The labour market performed well and remained dynamic in the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) in 2022, as it did the year prior. Nevertheless, job creation in Québec City was less significant than in the other major CMAs in Canada. This is explained in part by the fact that the region registered the second- lowest growth in labour force (+0.6%) among its Canadian counterparts.
Although labour shortages is a reality from coast to coast, it is especially significant in the region. The labour market has never been so tight, with a very low unemployment rate and a record number of vacant positions. Population aging continues to play a role as more people retire than youths enter the labour market. In 2022, it is estimated that there was a 14,000 shortfall of youths to fill positions left vacant by people aged 55 to 64 who retired. Although this gap will shrink gradually, demographic outlooks suggest that growth avenues for employment are limited in the medium term. Thus, the labour market’s potential is mostly concentrated in value-added jobs.
In addition to drawing a picture of the employment situation in 2022, this report also provides a portrait of industrial diversity in the Québec City CMA’s jobs and discusses future prospects. It shows, among other things, that the region is relatively diverse and that previsions for 2023 are favourable.
In 2023, expectations are divided as employment could be affected by concerns regarding inflation and a possible economic slowdown. Among the business leaders surveyed in the Québec City region as part of the Conjoncture survey, 61% expect to increase their number of employees, which is lower than the expectations for 2022 (70%). However, most respondents (82%) declared that they would hire at some point during the year. As in previous years, these hires will serve to fill the gaps due to business growth (47%) and employee turnover (41%).
Labour recruitment will remain an ongoing preoccupation in the coming years. According to the Conjoncture survey, recruitment remains the number one concern (38%) of business leaders for 2023, although this number is lower than before (56% in 2022). This is likely due to the increased concerns regarding the global economic situation, which rose to second rank of the main preoccupations.
Despite this context, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that employment will grow by 1.2% in 2023, which is equivalent to the average annual growth rate recorded in Québec City in the years before the pandemic. Nevertheless, this projection positions the region in the first rank among the major Canadian CMAs in terms of expected employment increase. Note that Québec City registered the lowest employment growth in 2021 and 2022, which, in a way, means that this prediction would serve to catch up to the other major CMAs.