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Employment in Ottawa–Gatineau increased 6.7% to 601,500 between 2001 and 2006, much slower than the 13.3% pace of growth experienced from 1996 to 2001.
In 2006, 65.8% of its working-age population was employed, lower than the 66.5% in 2001. Similarly the unemployment rate edged up from 5.6% to 5.7%.
This slowdown in employment growth came from a large decline in employment in the high tech sector. Other electrical and component manufacturing lost a total of 6,300 workers between 2001 and 2006. Communications equipment as well as semiconductor manufacturing also saw large declines in employment. Over the five-year period, these three industries saw a loss of 11,700 workers.
As the major employer in Ottawa, the federal public service, excluding defence employees, increased their workforce by 15,600, an annual average gain of 3.5%. Hospital employment also increased by 3,200, or 3.4% a year on average.