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Labour Market - Report and Outlooks 2019-2020

Labour shortages once again defined the labour market in 2019, as reflected in the region’s unemployment rate, down to a historical low of 3.1%, also the lowest in Canada. The percentage of job seekers remained below the 4% threshold for the second year in a row, another sign of the full employment situation persisting in the region.

The year 2019 was a good year for the labour market in the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA). Like the three previous years, the CMA registered positive results in 2019, although the main indicators showed more modest results than in 2018. In the Labour Force Survey (LFS), Statistics Canada estimated that the region reached a historical high of 459,500 jobs in 2019, thanks to an increase of 6,900 jobs compared to the previous year. This growth, a 1.5% annual increase, is inferior to the provincial (+1.8%) and Canadian (+2.1%) rates.

For 2020, the attention was focused on a very different issue: the economic hiatus linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, in addition to causing a human tragedy, the virus brought the economy to an unprecedented stop, disrupting the reality of labour markets around the world. At the time of writing, the extent of the crisis was still unpredictable and difficult to measure, but its impact on the economy may be the most significant in almost a century. This analysis includes our review of 2019 as well as an outlook on the region’s labour market exposure generated by the pandemic and its potential impact on labour in 2020.