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Québec City region posts 4.9% unemployment in August

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  • The Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) boasted one of Canada's lowest unemployment rates in August: 4.9%, or the best performance among the country's top 8 metropolitan areas.
  • The region recorded a total of 445,300 jobs last month, down 1,000 from July. This month-to-month performance was in line with that of the past three years.
  • Nevertheless, Québec City maintained a historically high employment level in August 2015 with 9,300 more jobs than in August 2014.
  • The province of Québec shed 2,000 jobs from July to August as unemployment rose by 0.3 points to 8%.


Once again, the Québec City region garnered attention thanks to its very low unemployment rate in August (4.9%). This was the lowest among Canada's top 8 metropolitan areas. The number of jobs, however, declined over the past month as the Québec City CMA recorded a total of 445,300 jobs (1,000 less than in July 2015). After setting the bar so high in recent months—and beating various records in the process—the region is now in a transition period as these new positions are absorbed. A monthly drop in employment in August is fairly typical as similar situations were observed in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The regional economy continues to grow, as evidenced by the 2% jump in real GDP in the first six months of the year. The manufacturing sector has favourable hiring prospects while the construction industry is enjoying renewed stability thanks to multiple commercial, residential, real estate and road projects. The services sector appears to be seeking a better balance after notching major gains in recent months.

Despite the monthly drop in employment, the demand for labour remains strong throughout the Québec City region, as evidenced by the low unemployment/high employment rates. Employers are still seeking potential candidates in various sectors. A virtual recruitment mission with potential candidates from Latin America concluded recently, while preparations are underway for another one in France this fall.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International

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