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For the second quarter in a row, unemployment holds steady at 4.8% in Quebec City

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Highlights

  • According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) recorded an unemployment rate of 4.8% in the third quarter, unchanged from the previous three months.
  • The region posted one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. Of the eight largest Canadian CMAs, only Edmonton (4.6%) had a lower unemployment rate than Quebec City’s.
  • The Quebec City region had a total of 413,000 jobs at the end of September, down 9,000 from the end of June.
  • In the province of Quebec, the number of jobs declined by 27,600 on a quarterly basis. 

Commentary

The demand for labour remains high in the Quebec City CMA, particularly for specialized workers. The low unemployment rate of 4.8% in the third quarter offers fresh proof of that fact. The region matched its performance in June as unemployment stayed below 5% for the fourth straight quarter.

The “peaks and troughs” pattern continued in the services sector during the quarter, which was marked by the loss of 9,000 jobs compared with the previous three months. Since this sector accounts for more than 85.3% of the region’s jobs, instability there has a greater impact on overall job creation in Quebec City. Nevertheless, the number of major projects underway throughout the region benefited construction workers during the summer. At the same time, sustained efforts to stabilize the manufacturing sector enabled certain prime contractors to avoid planned layoffs.

Lingering global economic uncertainties, particularly south of the border, may still have a moderating effect on job gains in the coming months. However, the Quebec City region has all the tools it needs to top the 413,000 jobs mark. To that end, emphasis will have to be placed on economic diversification, ongoing major projects and resilience in the manufacturing sector.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Quebec International

 
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LouisGagnonSenior Economist

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