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Quebec City region: labour market lull in april

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Highlights

  • According to Statistics Canada data, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) had a total of 432,700 jobs in April, down 6,000 from March.
  • Unemployment stood at 4.5% last month, up slightly from 4.1% in March, although still one of the lowest rates in Canada.
  • There was a lull in the regional labour market in April, although Quebec City still has 7,200 more jobs than in April 2013.
  • Across the province of Quebec, the labour market shed 32,000 jobs in April as unemployment held steady at 7.6%.

Commentary

The Quebec City metropolitan region had a total of 432,700 jobs in April, down 6,000 from the exceptional level recorded in March. The overall number of jobs, however, remains close to the all-time high, while the 12-month picture is also positive, with 7,200 more jobs than in April 2013. In a sure sign that the demand for labour remains high in Quebec City, unemployment stood at 4.5% in April (4.1% in March), one of the lowest rates in Canada.

The arrival of spring appears to be gradually sparking job creation in the construction industry. The residential sector is still flat, although the non-residential sector still has a few major projects underway. Meanwhile, manufacturing continues to show signs of renewal. Although still fragile, economic recovery in the US and Europe is reviving manufacturers’ enthusiasm. In the services sector, employment growth is being slowed by public administration constraints.

The labour market in the Quebec City CMA turned in a very solid performance over the past six months, reaching new heights. The April lull indicates that the region must keep on adjusting to certain economic and structural constraints. Local employers still face a limited pool of available labour, as reflected in the low unemployment rate (4.5%) and the high employment rate (66.4%).

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Quebec International

 
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LouisGagnonSenior Economist

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