City's unemployment rate dips to 6.5% in July: StatsCan

Ottawa's unemployment rate dropped slightly in July, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The unemployment rate in the city was 6.5 per cent last month, according the federal statistics agency, down from 6.7 per cent during the same period last year and slightly lower than the 6.6 per cent mark in June.

In Gatineau, unemployment rose from 6.8 per cent in July 2015 to 7.1 per cent this year. However, it was down slightly from 7.3 per cent in June.

The number of full-time jobs in Ottawa rose to 456,700, a 3.8 per cent increase from the 440,100 full-time jobs the year before. Part-time employment was also up on a year-over-year basis, rising 1.4 per cent from 94,100 to 95,400.

Overall employment in Ottawa increased from 545,500 in June to 552,000 in July.

The number of people employed in Ottawa’s tech sector also rose in July, when 43,800 people were employed in information and communications technology, up from 41,000 the month before and from 30,500 in July of last year. It’s the highest number recorded since December 2014.

The number the number of people working in public administration in Ottawa was down, to 97,900 from 98,100 in June – the same number as in July of last year.

Federal government employment was also down, to 87,500 from 88,900 in June and 88,700 in July 2015.

However, both of those categories saw growth on the Gatineau side of the river.

On a regional basis, public administration employment was up slightly, from 143,100 in June to 143,400 in July. It was also up from 141,500 in July of last year.

Federal employment declined from 128,200 in June to 127,500 in July but was up from 124,900 in July of last year.

Overall, the Canadian labour market lost 31,200 net jobs last month as the country suffered its biggest one-month drop in full-time work in nearly five years, Statistics Canada said.

The agency's latest labour force survey says the market shed 71,400 full-time positions in July – a number partly offset by an increase of 40,200 in less-desirable, part-time jobs.

The report says full-time work in Canada hasn't suffered a one-month blow this big since losing 80,300 positions in October 2011.

The changes helped push the national unemployment rate in July up to 6.9 per cent, from 6.8 per cent the previous month.

The survey also says paid employee positions fell by 28,400 last month. Self-employed work, which is often considered more precarious, declined by 2,700.

A consensus of economists had predicted the country to add 10,000 jobs and for the unemployment rate to move up to 6.9 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.

The survey said the service sectors lost 26,900 jobs last month and goods-producing industries dropped by 4,300 positions.

Ontario suffered the biggest job losses of any province in July, as its labour market decreased by 36,100 net positions. The data said 18,900 of those jobs were full time.

British Columbia added 12,100 net new positions last month, but the province still lost 21,800 full-time jobs.

Overall, the Canadian labour market had 0.4 per cent more jobs than 12 months earlier. Over that same period, however, the full-time work dropped 0.2 per cent while part-time jobs climbed 3.1 per cent.

The youth employment category – covering workers aged 15 to 24 years old – lost 28,400 jobs in July. The change pushed up the jobless rate for youth to 13.3 per cent, from 13 per cent the previous month.

Statistics Canada also released fresh figures Friday that showed the country's merchandise trade deficit with the world grew to a record $3.6 billion in June.

The numbers show that Canadian exports dropped 4.7 per cent in the second quarter to $124 billion, the largest drop since the second quarter of 2009 – during the Great Recession.

As a result, Canada's quarterly trade deficit expanded to a record $10.7 billion in the second quarter, up from $6.4 billion in the first quarter.