Québec City economic statistics

Québec City is a thriving economic hub. Learn more about Québec City’s main economic indicators. You can use this information to evaluate the region’s performance in several areas:

You can also access a list of major projects that are underway in the region, news ventures by private employers as well many relevant articles and documents.

Discover the Québec City region’s vitality and community.

The labour market

Statistics Canada estimated that there were 435,800 people employed in the Québec City CMA, which is explained by a gain of 8,600 jobs (+2.0%) in August. Therefore, market labour growth continued for the second month in a row, with 37% of all jobs created in the province of Quebec registered in the Québec City region. After a difficult spring, the number of jobs has now surpassed the level registered before the pandemic (+0.3%). 

Statistics Canada estimated that the number of active workers—either employed or looking for work—grew by 10,800 people in August (+2.4%), bringing the total to 455,800. This is the highest monthly increase among major Canadian CMAs.  

Data updated in September 2021

Want to know more? Read our August 2021 analysis.

  • 4.1%

    Unemployment rate

    (September 2021)

  • 6,200

    Job creation

    (September 2021)

  • 64.2%

    Employment rate

    (September 2021)

  • 5,400

    Change in active population

    (September 2021)

Economic growth

Economic vitality in the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) and a robust labour market supported consumption, a major component of gross domestic product (GDP). Investment, however, was supported by the level of residential investment, with growth reaching a record high in 2018. Not to be outdone, public investment also contributed to the CMA’s economic growth. Overall, the area maintained a growth level similar to that of 2017 (2.4%), a performance that brought the CMA’s real GDP to $35.8B in 2018.

Information updated as of May 2019.

  • $38 billion

    Real GDP

    (2020)

  • -5%

    Real GDP variation

    (2020)

  • $40.1 billion

    Real GDP (prevision)

    (2021)

  • +5.6%

    Real GDP variation (prevision)

    (2021)

Residential and non-residential investments

Non-residential investment in the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) reached a peak in 2019, with $4.6 billion in expenditures. This performance was supported in part by investment from service-producing industries, which also reached a peak since 2013. The public sector1 , through the various government levels, continues the momentum started after 2015, reaching $2.6 billion in 2019, another peak in the CMA2 . As for residential investment, housing supply resumed its rise, with construction starts estimated at 6,203 new units in 2019. The existing home market also performed well as the resale market registered 8,307 transactions in the CMA, a historical record.

The current pandemic appears in a context where the CMA’s various economic stakeholders, aware of the good economic health and the favourable outlooks in the region, were showing the will to increase investment. While the effects of the current crisis are still difficult to measure, it is clear that the CMA will have to show resilience. Major investment projects, like the structured public transit network, the speeding up of investments planned as part of the Plan québécois des infrastructures, or the government’s announced investment into science and technology projects related to COVID-19, will give the region a stepping stone to continue its economic development

Information updated as of July 2020.

  • $4.3 billion

    Capital assets

    Non-residential (-3.6%)

  • 10,651

    resells

    in 2020 (+28%, a historical record)

  • 6,713

    Construction starts

    (+8%, a historical record)

  • $2.5 billion

    Residential investment

    (+11.3%, a historical record)

Purchasing power

The purchasing power of residents in the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) increased in 2019. The disposable income per capita rose 3.1%, the fourth-highest increase among Canada’s eight major CMAs. At the same time, the second-lowest increase in the cost of living was recorded in Québec City with an inflation rate of 1.5%. As a result, real purchasing power per capita grew by 1.6% in the area, the strongest growth among the country’s major metropolitan areas.

In fact, over the last five years (2014-2019), Quebec has seen the highest increases in hourly wages in Canada. A phenomenon that reflects the situation of labour scarcity that is particularly prevalent in the province of Quebec. Workers in the Québec City area saw a wage increase of nearly 16% over this period, the second-highest performance among the country’s eight largest CMAs, behind the Montréal area.

In 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will affect household budgets across the country. Although several government measures have been put in place to cushion the shock, some households will face difficult situations.

Information updated as of September 2020.

  • $49,174

    Average salary

    (+4.8%)

  • +0.8%

    Inflation rate

    (2020)

  • $14.8 billion

    Retail sales

    (-1%)

  • $35,306

    Personal disposable income

    (+6.6%)

Demographic overview

According to the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ), there were 817,408 residents in the area in 2018, a 0.8% increase compared to the previous year. Despite lower growth compared to the provincial average (+1.1%), the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) remains the second most populated in the province. This means that Québec City retains its demographic weight of 9.7%, behind the Montréal CMA (50.7%).

In 2018, population growth was supported by natural increase and immigration, which is consistent with the ISQ’s most recent forecast scenario. The population ageing phenomenon also continues to grow and will remain a concern in the years to come.

Information updated as of May 2019.

  • 832,328

    Total population

    (2020)

  • +0.9%

    Population growth

    (2020)

  • 617

    Natural increase in population

    (2020)

  • 5,898

    Attracted people

    (2019-2020)

Our Economics Team

André Chabot
Director - Corporate Development
achabot@quebecinternational.ca
Émile Émond
Economist – Regional Indicators and Business Environment
eemond@quebecinternational.ca

Contact for information requests

Sylvie Fortin
Senior Advisor – Public Affairs and Press Relations
sfortin@quebecinternational.ca

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