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Quebec City region adds 2,100 jobs in 2012HighlightsCommentary

The Quebec City metropolitan region had a banner year in 2012, with a total of 421,300 jobs, up 2,100 from 2011. This helped drive unemployment down to 5.1%, the lowest rate in the province of Quebec and one of the lowest in Canada. Quebec City excelled despite a roller-coaster performance in the second half of the year.


  • According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) added 2,100 jobs in 2012.
  • A record high of 421,300 jobs was recorded in the region last year.
  • Unemployment fell in 2012 to 5.1%, one of the lowest rates in Canada.
  • Quebec City maintained its record of employment growth despite a monthly loss of 900 jobs in December 2012.
  • The province of Quebec added 5,800 jobs on a monthly basis in December as unemployment dropped by 0.3 points to 7.3%.


Quebec City’s services sector generated nearly 11,000 new jobs in 2012, offsetting declines in construction (-3,900 jobs) and manufacturing (-4,900 jobs). It should be noted that the latter two sectors have now returned to more sustainable levels of employment following the exceptional heights of 2011.

Quebec City is now positioned among Canada’s top-performing metropolitan regions. While some regions were still trying to forget their shaky performance in 2011, Quebec City successfully built on its momentum last year.

On the whole, hiring in the Quebec City CMA was robust in 2012. Like last year, 2013 kicked off amid a cloud of uncertainty. Still, economic diversification and the completion of a number of major projects should help to shore up the regional labour market. However, the next few months are likely to be more difficult, as indicated by the loss of 900 jobs in Quebec City in December 2012.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Quebec International