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Unemployment falls to 4.1% in the Quebec City region in May: the lowest level in the past 7 yearsHighlightsCommentary


  • Unemployment in the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) dropped to 4.1% in May from 5% in April. This was the lowest rate in the province of Quebec, as well as among the 8 leading Canadian CMAs.
  • The region created 8,800 jobs from April to May, for a total of 446,100.
  • The unemployment rate dipped even closer to the level recorded in December 2008 (3.9%).
  • For the second time in three months, Quebec City ranked #2 in Canada in job creation, behind Toronto.
  • For the province of Quebec, 2,100 jobs were lost from April to May as unemployment edged up by 0.2 points to 7.6%.


For the third straight month, Quebec City's labour market fared very well. In May, the region recorded a total of 446,100 jobs, up 8,800 from April. This was the second largest gain in the country, behind Toronto. Thanks to this strong performance, the region posted an annual gain of 12,100 jobs since May 2014.


The rise in housing starts in the first quarter (+332 units) led to a gradual pickup in construction hiring. The manufacturing sector continued to recover, although this remains contingent on the US economy. The uptrend also continued in the services sector. Although still in the early stages, recent announcements by foreign investors operating in a variety of sectors (digital services, video games, data centres and biopharmaceuticals) point to new opportunities for job seekers in the region in the coming months.


Quebec City's performance was reflected in the unemployment rate, which stood at 4.1% in May, very near the level recorded in December 2008 (3.9%). The employment rate (66.7%) also returned to early 2014 levels. Although these indicators are among the best in Canada, they also indicate that the pool of available workers remains limited in Quebec City. In this regard, Quebec International recently assisted 9 companies undertaking recruitment efforts in France and seeking to fill approximately 90 positions.

Louis Gagnon
Senior Economist
Quebec International