Companies in the Quebec City region appear to have hired as many workers as they could over the summer period. Some 25,800 additional people found themselves in the labour market compared with the total in the spring, primarily due to a gain of 10,000 jobs in September. The region recorded the strongest quarterly growth in Canada, edging out Edmonton (+19,200 jobs) and Vancouver (+17,900 jobs). In addition, Quebec City hit a new record high of 431,100 workers, while the regional unemployment rate stayed below the 5% mark (4.4% in September).
The strong employment growth this summer stemmed from various regional factors, including diversified sectors of excellence, the active involvement of the main industry stakeholders, the completion of various major construction projects and the fine performance of the tourist industry. In addition, the manufacturing sector showed signs of recovery in various areas.
The recent gains will no doubt help the Quebec City region to get through what is shaping up to be a turbulent fall. Although the region has continued to grow despite the numerous uncertainties associated with the global economic recovery, there are a few dark clouds on the horizon. Indeed, our main trading partners' recovery plans and the fluctuating loonie are bound to cause more headaches among local companies. In addition, household confidence will be monitored closely given the relative lack of good news.