Low level of unemployment: an economy “not in perfect health” in Quebec

Low unemployment: Quéqué bec


While the unemployment rate remained at 4.3% in June, a relatively low level in Quebec, this result is not necessarily a sign of a healthy economy, due to of the phenomenon of “great resignation” which would increasingly affect the province. 

“The figures that make up the ratio [of unemployment] do not reflect an economy that is in perfect health,” said Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy, senior economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, in an interview Friday at LCN.

For the Minister of Labour, Jean Boulet, this situation is a “temporary situation”.

The unemployment rate is a calculation made of the number of unemployed in relation to the active population. However, more and more people are leaving the labor market, which means that they are no longer part of the figures for the calculation of this rate.

According to the economist, this situation can be explained by the phenomenon of “great resignation” which affects the province and other Western countries.

“For a combination of reasons, people are less interested in working . They withdraw from the labor market or they want to work fewer hours or they are not interested in having promotions”, she specified.

“Going to the labor market also entails costs […] and by doing their calculations, they probably come to the conclusion that between not having a job and having one with the costs that entails, we might as well stay at home,” she added.

A solution to immigration?

Mrs. argued that immigration could be a solution to the labor shortage, but “in a very temporary way”.

“[If] the workers here are less interested in working, that will not take long before the person who has arrived in Canada will feel the same promptings and will come to the same conclusions,” she argued.

Same story from the Minister’s side, who said that immigration is “one of the options, [but that] you have to add up the solutions”.

“The labor shortage does not rest solely on the shoulders of the government , it has become a community challenge. In the current context, employers must improve working conditions, increase wages, take work-family balance measures, integrate new technologies…”, mentioned Mr. Boulet.