Capital jobless rate showed little change in September 1

The capital region’s job market showed little movement in September as the jobless rate declined to 5.8 per cent from 5.9 per cent in August, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

While the number of jobs dropped 1,300, the size of the labour force — which includes people looking for work — shrank by 2,200. These numbers have been adjusted for seasonal influences.

It’s the third straight month in which both the labour force and number of jobs have declined.

There was very little movement by job sector in September.

Statcan estimated the number of federal government employees at 142,900 compared to 143,700 in August. This tally needs to be treated with caution because some households surveyed by Statcan identify themselves as federal government employees even though they are working under contract.

The high-tech sector employed 48,100 in September, down from 48,800, marking the first decline in seven months. It’s up 4,000 since February. Data for sectors is not adjusted for seasonality.

The sector reporting one of the biggest relative increases in employment was fire, insurance and real estate which reported 2,000 more jobs compared to August, producing a record total of 40,400.

The gain likely reflects a vibrant real estate market, which has been exceptionally busy through the summer and early fall. However, the number of real estate transactions typically drops during the last part of the year, as people like to close deals before Christmas.

Nationally, Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate remained at 6.2 per cent, a nine-year low.

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