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2017 Economic Report: The Québec City CMA Creates 4,300 Jobs and Records a Historical Unemployment Rate of 4.2%

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  • According to the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate reached a historical low of 4.2% in the Québec City CMA in 2017, compared to 4.6% in 2016.
  • Concurrently, the number of jobs has reached a peak of 442,800, thanks to the creation of 4,300 jobs in 2017 compared to 2016.
  • Growth in the employment sector in Québec City has solid grounds to stand on, since 12,900 full-time jobs were added, which offset the loss of 8,600 part-time jobs.
  • The province of Quebec recorded it’s best results in ten years with the creation of 90,200 jobs from 2016 to 2017. Its unemployment rate continued its decrease to reach 6.1%, its lowest rate in 40 years.

Québec City CMA: Annual evolution of the labor market

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Labour market of the 8 major Canadian CMAs

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Given the favourable growth perspectives across all economic sectors and with the global economy holding up well, our expectations were high for the Québec City CMA in 2017. The area managed to live up to our expectations, recording the creation of 4,300 jobs in 2017 and reaching a new peak of 442,800 jobs. Moreover, the unemployment rate fell below the historical threshold of 4.4% observed in 2008, reaching a low of 4.2% (4.6% in 2016). The CMA ranked first among the eight main metropolitan areas (2nd across all Canadian CMAs).

Job creation in 2017 in the Québec City CMA was supported by major economic pillars. The services sector benefited from the hiring rebounds in the professional, scientific and technical services, the finance and insurance services, as well as the transportation services. The construction sector gained  strength with the launch of new major residential and non-residential projects. As for the manufacturing sector, it continued to adapt to different constraints (currencies, NAFTA, geopolitical conflicts, etc.), which supported hiring and the increase in its production level. The contribution from all sectors also proved beneficial to the addition of 12,900 full-time jobs, which offset the loss of 8,600 part-time jobs.

The Québec City CMA’s dynamic economy represents a key element in sustaining job creation in 2018. However, the low growth in the labour force (+0.5%) and the low unemployment rate remind us that labour force scarcity will moderate net returns.The availability of workers is also becoming an increasing concern across the province as well as in several other Canadian metropolitan areas. Consequently, the Québec City area is no longer the only one trying to attract more workers. In order to ensure a sufficient labour force to sustain the creation and expansion of businesses in the region, the area will have to increase its attraction efforts.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International

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