increased in Ontario and Alberta, while it fell in Manitoba and was little changed in the other provinces.
Employment was up by 44,000 in Ontario, where the jobless rate was 7.5 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. The province's employment growth of 2.2 per cent outdid the national average of 1.4 per cent.
In Alberta, employment rose by 15,000, which Statistics Canada says is the fourth notable increase in five months. The province's unemployment rate was 4.8 per cent.
For the second month in a row, employment fell in Manitoba. But fewer people looking for work brought the unemployment rate in that province down to 5.2 per cent.
Statistics Canada said employment in health-care and social assistance rose in August, offsetting a decline in July.
“Employment in this industry has been on a long-term upward trend and has increased by 2.5 per cent since August 2012,” the agency said.
There were also more people working in information, culture and recreation jobs, as well as in accommodation and food services and in construction.
Most of the employment gains were concentrated among people aged 55 and older, Statistics Canada said, while there was little change among youths and people between the ages of 25 and 54.
Fewer people were employed in the following industries: educational services; “other” services; finance, insurance and real estate and leasing, and agriculture.
There were 40,000 more people working as employees, mostly in the private sector, Statistics Canada said, while self-employment rose 3.6 per cent.
–With files from The Canadian Press.