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:

  • Economic growth
  • Purchasing power
  • Labour market
  • Investment
  • Demographics

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

In its Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada estimated that there were 1,900 fewer people employed in July than in June. This drop contrasts with the seven consecutive months of growth recorded from November 2018 to June 2019. Despite the downswing in July, the Québec City CMA labour market improved compared to the same period last year. Indeed, there were 469,700 jobs in July 2019, compared to 455,100 in the same period in 2018. The employment decline in July was linked to the decrease in the labour force, which absorbed the loss of 2,500 people, down to 480,800 people. A second factor is undoubtedly the drop in the number of unemployed people over the same period.

A faster decline in the labour force than in employment explains the drop in the unemployment rate and the tightening of the region’s labour market. The unemployment rate reached 2.3%, decreasing for the fifth month in a row. This record rate is the lowest ever recorded among major Canadian CMAs, which suggests that labour scarcity remains a persistent concern for many businesses in the area.

Information updated as of August 2019.

Would you like to know more on this subject? Read our complete monthly analysis for July 2019.

Do you want to know more about the region’s main employers? Download Québec City CMA’s list of top employers by business sector (PDF, 305KB).

  • 2.6%

    Unemployment rate

    (August 2019)

  • - 6400

    Job creation

    (August 2019)

  • 67.4%

    Employment rate

    (August 2019)

  • - 5200

    Change in active population

    (August 2019)

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.

  • $35.8 billion

    Real GDP

    (2018)

  • + 2.4%

    Real GDP growth

    (2018)

  • $43,742

    GDP per capita

    (2018)

  • $79,115

    GDP per job

    (2018)

Residential and non-residential investments

In 2018, the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ, Quebec’s statistics institute) estimated non-residential capital expenditures at $3.5B, a third annual increase, up 3.1% from 2017. This moderate growth, compared to other cities in the province, follows two years during which the area had been a leader in Quebec.

Statistics Canada estimated that the residential sector had generated investments of $2.2B, a 10.6% increase compared to the previous year. This is a record high in the area since 2015, when the data series was initiated, and one of the most significant increases in Eastern Canada behind Montréal. Like in the rest of Canada, the annual increase of investments for the construction of multi-family homes (+26.9%) compensated the drop in single-family homes (-8.0%).

Information updated as of April 2019.

Do you want to know about the current or future investments? Browse our list of current and announced major investment projects (PDF, 302KB).

  • $3.5 billion

    Capital assets

    Non-residential (+3.1%)

  • Over 200

    Non-residential projects in progress or announced

    (December 2018)

  • 5,355

    Construction starts

    8th position in Canada (-19.4%)

  • $2.2 billion

    Residential investment

    (+10.6%)

Purchasing power

In 2018 the average annual salary in the Québec City CMA grew to just under $45,000, a moderate increase of 2.6%. This increase was mostly due to the contributions by the vast majority of the occupational sectors. This growth exceeded inflation, resulting in the consumer price index (CPI) growing overall by 1.5%. Although this was the highest of five consecutive years of growth in the CMA, it is still only moderate growth, and remains below both the provincial and national average. Consequently, the purchasing power of Québec City residents actually increased, and the CMA continues to distinguish itself in the province with the highest personal disposable income (PDI), at $32,541. As for consumption, a crucial economic indicator of growth, the total value of retail sales reached $15.7B in 2018. The number of bankruptcies declined for both individuals (1,973 cases) and businesses (177 cases), decreasing by 7% and 8.3% respectively as compared to 2017.

Information updated as of April 2019.

  • $44,963

    Average salary

    (+2.6%)

  • +1.5%

    Inflation rate

    (2018)

  • $15.7 billion

    Retail sales

    (+4%)

  • $32,541

    Personal disposable income

    (+3.4%)

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.

  • 817,408

    Total population

    (2018)

  • + 0.8%

    Population growth

    (2018)

  • 9.7%

    Proportion of the province of Québec’s entire population

    (2018)

  • 5631

    Attracted people

    (2017-2018p)

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