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Québec City's employment market takes a break in JanuaryHighlightsCommentary


  • According to Statistics Canada, the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) recorded a total of 441,900 jobs in January 2016, down 3,400 from December 2015.
  • Over a 12-month period, the region has maintained a positive balance of 14,100 jobs—the second-largest gain in the province.
  • In January, the Québec City region posted an unemployment rate of 5,2%, one of the lowest in Canada.
  • Across the province of Québec, the labour market lost 3,200 jobs in January 2016 compared with 2015 as unemployment dropped 0.3 points to 7,6%.


For the past few months, Québec City's labour market has been at peak performance. Since May 2015, the region has been posting monthly totals of more than 441 ,000 jobs. This dynamic has been helped along by a variety of factors, including job diversity, the completion of various major projects, revenue growth and a rosier international economic outlook.

In January 2016, the Québec City region posted a total of 441,900 jobs, down 3,400 from December 2015. The region simply took a break, as noted in the services sector, as well as in the construction and manufacturing industries. The beginning of the year here has been comparable to patterns in other major Canadian metropolitan regions. Various economic and structural constraints may account for this monthly fallback. Nevertheless, Québec City maintained a high employment level last month, as well as a positive record in comparison with January 2015 (+14,100 jobs). This 12-month performance is one of the strongest in Canada.

The labour market remains favourable in the Québec City region, as evidenced by low unemployment (5,2%) and high employment (65,7%). In addition, the recent Léger survey on business confidence, published in January by Québec International, the Québec City Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Lévis Chamber of Commerce, indicated that 64% of local business leaders anticipate hiring new workers in 2016 in a bid to support company growth, deepen expertise and replace retirees.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Québec International