October was a good month for the labour market in the Quebec City CMA. The region recorded at total of 415,000 jobs, up 2,000 from September, putting an end to six consecutive monthly decreases and pushing total employment back to a higher level than that recorded in August. In addition, the region posted a 4.8% unemployment rate for the fifth month in a row.
The services sector showed signs of improvement in October after a lacklustre showing since late spring. The number of workers also grew in several other sectors, including finance and insurance; professional, scientific and technical services; public administration; retail and transportation/warehousing. The manufacturing and construction industries maintained their pattern of stability, which dates back to the early summer. October’s performance was also based on gains in full-time employment, while the part-time situation continued to decline.
Based solely on October’s performance, the region will not be able to offset the net decrease in total job numbers over the past six months. However, the recent gains may generate some forward momentum, ensuring that 2014 starts off on the right track. Low unemployment serves as a reminder that the demand for qualified labour is still strong throughout the region. In this regard, some 15 local companies will be traveling to France in late November to recruit foreign workers.