In this blog, I compare Eastern Ontario’s job performance in the new millennium with the rest of Southern Ontario with a particular interest in seeing how resilient the regional job market has been following the Great Recession. With the exception of Ottawa and Kingston, Eastern Ontario has historically lagged behind the rest of Southern Ontario and continues to face economic challenges in terms of plant closures in traditional manufacturing industries and out-migration of younger workers in search of jobs outside their communities for example.
At the February 2012 official opening of Invest Ottawa (the City’s economic development / investment attraction agency), Mayor Jim Watson stated,
“One of my priorities . . . was to establish Invest Ottawa to help attract more investment and foster greater economic growth in our nation’s capital. . . Recent headlines surrounding public service job losses underscore the need to diversify our local economy, and Invest Ottawa is going to help us do just that. Invest Ottawa is a clear commitment to inspire more entrepreneurs to build our prosperity to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.” (Invest Ottawa opening Mayor Watson))
Later in the year, the Mayor further elaborated in his 2012 State of the Economy address on the challenges facing the City resulting from the federal government’s austerity measures. He stated that “in this new federal government dynamic, we have the most to lose but we also have the most to gain”. To prevent Ottawa from becoming “a shadow of its former self”, the Mayor added that “we can no longer depend on the federal government to shelter us from [economic] storms or drive our economy … instead, we will construct a new economic engine … an engine that is more diverse – that runs on more than just one industry” (2012 State of the Economy link). This doom and gloom shows up even the City’s Economic Development Strategy stating that the local economy is in peril as a result to the federal government’s budget cutbacks. Continue reading
Employment data are a widely used for tracking economic change in industries and communities. Employment is especially important to communities where companies are located because job growth means new opportunities to earn income for younger workers and new immigrants / in-migrants or for existing workers looking for more rewarding jobs. Sustained investment in capital such as new office buildings or technology typically reflects a more resilient and healthy local economy.
In this post, I will compare employment trends in the Professional, Scientific and Technical (PST) services sector between Ottawa and other selected metropolitan areas. As I noted in my previous introduction blog, Statistics Canada does provide employment data for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector but only for fee based special tabulations. Statistics Canada’s ICT sector includes both manufacturing (e.g. communications equipment, semi-conductor and other electronic components, computer and peripheral equipment) and service industries such as software publishers, data processing, computer systems design and telecommunications carriers. Continue reading