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

In June 2021, Statistics Canada estimated that there were 421,500 people employed in the Québec City CMA, 600 fewer than in May (-0.1%). The employment level for June was 97% of the level it was just before the pandemic (February 2020). This decrease is the second-most significant drop among major Canadian areas, just ahead of Toronto with 95.1% of its pre-pandemic level.  

The unemployment rate increased in June, reaching 5.1%. This is explained by a higher increase in the labour force than in employment. However, the region maintains the lowest unemployment rate among major Canadian CMAs.

Data updated in July 2021

Want to know more? Read our June 2021 analysis.

  • 5.1%

    Unemployment rate

    (June 2021)

  • -600

    Job creation

    (June 2021)

  • 61.3%

    Employment rate

    (June 2021)

  • +200

    Change in active population

    (June 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


  • -5%

    Real GDP variation


  • $40.1 billion

    Real GDP (prevision)


  • +5.6%

    Real GDP variation (prevision)


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.

  • $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


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.

  • $45,500

    Average salary


  • +1.5%

    Inflation rate


  • $15.7 billion

    Retail sales


  • $33,400

    Personal disposable income


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


  • +0.9%

    Population growth


  • 617

    Natural increase in population


  • 5,898

    Attracted people


Our Economics Team

André Chabot
Director - Corporate Development
Émile Émond
Economist – Regional Indicators and Business Environment

Contact for information requests

Sylvie Fortin
Senior Advisor – Public Affairs and Press Relations

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