Quebec Employment Spikes in September
- Florence Jean-Jacobs, Principal Economist
- Quebec's economy created 38,700 jobs in September, the biggest monthly gain since January 2023.
- The province continues to boast the lowest jobless rate in the country (4.4% in September), even though it's gone up slightly since August (4.3%).
- The labour force posted its largest increase (+47,400) since February 2022.
- In Q3 2023, 45,000 jobs were created, including 17,200 in the public sector and 26,000 in the private sector.
- Year-over-year growth in average hourly wages heated up for the second month in a row (from 3.4% in August to 4.2% in September).
In September, the uptrend in employment initiated in August (+14,800) accelerated in Quebec.
In contrast to Canada as a whole, where gains were primarily driven by part-time employment, Quebec added 23,500 full-time and 15,100 part-time positions.
Employment in educational services ramped up, adding 10,700 jobs in September and fuelling employment growth in the public sector (+16,700). Wholesale and retail trade (+25,600), manufacturing (+15,7000) and accommodation and food services (+11,300) also jumped significantly. Meanwhile, jobs were lost in the transportation and warehousing (-8,100) and health care (-5,500) industries. The number of self-employed workers also fell sharply (-17,500).
The resilience of the labour market is surprising given the unmistakeable deterioration of other economic indicators (especially GDP, which contracted 1.9% in the second quarter). Even though monthly employment fluctuations should be approached with caution, growth in the third quarter suggests that the Quebec job market still hasn't fully absorbed the impact of interest rate hikes. This renewed strength is unlikely to last and upcoming results will likely shape the economic trajectory.
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