- According to Statistics Canada's labour force survey, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) recorded a total of 426,400 jobs in 2014, for a net gain of 4,500 jobs since 2013.
- The increase in the total workforce (+1.6%) outweighed employment growth (+1.1%), leading to a 0.5 point increase in the unemployment rate (5.2% in 2014).
- The region fared well in 2014 despite various setbacks, including a monthly loss of 3,900 jobs from November to December 2014.
- For the province of Quebec, the labour market ended December with a loss of 6,700 jobs on a monthly basis. Unemployment stood at 7.5%, down slightly from 7.6% in November.
It is time to take a look at the regional labour market in 2014. The Quebec City CMA had the highest job creation rate in the province last year, adding 4,500 positions since 2013 and marking a new record of 426,400 jobs. The region also scored the lowest unemployment rate (5.2%), up slightly from 2013 (4.7%).
For the first time since 2006, manufacturing outpaced the services sector with 3,000 jobs added (vs. 2,000 for services). These gains were enough to offset the loss of nearly 2,000 construction jobs. In addition, 15-to-24 and 25-to-54 year-olds boosted their presence on the regional labour market, with each group adding around 3,000 jobs. Full-time positions were more common among the former group, while 25-to-54 year-olds had a greater number of part-time workers. This helped to make up for lower employment in the 55-to-64 category.
The demand for labour remains a major issue in terms of economic growth in the Quebec City region. According to a recent Leger survey of business confidence, 61% of local CEOs plan to hire new employees in 2015 to support their growth, in addition to acquiring new expertise and replacing retirees. However, as borne out by low unemployment, the availability of potential candidates and the adaptation to new constraints could keep employment growth in check. The monthly loss of 3,900 jobs in December 2014 and the performance gap with other Canadian CMAs are there to remind us of that reality.