Ottawa's unemployment rate has declined
In 2006, Ottawa's unemployment rate dropped below provincial and national rates, and remained significantly lower for the subsequent seven years. The spread was greatest in 2009, with federal government employment providing some relief against the sharp increase in unemployment rates during the economic downturn. Since then, the gap has narrowed, and all three rates saw a decline in 2017.
Ottawa's unemployment rate would have risen more sharply if it were not for the fact that in recent years some workers have left the labour market. The participation rate was close to 73% in 2008 and had dropped to 68% by 2017.
- Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 282-0135
Youth unemployment in Ottawa remains high
In 2017, the youth unemployment rate in Ottawa was 13.1%. While this is slightly lower than the previous year, it remains more than twice the city’s unemployment rate. Also in 2016, 19% of jobs in Ottawa were part-time.
The percentage of individuals in Ontario who work part-time but are interested in full time work is based on individuals working part-time for the reasons listed below.
-Business conditions, did not look for full-time work in last month
-Could not find full-time work, did not look for full-time work in last month
-Business conditions, looked for full-time work in last month
-Could not find full-time work, looked for full-time work in last month
- Block, Sheila. A Higher Standard: The case for holding low-wage employers in Ontario to a higher standard. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario. June 2015
- Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 282-0129
- McKinsey & Company. Youth in transition: Bridging Canada’s path from education to employment. April 2015.
Unemployment rates are high for new immigrants in Ottawa, but fall off with length of residency
In 2016 Ottawa's overall unemployment rate was 6.4%. In that same year, unemployment in Ottawa stood at 15% among immigrants who had arrived within the preceding five years. What's more, this was significantly higher than the 12% unemployment rate nationally for the same demographic.
The picture improves significantly for immigrant populations the longer they have been here. Unemployment levels among those who arrived ten to fifteen years ago are still higher than the Ottawa and national averages, but are much lower than for new immigrants. This trend continues to the point that unemployment rates among Ottawa immigrants who arrived 25 or more years ago are below the national average rate.
- Statistics Canada. 2016 Census of Population. Retrieved using the Data Consortium
Employment in health and education remains the largest
In 2015, employment in health and education surpassed that in public administration in Ottawa and it has remained this way. Drawing on the educational strength of its residents, key private sector elements of Ottawa's economy include professional services and information and technology. These services also benefit from federal demand.
- City of Ottawa 2017. 2016 Annual Development Report.