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.