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Quebec City region: for the third straight month, unemployment remains at 4.8% HighlightsCommentary

The 2012 labour market scenario appears to be repeating itself in the Quebec City region as the strong performance in the spring was followed by a drop in the number of jobs in the summer. The region had a total of 414,300 jobs in August, down 3,700 from July. However, the decline in the workforce was matched by an equivalent drop in employment. This helped to keep unemployment at 4.8% for the third month in a row.


  • According to Statistics Canada’s labour force survey, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) posted an unemployment rate of 4.8% in August 2013 for the third straight month.
  • The drop in the total workforce (-0.9%) was balanced by an equivalent decline in employment. As a result, unemployment remained under the 5% mark.
  • The Quebec City region had a total of 414,300 jobs in August, down 3,700 from July.
  • In the province of Quebec, the number of jobs dropped by 5,000 on a monthly basis in August. Unemployment stood at 7.9%, down from 8.2% in July.


The economy in the Quebec City metropolitan region continues to grow, as evidenced by the 1.4% increase in real GDP during the first half of 2013. The construction sector is a key growth driver due to the number of major projects underway. In contrast, manufacturers are struggling to achieve stability. Meanwhile, the service sector’s ups and downs appear to be holding back regional employment growth.

Despite the vagaries of the weather during the summer, the number of jobs remains high throughout the region. In addition, low unemployment is a reminder that the demand for labour remains considerable, particularly for specialized workers. Regional economic diversification, further work on major projects and efforts to revive the manufacturing sector should continue to stimulate the employment market until year-end.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Quebec International