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.