UPDATE: Public admin down, high-tech up as region adds jobs in November

Mark Brownlee
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The Ottawa-Gatineau region created jobs in November despite another year-over-year drop in the key public administration sector, Statistics Canada reported on Friday.

(Stock image)

There were 694,300 people working in Ottawa-Gatineau last month. That’s up from the 691,700 people employed in October.

The region’s unemployment rate also fell to 5.9 per cent from 6.2 per cent.

Those gains came even though the public administration sector, which includes the area’s federal government employees, saw its year-over-year employment numbers drop to 143,600. That’s a decrease from 164,400 in November 2012.

However the sector that includes high-tech workers again managed to add to the number of people working in the region. There were 55,200 people working in information and communication technology in November, which is up from 41,500 a year ago.

Several other sectors saw gains as well. Professional, scientific and technical services increased to 85,300 last month from 75,100 a year ago while education services jumped to 61,700 from 45,500.

Health care and social assistance increased to 83,600 last month from 78,200 last year.

Others experienced net year-over-year losses.

Construction fell to 35,600 in November from 43,200 last year while finance, insurance real estate and leasing declined to 32,600 from 39,000.

All age categories experienced a year-over-year decline.

The 15-24 age group dropped to 87,900 last month from 89,000. The 25-54 group fell to 502,400 from 517,600 while the 55 and over category was down to 102,600 from 104,600.

The unemployment rate fell a full percentage point in Ottawa. It dropped to 5.7 per cent from 6.7 per cent a year ago.

Gatineau’s unemployment rate stayed static at 6.4 per cent.

On the whole there were fewer people working in the region than at the same time in 2012.

There were 694,300 people working in November, which is down from 713,600 a year ago. The unemployment rate was down to 5.9 per cent from 6.6 per cent in November 2012.

The decline in the unemployment rate is partially the result of a decline in the number of people taking part in the job market. There were 737,500 in the labour force last month, which is down from 764,100 a year ago.

Nationally Statistics Canada said the economy created about 21,600 new jobs last month, although almost all the additions were part-time and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.9 per cent.

The bottom-line increase in employment was almost twice the 12,000 that analysts expected, although the composition of the new jobs suggests it's unlikely that the economy shifted to a higher gear.

Along with the overwhelming preponderance of part-time jobs, employers added only 2,500 to their workforce during the month, the rest of the gains coming in the less desirable self-employment class.

The bright spot in the report is that there was 51,000 more jobs in the private sector, compared with a drop of 29,000 in the government sector.

As well, Statistics Canada says employment in the troubled and key manufacturing sector rose by 24,600, although factory jobs are still down 44,000 from a year ago.

Regionally, the agency says only Alberta had a significant increase in job creation relative to its population with a pickup of about 11,000, while Newfoundland and Labrador lost about 2,600 workers.

–With files from The Canadian Press

Organizations: Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Ottawa, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador

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