- The Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA)’s unemployment rate remained stable at 4.1% in February.
- Statistics Canada counted 438,300 people employed in the region, 3,000 fewer than the previous month (-0.7%), the only decrease recorded among the province’s CMAs.
- The labour force variation pulled the employment market down along with it, as the region’s labour force registered a drop of 3,400 people in February.
- In the province of Quebec, data shows that the number of people employed increased, with 20,000 more jobs in February compared to January, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.9%.
According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate remained stable at 4.1% in February 2020, allowing the region to maintain the lowest rate among all major Canadian CMAs, just ahead of the Ottawa CMA (4.3%). During the same period, the number of people employed dropped by 3,000 (-0.7%), a situation that was not observed in any of the other CMAs in the province of Quebec. Note that the number of unemployed people also decreased from January to February (-400). This is explained by a decrease in the labour force, which recorded a loss of 3,400 people. In that regard, the participation rate—the percentage of working-aged people active in the labour market—registered a slight drop in February. At 66.3%, the Québec City CMA’s participation rate is the lowest among all eight major Canadian CMAs. As for the employment rate—the percentage of people who have a job—it fell to 63.5% over the same period.
February’s data reflects the context of labour scarcity observed in the region, as shown by the low unemployment rate and the labour force variation. Compared with February 2019, the number of jobs dropped by 17,100, while the number of unemployed people increased only very slightly (+1,200). The sectors of business services and accommodation and food services were the most affected by this decline. Meanwhile, the participation rate of experienced workers (aged 55 and over) dropped significantly in the Québec City CMA. However, the region’s participation rate for this age group has been below other Canadian CMAs for several years. Concurrently, the participation rate of prime-age workers (aged 25 to 54) varied very little over the last year, while that of younger workers (aged 15 to 24) grew significantly.