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Employment drops in November in the Quebec City Region

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Highlights

  • According to Statistics Canada, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) posted a net loss of 1,500 jobs in November, or the consecutive fourth monthly drop.
  • The region recorded a total of 421,300 jobs last month, the lowest level observed so far in 2014.
  • Nevertheless, unemployment fell from 5.4% in October to 5.2% in November—the lowest rate in the province—due to the fact that the reduction in the labour force (-0.6%) exceeded the decline in the number of jobs (-0.4%).
  • Across the province of Quebec, the number of jobs rose by 19,600 on a monthly basis. Unemployment stood at 7.6% in November (down from 7.7% in October), or the same rate as in September.

Commentary

The labour market in the Quebec City CMA bucked the provincial trend last month. The region had a total of 421,300 jobs, down 1,500 from October; in contrast, Quebec as a whole gained 19,600 jobs. Even so, this fourth monthly drop in a row did not prevent the Quebec City region from maintaining the lowest unemployment rate (5.2%) and the highest employment rate (64.3%) in the province in November.

After starting the year off with a bang, Quebec City's employment market underwent a series of adjustments that extended into November. Once again, sharp fluctuations in the services sector (which accounted for 86% of total jobs last month) and the construction slowdown, particularly in the residential sector, had an impact on the demand for labour. In the manufacturing sector, the need for workers remained stable—a situation could continue over the next few months if there is an increase in new orders, spurred along by the US economy.

The labour market in the Quebec City region is currently going through a less expansionist period. Nevertheless, the outstanding record this year, particularly in February and July, will be much better than in 2013. Based on our recent review, the region could post a net gain of at least 5,000 jobs in 2014 compared with last year. That would be good for first place in the province and would also rank among the top performances Canada-wide, driven by the creation of full-time and part-time jobs among 15-to-24 year-olds and 25-to-54 year-olds.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International

 
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