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Economic Viewpoint

Some Industries Will Continue to Grapple with Labour Shortages Even as the Economy Slows

November 21, 2023
Florence Jean-Jacobs, Principal Economist

Quebec and the rest of Canada are sliding into an economic slowdown, which means unemployment will rise and the number of job vacancies will fall until the middle of next year.

While the labour shortage will abate for the short and medium term, the issue won’t fully resolve due to structural factors mainly related to demographics (namely the aging population). Some sectors will continue to feel the labour crunch more than others, particularly health care and social assistance, construction and certain manufacturing subsectors.

How will this affect the economies of Quebec and the country as a whole? Businesses—especially those in the industries hardest hit by the labour shortage—will have to adapt. They’ll need to increase productivity through strategies like automation, robotization, digitalization, business model innovation, inter‑company labour sharing and employee upskilling and reskilling.

Insufficient investment in these strategies could hobble business competitiveness and force them to relinquish market share to foreign competitors.