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Quebec City region sheds 2,100 jobs in June

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Highlights

  • According to Statistics Canada, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) had a total of 425,600 jobs in June 2014, down 2,100 from the previous month.
  • The number of jobs has been declining over the past quarter as regional unemployment inched upwards to 5.4% in June, the same level observed in September 2012.
  • Despite a less-than-stellar spring, the Quebec City region has recorded an overall gain of 5,600 jobs since June 2013--the best performance provincewide!
  • Across the province of Quebec, the labour market added 3,500 jobs from May to June, even as unemployment edged up from 8.0% to 8.1%.

Commentary

The labour market slowed in the Quebec City CMA over the spring. The month of June was no exception as the region recorded a total of 425,600 jobs, down 2,100 from May. This put upward pressure on unemployment, which came in at 5.4% in June (this level was last seen in September 2012).

In keeping with the pattern over the past few months, the number of jobs basically held steady in the construction and manufacturing industries. The residential market remains somewhat sluggish, however, although the region has made up for this by focusing on non-residential projects. In the industrial sector, the situation varies significantly from sub-sector to sub-sector, even though the global economic recovery (particularly in the US) is helping to refill the order books. All in all, the services sector is creating a degree of instability in the local labour market. As the Quebec City region continues to adjust to the major gains made in the first quarter, it must also cope with public-sector cutbacks and a shortage of qualified labour. All of these constraints are hampering employment growth.

Despite a somewhat disappointing performance in the spring, the Quebec City CMA is still in an enviable position, having finished off June with 5,600 more jobs than it had at the same point in 2013; this was the best performance provincewide. The region's economic diversity continues to generate employment opportunities and underpins the creation of full-time jobs. However, the data released this morning serve as a reminder that the region faces certain constraints, particularly in connection with the current economic climate and the pool of available labour.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International

 
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LouisGagnonSenior Economist

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