Today I discovered that video game makers are not included in StatsCan’s “Computers and Telecommunications” industry category. I have been puzzled by recurring news stories about ‘high tech job losses in Ottawa’. It didn’t seem correct to me that Ottawa is down to 38,000 high tech jobs now versus 67,000 in 2007. That’s a whopping 43% drop in jobs. I’m not seeing this. It doesn’t make sense. People moving from one company to another, to different industries, sure, but not thousands of people either leaving Ottawa or unemployed for years.
Despite what the newspapers say, “Computers and Telecommunications” is not a complete measure of the number of high tech jobs in Ottawa. That’s only the jobs in one very narrow industry. If your employer does not create computers or telecommunications equipment, your high tech job is not counted in that report.
One of my co-workers at Exar used to work for a company that designs hearing aids in Ottawa. They create their own ASICs to do signal processing and other audio filtering and maybe Blue Tooth radio. What industry category was he in? Maybe it’s “Health Care”, but I am pretty sure it’s not “Computers and Telecommunications”.
How about web site developers and designers? I have no idea what category they are in. They might even be in this category, for all I know.
There have been suggestions over the years that OCRI over-reports High Tech, by including those lawyers and accountants who mostly work with High Tech companies. Now I know that Stats Can is also providing information that is almost, but not quite, completely unlike the “high tech jobs” category.
Has anyone here looked into the Stats Can information to see if it’s possible to piece together a better “high tech jobs” report?