I never understood why government towns don’t just admit the tremendous economic impact of the government sector in their communities? It’s almost as if it’s a dirty word or something. Check out the government of Ottawa’s web site some time, you’ll get my point.

Also, check out this article in the Ottawa Citizen, if you can.

Ottawa eclipses Calgary in economic momentum
The nation’s capital has the most economic momentum of any urban area in Canada, even more than fuel-fired Calgary, reflecting both the diversity of its economy and the strength of its high-tech sector, according to a ranking by a major Canadian financial institution.Calgary, however, clearly had the hottest economy and was a close second in the rankings.

The country’s largest city, Toronto, placed third, followed by Vancouver, CIBC World Markets said in its “economic snapshot” of some two dozen Canadian cities.

Ottawa-Gatineau’s top ranking score of 28 in part reflects the “city is recovering from a relatively low base at an impressive pace,” the report stated, adding that the surge in high-tech activity in Silicon Valley North is a major driver of that increased activity.

Tee hee hee.

From Statistics Canada CANSIM data:

Ottawa-Gatineau, Ontario/Quebec Total employed, all industries: 631k (last 12 month’s average). Growth since 2002: +10%.

Ottawa-Gatineau, Ontario/Quebec Total employed, Information, culture and recreation industries: 32.8k (last 12 month’s average). Growth since 2002: -13%.

Ottawa-Gatineau, Ontario/Quebec Total employed, Public administration: 130.3k (last 12 month’s average). Growth since 2002: +15%.

There are four government workers for every worker in the Information, Cultuer and Recreation sector in Ottawa. And the public admin sector is up 15% since 2002.

And according to our journalist friends, its growth is due to the ‘high-tech sector’.

High tech government jobs? Sure, why not.

Just admit it, Ottawa. You have a massive concentration of government jobs. When one out of every five people works in government, that’s quite a concentration.

And for Calgary?

17k people work in the public sector in Calgary – eight times less than in similarly sized Ottawa and the growth rate of public admin jobs has been 4%.

I’m not being sarcastic here. The government is a major economic engine in Canada. Look at Fredericton. But communities that are government towns shouldn’t pretend that they are all ‘high tech’ and whatever else.

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0 Responses to

  1. scott says:

    That’s all we need is another dull, non-vibrant, bureaucratic museum town to get bored in. Just joking David. Good post. I wonder what John “Mr. Ottawa” Baird would have to say about that, considering Harp and co. always preached less government.

    I think his re-election add would sound something like this, “it was a Liberal policy in the 2004 election to relocate government agencies to other have not provinces, but with the recent Gomery revelations and Ad scam, we do not support using public jobs as a vote buying scheme.”

    So keep ’em right here in the capital where they belong.

    –this add has been approved by John Baird and should be strictly used in getting him re-elected in Ottawa West-Nepean.(OWN)

    Own — own what? Government jobs.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And how many ‘high tech jobs’ do you think would set up in Ottawa if the federal government weren’t there? How many consultancy firms, services firms, lobbying firms, etc.

    Whats the answer to the economic malaise? Make every city and town in New Brunswick ‘the capital’.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would still like to see a more indepth analysis of the data to draw a conclusion. The way the article says because of the High Tech North Boom, I am skeptical, unless they have a break down of each sector.

    Also, how much of this growth would be attributed to the change of goverment. New MP’s and staffers plus families.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think new MP’s add into the mix because they are replacing old MP’s. The data also said ‘2002’ I believe, which means there was no new government. I would suspect a jump with the tories, because liberal lobbyists, civil servants, etc., would still be eking out a living, while all the tory lobbyists from out west would be setting up shop. It took a big jump with Mulroney when his little cadre of supporters from Nova Scotia and Quebec headed for the gravy train.

    I don’t think anybody actually suspects Ottawa would even exist without the federal government. It’s too isolated. Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear that the entire country’s federal spending is simply to keep Ottawa going. Any flashbacks of Rome out there?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good points made.

  6. Trevor says:

    Here’s some more info for you from a Globe and Mail article:

    On IT Jobs:
    “The bank said the Ottawa-Gatineau region’s growth was driven primarily by its two economic pillars: the technology sector and the federal government.”

    “…according to the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI), the area’s technology sector — the Canadian economy’s darling during the late-1990s — is again on a tear as demand for its services and products grows.”

    “The capital region is now home to 1,841 tech companies, 30 more than existed six months ago. “

    “The local tech sector’s entire work force of 78,147 employees represents a 10-per-cent jump from a year ago. “

    “It is just 853 employees short of the peak figure in 2000, during the height of the tech boom.”

    On the Govt Jobs
    “According to the most recent available statistics, the federal government added 1,563 employees — an increase of 1.7 per cent — in the Ottawa-Gatineau region alone. Across the country, the government added 4,188 new workers during the year prior to September, 2005.”

    Read Article

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is how the federal government works. Now that they are awash in capital, they have to do something with it-quick. Otherwise canadians will be demanding more services or drastic reductions in government.

    I suspect the increase since september 2005 was a bid by the liberals to put a kinder face on their massive decreases in federal spending. Whether that will continue is the million dollar question. I think I read here (or somewhere else?) that the feds surplus -and Alberta’s are simply mammoth this year. Which is why the new nemesis is the debt, can’t let canadians demand actual services for their tax dollars.