Nearly 50 per cent of Ottawa residents working from home

Near half of Ottawa’s workforce continued to work from home in April, even as COVID-19 restrictions continued to ease in Ontario.

Statistics Canada says 48.8 per cent of Ottawa employees were working either partly or exclusively from home last month, including federal public servants.

StatsCan says the high number of employees working from home in Ottawa is partly explained by the composition of the workforce, with two of five workers in Ottawa working in one of the following three industries:

  • Public administration, including federal workers
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing

Across Canada, 19 per cent of workers were working exclusively from home in April, down from 24.3 per cent in January.

“The future of working from home and hybrid work is of concern to many cities, as it may impact transit, zoning, and other areas of interest to municipal authorities,” StatsCan said in its monthly Labour Force Survey.

The federal government has directed each department to develop plans to bring federal employees back to the office; however, Treasury Board President Mona Fortier admits hybrid work is here to stay.

“We have to look at how we’re going to strengthen our downtown core, and making sure that we don’t keep these offices empty,” Fortier told CTV News Ottawa on April 11.

The Treasury Board has launched a “strategic policy review” of the public service, looking at how the government can adapt to a post-pandemic reality.

Ottawa’s economy added 12,600 jobs in April, lowering the unemployment rate to 5.2 per cent.

Statistics Canada reported Gatineau’s unemployment rate was 2.6 per cent in April, down from 3.8 per cent in March.

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