June 2013

Tables and Analysis

Introduction

According to first-quarter statistics, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) started off 2013 on the right track, most notably by adding 3,100 jobs. It also boasted one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country (5.3%). Based on the initial results for the year, the region should continue to reap the benefits of several major initiatives. According to data compiled by Quebec International, more than 250 projects are underway or have been announced in or around Quebec City and are expected to generate more than $9.5 billion. In light of these preliminary results, the outlook is also favourable for real GDP growth (the first-quarter GDP results will be released in August). 

Real GDP

Real GDP

Real GDP in the Quebec City metropolitan region stood at $32.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, or an annual increase of 0.5%. The drop-off in employment in the second half of last year and the ongoing decline in manufacturing account for this more modest performance. Nevertheless, the Quebec City CMA finished off 2012 with an annual growth rate of 0.9%.

Regional economic growth in 2012 was driven by the construction industry (+3.2%), particularly the residential market (+6,416 housing starts), office projects (+1.4 million ft2) and major initiatives (roads, multi-use amphitheatre, etc.). The services sector (+1.7%) also fared well, bolstered primarily by production-related services (finance, insurance, professional, scientific and technical services, etc.).

In 2013, real GDP is forecast to increase by approximately 2% in the Quebec City CMA. A combination of factors will support regional momentum, including the awarding of new contracts (benefiting firms specializing in goods and services) and progress on major projects. Diversification in Quebec City’s key economic sectors will also prove beneficial when it comes to adjusting to the constraints associated with the less-than-impressive global recovery.

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Employment Market

Employment Market

The Quebec City CMA added 3,100 jobs in the first quarter of 2013, for a total of 419,100.

Thanks to services and construction, the regional employment market in the first quarter was particularly robust. Both sectors are expected to keep up the pace in the coming months. Local companies have landed new contracts while activity during the traditional project period is starting to pick up. In the manufacturing sector, the gradual relaunch of the Davie project and the awarding of new contracts bode well for the hiring outlook.

All in all, the Quebec City region put in a good showing in the first quarter. A combination of positive factors should maintain this momentum throughout the spring.

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Unemployment Rate

Unemployment Rate

Unemployment in the Quebec City CMA stood at 5.3% in the first quarter, one of the lowest rates in the country.

Low unemployment serves as a reminder that the demand for qualified workers remains very high in the Quebec City region. Some firms are ready and willing to look to international markets to meet their hiring needs, as evidenced by the results of the recruitment missions Quebec International has organized since 2008. In this regard, approximately 850 qualified foreign workers have been hired, including 343 in 2012.

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Capital Investment

Capital Investment

According to data compiled by Quebec International, 250 investment projects are underway or have been announced in the Quebec City metropolitan region. The total value of these projects (residential, institutional, industrial and commercial) is estimated at over $9.5 billion.

Various factors will stimulate the launch of major projects in Quebec City in 2013, although they will be carried out over a multi-year period. Low vacancy rates, expansion plans and the opening of new businesses create a favourable backdrop for the completion of 67 institutional and commercial projects expected to generate $1.7 billion. Ongoing efforts to increase competitiveness, develop markets, boost productivity and step up R&D efforts in the industrial sector will be accompanied by nearly $1.5 billion in investments in 15 major projects. Low interest rates, continued demographic increases and job creation will speed the delivery of more than 70 residential projects valued at $2.8 billion. Meanwhile, the public sector will remain active with nearly 100 projects valued at more than $3.5 billion.

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Venture Capital

Venture Capital

According to data made public by Réseau Capital, venture capital investments topped $10.5 million in the Quebec City CMA in the first quarter of 2012. The region accounted for 4.6% of the total amount invested in the province of Quebec.

Venture capital expenditures in Quebec City in the first quarter were primarily focused on the traditional sectors and technology, which accounted for $4.3 million and $6 million respectively. Although more modest, nearly $200,000 was invested in the life sciences sector.

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Demographic Snapshot

Demographic Snapshot

According to recently updated demographic data, the Quebec City CMA was home to 769,639 people in 2012, up 1.1% from 2011. Bolstered by this strong performance, the Quebec City region accounted for 9.6% of the provincial population in 2012, up slightly from 9.5% the previous year.

The improved demographic outlook essentially stems from two factors, with one being the natural population increase (births minus deaths). According to the available data, the number of births in Quebec City each year exceeds the number of deaths by approximately 3,000. This is primarily due to the ongoing baby boom (between 8,200 and 8,500 newborns are welcomed each year).

The second factor has to do with net migratory flows. According to the latest data, 5,000 people are immigrating to the Quebec City region each year, either from other provinces or other countries (this number has been constantly rising in Quebec City since 2007). The robust economy, increased employment, higher incomes and good quality of life mean that the Quebec City region is an increasingly attractive place to live.

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Introduction

According to first-quarter statistics, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) started off 2013 on the right track, most notably by adding 3,100 jobs. It also boasted one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country (5.3%). Based on the initial results for the year, the region should continue to reap the benefits of several major initiatives. According to data compiled by Quebec International, more than 250 projects are underway or have been announced in or around Quebec City and are expected to generate more than $9.5 billion. In light of these preliminary results, the outlook is also favourable for real GDP growth (the first-quarter GDP results will be released in August).