The Ottawa-Gatineau region recorded year-over-year job losses in the key public administration sector in September but still managed to grow the number of people working by thousands when compared to the month before, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
There were 707,800 people working in September, an increase from 693,300 during the previous month. That helped push down the unemployment rate, which fell to 6.5 per cent from 6.9 per cent in August.
Those gains were not enough to offset the year-over-year losses in several sectors, however.
The number of people employed in public administration, which includes workers in the federal government, fell to 148,200 in September. That’s down from 162,900 during the same month a year earlier.
The construction sector decreased to 34,800 jobs last month from 42,700 in September 2012. Retail and wholesale jobs fell to 78,200 from 87,500 a year earlier, while information, culture and recreation dropped to 31,100 from 42,600 last year.
Other sectors saw job gains.
This includes educational services, which increased to 60,500 last month from 40,900 in September of last year and business, building and other support services. It jumped to 32,100 from 27,600 last year.
Both sides of the Ottawa River experienced job gains.
The number of people working in the Ontario portion of the region clocked in at 536,400, an increase from 524,900 in August. There were 171,400 people employed on the Quebec side in September, up from 168,400 the month before.
Nationally the Canadian economy created almost 12,000 net new jobs in September as fewer young people looking for work also helped slightly reduce the unemployment rate.
The unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent for the month, down 0.2 percentage points. It was the first time since December 2008 that it was below seven per cent.
The results came as the number of jobs was up in New Brunswick and down in Saskatchewan.
The number of private sector employees was up, but there were fewer self-employed.
Industries that saw gains included natural resources, agriculture, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing.
There were fewer jobs in manufacturing and public administration.
Sidebar: Employment in Ottawa-Gatineau by the numbers
Unemployment rate: 6.5 per cent
Number of people employed: 707,800
Labour force: 756,900
Unemployment rate: 6.9 per cent
Number of people employed: 693,300
Labour force: 744,400