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Québec City adds 2,900 jobs in July and records the lowest unemployment rate in Canada

In July, the Québec City CMA held onto its first-place position in Canada with an unemployment rate of 4.3%. The region also added 2,900 jobs, good for first place in the province of Québec and third place in Canada. Québec City recorded a total of 435,400 jobs in July and posted its second monthly increase in a row (+0.7%). The region also made up for much of the fallback at the beginning of the year as it benefited from a gradual increase in the labour force (+0.9% in July).


  • The Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) added 2,900 jobs in July 2016, the highest increase in the province of Québec and the third highest in Canada.
  • The region recorded a total of 435,400 jobs in July, for a month-to-month increase of 0.7%.
  • Unemployment stood at 4.3% in July, good for first place in Canada despite a 0.2 point uptick since June.
  • In the province of Québec, the number of jobs dropped by 4,000 in July as unemployment held steady at 7%.


The services sector showed an uptick in activity in the Québec City region. In July, all of the sub-sectors (professional, scientific and technical services, as well as financial services and insurance) maintained an upward trend after a sluggish period extending into May. The commercial sector, meanwhile, continues to be very attractive to jobseekers, while the manufacturing and construction sectors are both showing signs of stability. Another sign of Québec City's robust job market was the improvement in full-time employment, particularly among workers in the 15-to-24 and 25-to-54 year-old groups. The latter category is in very high demand, with an unemployment rate of 3.5% in July (non-seasonally adjusted).

The large number of jobs created in the Québec City region over the past two years required a period of adjustment. These gains were absorbed in early 2016 as employers' new needs were identified. This situation was only temporary as the region has reclaimed its position as Canada's employment leader. We should not forget, however, that the availability of qualified workers remains a key concern and could still hamper labour market performance in the region, which could be affected by potential ups and downs in this regard until the end of the year.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International