- According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (LFS), there were 469,700 people employed in the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) in July 2019.
- From June to July, the number of people employed decreased by 1,900, the first decline since November.
- The unemployment rate dropped for the fifth month in a row, reaching 2.3%. It remains the lowest in Canada.
- The decrease in the unemployment rate is a result of a faster decline in the labour force than in employment.
- In the province of Quebec, Statistics Canada’s data series reveals that the number of jobs increased by 2,200 from June to July, while the unemployment rate remained stable at 4.9%.
In the LFS, Statistics Canada estimated that there were 1,900 fewer people employed in July than in June. This drop contrasts with the seven consecutive months of growth recorded from November 2018 to June 2019. Despite the downswing in July, the Québec City CMA labour market improved compared to the same period last year. Indeed, there were 469,700 jobs in July 2019, compared to 455,100 in the same period in 2018. The employment decline in July was linked to the decrease in the labour force, which absorbed the loss of 2,500 people, down to 480,800 people. A second factor is undoubtedly the drop in the number of unemployed people over the same period. A faster decline in the labour force than in employment explains the drop in the unemployment rate and the tightening of the region’s labour market. The unemployment rate reached 2.3%, decreasing for the fifth month in a row. This record rate is the lowest ever recorded among major Canadian CMAs, which suggests that labour scarcity remains a persistent concern for many businesses in the area.
July data also revealed that the participation rate and employment rate both fell slightly. However, they still remain highest in the province of Quebec. The participation rate was 70% in July, compared to 70.4% in June, while the employment rate reached 68.3%. The moderate drop in these rates is explained by lower participation among people aged 55 and over.
Labour force variations will continue to affect the employment sector until the end of 2019. After a record start at the beginning of the year, a lull in the labour market was expected by many observers. Once again this month, the labour market outcomes remind us that labour scarcity is still a current concern and is expected to continue.