Ottawa-Gatineau's unemployment rate rose in February, after the number of people starting to look for jobs eclipsed the number of people that found work.

The local unemployment rate rose slightly to six per cent even though about 3,700 people found new work last month, according to Statistics Canada.

Canada as a whole lost 2,800 jobs in a market where 37,900 people across the country stopped looking for work.

Analysts had expected a modest national growth of about 15,000 jobs.

In contrast, the United States saw 227,000 new jobs for the month across the country.

Ontario's economic development minister Brad Duguid said that's promising because 77 per cent of the province's exports go to the United States.

He said sluggish growth in the States and uncertainty in Europe are mostly to blame for the province's job numbers.

With files from The Canadian Press