/ Updated on

Quebec City’s labour market slows in May HighlightsCommentary

The labour market had a modest spring in the Quebec City CMA. The region recorded 426,500 jobs in May, down 1,500 from the previous month. Despite this drop, the region posted a net gain since the beginning of the year, with 7,800 workers added since December. In addition, job numbers are still at a historically high level (i.e. more than the average of 422,200 jobs observed in the previous 12 months).


  • The labour market shed 1,500 jobs in the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) in May compared with April, according to data issued by Statistics Canada.
  • The slowdown observed in May did not stop the Quebec City region from posting one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country: 4.6%, up slightly from 4.5% in April.
  • With a total of 426,500 jobs in May, Quebec City maintained its advance in comparison with December 2012 (+7,800 jobs).
  • In the province of Quebec, 20,100 jobs were added on a monthly basis in May. Unemployment dropped one percentage point to 7.7%.


Despite May’s less than robust showing, certain expectations were met. The construction industry is showing renewed vigour thanks to the many major projects now entering their peak periods. The manufacturing sector is also showing a few positive signs in terms of employment, although uncertainty continues to hang over the global economy. In the services sector, the significant gains over the past few months have prompted a number of sub-sectors to absorb these gains before doing any more hiring.

All in all, employment growth slowed in the Quebec City region in May. However, the slowdown was not uniform across all sectors. In addition, the demand for labour remains quite real, as evidenced by the 4.6% unemployment rate—one of the lowest in Canada. In addition, Quebec International is currently offering support to 18 companies in the midst of recruiting qualified workers in France and Belgium to fill 450 positions.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Quebec International