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Québec City CMA records unemployment rate of 4.2% in April

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  • In April, the Québec City CMA recorded an unemployment rate of 4.2%, a small 0.1 percentage point raise compared to March. This allowed the CMA to preserve its 2nd place in Canada.
  • Contraction of the active population (-0.3%) explains in good part the diminution in the number of jobs in Québec City last month. There were 445,500 jobs within the area, 1,900 less than in March.
  • April 2017 data shows that the Québec City area maintains a comfortable advance of 17,100 jobs compared to the results of April 2016.
  • In the province of Quebec, the number of jobs dropped by 3,800 between March and April. As for the unemployment rate, it went from 6.4% to 6.6% within the same period.

Quebec City CMA: Monthly changes in employment data

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Labour market in March

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The employment market somewhat slowed down in the Québec City CMA in April. The region recorded 445,000 jobs, which represents a drop of 1,900 jobs compared to March. Similarly to what has already been observed in the first half of 2016, this drop can be explained substantially by the reduction of the active population. A similar situation could reoccur in Québec City during 2017.

Nevertheless, the issue remains significant for the region this year. Québec area witnesses a multiplication of job offers by companies trying to ensure their growth and renew their workforce, in part to replace employees retiring. This pressure comes from all sectors and will continue to intensify with the beginning of new major projects in the future. However, potential canditates available to enter the labour market tend to be more and more scarce. This situation is especially observable among the 25 to 54 age group, who make up 65% of the active population. In April, their unemployment rate was 3.8%, and their employment rate was 88.1% (non deseasonalized data). This placed them as best in Canada. The younger population, from 15 to 24 years old, as well as the 55 years old and older, are being asked to lend a hand in order to maintain an available pool of workers big enough to accommodate the creation and expansion of businesses in the area.

April data reminds us that the evolution of the labour pool, defined by the active population, is still driving the trends on the labour market in Québec City. Still, we expect the overall employment results to be positive for the year 2017. In April, the area counted 17,100 more jobs compared to April 2016.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International

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