Ottawa’s labour market down 24,900 jobs since March



a woman holding a pink umbrella: The hospitality and food services industry has been one of Ottawa's hardest hit job sectors since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with more than 10,000 jobs lost since March.


© Andrew Lee/CBC
The hospitality and food services industry has been one of Ottawa’s hardest hit job sectors since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with more than 10,000 jobs lost since March.

The City of Ottawa released a breakdown of recent employment numbers on Wednesday, showing the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the local economy.

Ottawa’s labour force lost 24,900 jobs since March, which translates to an approximate 4.35 per cent decline overall.

The job sectors hardest hit, according to the report, include: the hospitality and food services industry, wholesale and retail and the professional, scientific and technical services industries. 

Since the shutdown in March, and slow recovery over the summer, some industries were able to partially recoup job losses while others continued to see a decline. 

Ottawa’s hospitality and food services industry lost 10,400 jobs, down from 30,700 in March, but the sector did see a 4,600 bump in jobs in June and July.

Since March, a total of 11,500 jobs were lost in the wholesale and retail industry but like the hospitality and food services industry, the sector saw 5,700 additional jobs between June and July. 

A city spokesperson said while the summer rebound for the two sectors may be “encouraging,” it should not be looked at as a trend because economic recovery will likely take some time and will vary between industries. 

The professional, scientific and technical services industry had a 2,800 job decline between March and June and a 2,300 decline between June and July.

This amounted to a total job loss of 5,200 positions, down 8.1 per cent compared to March figures.

Since March, a total of 4,600 jobs were lost in the education sector — an 9.8 per cent decrease in comparison to before the pandemic.

The other services sector, which includes personal care services and general and routine maintenance on vehicles and machinery, lost 5,000 jobs. That’s a 16.2 per cent drop from employment figures in March.

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