OTTAWA'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HAS LEVELED
In 2006, Ottawa's unemployment rate dropped below provincial and national rates, and remained significantly lower for the subsequent 7 years. The spread was greatest in 2009, with federal government employment providing some buffer against the sharp uptick in unemployment rates during the economic downturn. Since then, the gap has narrowed and the growth has leveled off, with slight declines in the last 2 years.
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 just over 69% by 2016.
- Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 282-0135
PART-TIME WORK ONE EXAMPLE OF EMPLOYMENT TREND THAT IS CAUSE FOR CONCERN
In 2016, the youth unemployment rate in Ottawa was 13.6%. While this is lower than the previous year, it remains more than twice the city’s unemployment rate. Also in 2016, 20% of jobs in Ottawa were part-time. This is slightly higher than the national level. For many, part-time employment is a choice or is necessitated by life circumstances. So the availability of jobs that do not require full-time commitment can be positive. However, about 27% of Ontarians in 2016 who worked part time were interested in full time work. Ontario also has a high proportion of employees earning minimum wage, almost 12% in 2014.
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 2011 Ottawa's overall unemployment rate was 5.8%, and Canada's was 7.5%. In that same year, unemployment in Ottawa stood at 16% among immigrants who had arrived within the preceding five years. What's more, this was significantly higher than the 13% 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 well below the national average rate.
- Statistics Canada. National Household Survey 2011. Retrieved using the Data Consortium
EMPLOYMENT IN HEALTH AND EDUCATION NOW SURPASSES PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
In 2015, employment in health and education surpassed that in public administration in Ottawa. 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.
Construction was Ottawa’s highest growth sector in 2015, adding 12,200 jobs, driven partly by major public sector projects such as the new light rail transit line.
- City of Ottawa 2016. 2015 Annual Development Report.