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Quebec City region: unemployment held steady at 4.8% in JulyHighlightsCommentary

Compared with last year, the labour market in the Quebec City CMA continues to perform well. The region had a total of 418,000 jobs in July 2013, or 400 more than in July 2012. Although the increase in the number of jobs was modest, the regional unemployment rate at the beginning of the summer period was still one of the lowest in the country, standing at 4.8% in July (down from 5.4% one year ago), good for third place nationally.


  • According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) had a total of 418,000 jobs in July 2013, 400 more than in July 2012.
  • Quebec City kept up the year-on-year pace despite a drop of 4,000 jobs compared with June 2013.
  • The region still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada (4.8% in July).
  • In the province of Quebec, the number of jobs fell by 30,400 on a monthly basis in July as unemployment rose 0.3 points to 8.2%.


The completion of numerous major projects in the Quebec City region is supporting the demand for labour in the construction sector, where the number of workers is gradually nearing the exceptional levels of 2011. Meanwhile, manufacturers are slowly seeing their order books fill up, creating new hiring opportunities. In the services sector, each month is different than the next because changes in the number of jobs are influenced by the volatile “up-and-down” performance of its various components. In July, for example, the demand for labour was particularly high in the finance, insurance, tourism and public administration sub-sectors.

All in all, the demand for labour remains high in the Quebec City region. The diversity of the positions available also helped to drive up the employment numbers in July while keeping the unemployment rate low. However, services sector volatility has a more immediate effect on the metropolitan region’s overall performance.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International