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A positive half-year for employment in the Québec City CMA

Highlights

  • In the second quarter of 2017, the Québec City CMA registered 438,700 jobs, a diminution of 8,700 jobs compared to the first quarter.
  • For the first semester of 2017, the Québec area showed a cumulative gain of 9,700 jobs compared to the first six months of 2016.
  • The unemployment rate remained low, at 4.4%, a slight rise compared to the 4.1% registered during the first quarter.
  • In the province of Quebec, 28,300 jobs were added on a monthly basis in June. This good performance helped maintain the unemployment rate at 6% for a second consecutive month.
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Quebec City CMA: Monthly changes in employment data

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Labour market in March

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Commentary

The region counted 438,700 jobs in the second quarter, a decrease of 8,700 compared to the first three months of 2017. Despite a slow spring, the region maintained positive results compared to last year. For the period spanning from January to June, Québec City recorded a gain of 9,700 jobs compared to the first six months of 2016.

Since the beginning of the year, the need for workers in the services sector has been increasing in the region. Going from a gentle descent last year, the sectors of professional, scientific and technical services, finance and insurance as well as transportation are proving to be the most dynamic. Their contribution is high, since they include more than 26% of jobs related to services. They also make up for the dull experienced at the beginning of the year for trade and accomodation and food services. As for the construction sector, the start of new major residential and non-residential jobsites is starting to show positive results. However, the manufacturing industry must deal with the uncertainty around whether or not the United States will be willing to renegociate the trade agreement, and with the scarcity of skilled workers in certain fields. This situation could explain the downturn in the employment sector.

While the Québec City CMA is showing a slow second quarter regarding employment, this downturn is not consistent across all sectors. Moreover, the need for workers is still real, as reflected by the low unemployment rate of 4.4%, which is still among the lowest in Canada. For these reasons, the confidence in the labour market remains positive in Québec City. The area must also keep working to get the diversity of job openings known in order to attract new job seekers, a capital factor to growing the active population.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International

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