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The sectors that are recruiting in Quebec: royal roads to employment

The figures are stubborn and above all they are proof that Quebec still has great job opportunities. According to the latest publication (February 2022) from the Quebec Institute of Statistics, 193,000 positions were vacant in the province during the first nine months of 2021. This is an increase of almost 50% compared to 2019 , before the pandemic. And for the Montreal region alone, 62,600 additional jobs were to be filled at the end of 2021, compared to the previous year. This increase in employment in Quebec is also marked in other regions such as the Laurentians (+36,000 jobs) and in Montérégie (+26,900).

Which sectors?

The number of vacant positions remains high in many areas of activity in Quebec. But if we look at these job gains in detail, we see that at the industrial level it is the construction sector that has concentrated more than half of the growth observed for the first nine months of 2021, with approximately 25,000 additional jobs. In services, trade (+35,700 jobs) and professional, scientific and technical services (+25,900) also recorded significant new job vacancies. However, it was mainly the health care and social assistance sector that experienced the strongest growth (+ 41,400). The Statistical Institute of Quebec also recalls that in 2021 this health care and social assistance sector represented 521,600 jobs in the province’s labor market (i.e. 12.21% of total employment in Quebec). ).

The hotel and catering industry is another area of ​​activity where labor needs are very high, as is the retail trade. The Institut du Québec, in its study of February 17, 2022, noted that due to these recurring recruitment problems, “Some employers may begin to lower their hiring requirements, particularly in terms of education. » However, the competitiveness requirements of companies and changes in the world of work require adequate skills. Thus the Institut du Québec continues by noting that “more and more professions will require more sustained skills in reading comprehension, writing, and in solving complex problems, while Quebec and Canada are already lagging behind in digital literacy”. Mia Homs, the Institute’s President and CEO, sums it up well: “The lack of labor will undeniably be the main challenge of the recovery. »

What prospects?

In accordance with the rule of supply and demand, it is reasonable to think that these constant labor needs translate into higher wages, especially for this year 2021 which has seen a significant economic recovery after the initial shock of Covid. During this financial year 2021, wages increased overall by 2.2%, with an hourly average of 28.81 Canadian dollars (approx. 21 euros). However, this increase varies greatly depending on the sector and is also related to inflation, which reached 3.8% during this same period. It should also be noted that the average hourly remuneration of men increased by 2.7%, against only 1.5% for women. A disparity that we unfortunately observe too frequently, and not only in Quebec…

Towards wider immigration

In any case, based on this finding of a labor shortage, the Quebec authorities seem determined to put in place the means to strengthen local training, particularly in the decisive sector of information technology. But voices are also being heard to raise immigration thresholds, not just francophones, and beyond Quebec. The Canadian Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, seems to plead in this direction. In the federal budget presented at the beginning of April, it indicated its intention to welcome 46,000 additional immigrants each year to meet these labor needs throughout the country. Also of note, the 2022 budget of Justin Trudeau’s government promises an investment of 2.1 billion Canadian dollars to promote the processing of applications and the settlement of new permanent residents.

As we can see, the issue of the labor shortage remains a major issue for the growth of the Quebec economy and, more broadly, of Canada as a whole. To the point of leading some to project themselves into visions that are futuristic to say the least. Thus, our excellent Quebec colleague from the newspaper The Press also recently pointed out the opportunity to develop “automation, robotization and artificial intelligence”, asking the following question: “Can technology help us get out of trouble, filling the jobs that workers no longer want?”

Before access to employment becomes a race against the machine, let’s bet that a good number of ccandidates, particularly French speakers, can take advantage of the employment opportunities offered by Quebec.

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