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October: a difficult month for the labour market in the Quebec City Region

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  • According to Statistics Canada, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) had a total of 422,800 jobs in October, down 4,800 from September.
  • So far this year, the employment level was at its lowest point in October, although the region still recorded 5,900 more jobs in October 2014 than it did one year previously.
  • Unemployment stood at 5.4% in October, down 0.3 points from the previous month as the drop in the total workforce (-1.4%) exceeded the decline in employment (-1.1%).
  • Across the province of Quebec, the number of jobs fell by 14,200 on a monthly basis. The unemployment rate was 7.7% in October (up from 7.6% in September), i.e. at the same level as in August.


The employment market declined for the third month in a row in the Quebec City CMA. In October, the region had 422,800 jobs, down 4,800 from September. This drop-off, however, did not wipe out gains made over the past year as the Quebec City CMA has 5,900 more jobs than it did in October 2013. This was the biggest gain among Quebec's metropolitan regions (tied with Sherbrooke.)

The scenario seen in the past months was repeated in October. Nevertheless, ups and downs in the services sector and lower demand for labour in the construction industry had a more pronounced effect on the employment market. The total workforce also decreased for the third month in a row in October (‑1.4%). Since the drop in employment was only 1.1%, the unemployment rate actually dropped from 5.7% in September to 5.4% in October.

Despite a gloomy start to the fall, the employment picture remains favourable to Quebec, as evidenced by the record over the past 12 months. Factors such as economic diversification, signs of recovery in the manufacturing sector and an imminent start to various residential and non-residential projects will support the demand for labour in the coming months.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International

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