The Québec Labour Market: Issues and Challenges

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1 The Québec Labour Market: Issues and Challenges Ministère de l Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale Courtesy translation March 2010

2 2 Current Québec labour market situation

3 Québec recovered quickly from the recent recession. 3 Economic growth Variation in employment (in %) (change in real GDP) Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.

4 Québec has made significant progress. 4 Québec-wide figures Unemployment rate (in %) Employment rate, ages 15 to 64 (in %) Average length of unemployment (in weeks) Percentage of persons in the labour force who have not completed Secondary V studies (high school) (in %) Social assistance rate (in %) Sources: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey; Ministère de l Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale; Service Canada.

5 5 Certain effects of the recession persist. The unemployment rate of 8.0% in 2010 was higher than the rate before the recession (7.2% in 2007 and in 2008). The number of unemployed persons was 11.9% higher. There were 56,800 more employment insurance claimants (+26.7%) in September 2010 than in September 2008.

6 Québec has to rise to major challenges. 6 Québec s standard of living is number-seven among the Canadian provinces. The social assistance rate is relatively high (second-highest in Canada, at 7.4% in 2009). Québec has a larger percentage of citizens without a diploma than Canada as a whole. There is a mismatch between training and jobs. Productivity is low (20th out of 25 OECD countries). The rapid ageing of the Québec population will mean a growing scarcity of manpower, which could have an impact on Québec s standard of living.

7 Québec labour market outlook for

8 8 Close to 1.4 million jobs will be available and filled between 2010 and 2019 Contributions of various groups to the Québec labour force from 2010 to 2019 Number Share (in %) Persons under age ,000 54% Immigrant Population 230,000 17% Increase in participation 292,000 21% by persons aged 55 to ,000 9% by persons aged 65 and over 97,000 7% Unemployed persons TOTAL 114,000 1,370,000 8% 100% Source: Emploi-Québec long-term forecasts, fall 2010.

9 We expect to see a significant drop in unemployment in Québec between now and Changes in the Québec unemployment rate, 2009 to 2019 (in %) Sources: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey; Emploi-Québec long-term forecasts, Fall 2010.

10 Labour shortages are expected to lead to a series of adjustments. 10 Wages will rise, and this will mean higher production costs. Businesses will have to make up for these higher costs through higher productivity (innovation, investments in machinery and equipment). Some businesses will be unable to do this and will close. The available workers will have to be redeployed toward more productive, higher value-added sectors. Manpower skills will quickly become obsolete and businesses will have to invest more in updating their employees skills.

11 Despite the growing scarcity of manpower, some persons will still be unemployed. 11 Newcomers to the labour market (young persons, immigrants) Persons who return to labour market after having left it for a period of time (maternity leaves, alternating periods of studies and employment) Persons with seasonal jobs (seasonal unemployment) Persons who are dismissed (12% of businesses shut down each year in Québec) Persons who leave their jobs for all sorts of reasons Persons who face obstacles to employment or discrimination (persons with a low level of education, last-resort financial assistance recipients, persons with disabilities, Native persons, persons with criminal records, etc.)

12 12 Tomorrow s target groups: Individuals Mainly short-term unemployed persons who are seeking: information about available jobs placement assistance ad hoc assistance (upgrade training, retraining) Although they are not as numerous, persons who face major obstacles to employment (long-term unemployed persons) will have higher needs: basic training qualification social assistance and support, etc.

13 13 Tomorrow s target groups: Businesses Businesses will find it increasingly difficult to recruit workers and adapt to the situation. They will be looking for human resource management support in order to recruit and keep workers. This applies particularly to small businesses. (Almost nine out of ten businesses in Québec have fewer than 20 employees.) They will also be looking for support in order to make sure that their employees qualifications are aligned with the technological changes they implement in order to boost their productivity and limit their manpower needs.

14 Emploi-Québec and its partners will be called on to participate in: 14 Increasing labour market participation and employment Improving the match between training and employment Boosting productivity

15 This explains Emploi-Québec s orientations: 15 Mitigate the impact of the recession on workers and businesses and support job creation Favour the labour market participation of the greatest possible number of Québeckers, among other ways by preparing persons who face major obstacles to employment to take advantage of the economic upturn Help improve businesses productivity and ability to adapt to change, especially through training

16 Adequate funding is essential, but: 16 Additional funding granted by the federal government under its Economic Action Plan ends on March 31, The Canada-Québec Labour Market Agreement is slated to expire at the end of 2014 unless it is renewed. The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers ends in Ongoing additional funding is crucial in order to meet current needs (minimally). In the medium term, extending and enhancing the Labour Market Agreement in 2014 are a priority.

17 Thank you for your attention. 17

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