Québec City economic statistics

Québec City is a thriving economic hub. Learn more about Québec City’s main economic indicators. You can use this information to evaluate the region’s performance in several areas:

You can also access a list of major projects that are underway in the region, news ventures by private employers as well many relevant articles and documents.

Discover the Québec City region’s vitality and community.

The labour market

Statistics Canada estimated that there were 435,800 people employed in the Québec City CMA, which is explained by a gain of 8,600 jobs (+2.0%) in August. Therefore, market labour growth continued for the second month in a row, with 37% of all jobs created in the province of Quebec registered in the Québec City region. After a difficult spring, the number of jobs has now surpassed the level registered before the pandemic (+0.3%). 

Statistics Canada estimated that the number of active workers—either employed or looking for work—grew by 10,800 people in August (+2.4%), bringing the total to 455,800. This is the highest monthly increase among major Canadian CMAs.  

Data updated in April 2022.

Want to know more? Read our April 2022 analysis.

  • 4.2%

    Unemployment rate

    (2021)

  • +12,500

    Job creation

    (2021)

  • 62,9%

    Employment rate

    (2021)

  • 1300

    Change in active population

    (2021)

Economic growth

Based on estimates from the Conference Board of Canada,1 real gross domestic product (GDP)2 in the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) was $39.4B in 2021, a 4.3% increase compared to last year (2020). This economic rebound is the highest in over 20 years and is a result of catching up after the shock of the pandemic. Like in most Canadian regions, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still visible in Québec City as the CMA is lagging behind compared to 2019. In 2021, the Québec City region ranked last among the major Canadian CMAs in terms of standards of living and productivity, behind Montréal (second to last). The historic deficits in the Québec City CMA—and the province of Quebec in general—compared to the rest of Canada were caused in part by the industry structure. Nevertheless, the region is doing well compared to the pre-pandemic situation (2019), with the strongest growth in productivity for that period among major Canadian CMAs (+3.7%).  

Information updated as of June 2022.

  • $39,4 billion

    Real GDP

    (2021)

  • +4.3%

    Real GDP variation

    (2021)

  • $90.960

    Productivité
    (PIB réel par emploi)
    (2021)

  • +3.4%

    Real GDP variation (prevision)

    (2022)

Residential and non-residential investments

With $5B in spending intentions in 2021, investments in non-residential tangible capital expenditures in the Québec City CMA increased by 15% compared to 2020, when the region had registered $4.3B in investments. Most of this increase was due to non-residential construction, which accounted for almost two thirds (64.8%) of spending intentions, compared to slightly more than one third for machinery and equipment.

The overall building construction sector (non-residential and residential) in the CMA also broke a 30 year record, with a 25% increase in investments compared to 2020. Despite the pandemic, the CMA continued the progression started in 2017.

Information updated as of June 2022.

  • $4.96 billion

    Capital assets

    Non-residential (+15%)

  • 10,197

    Resells

    in 2021 (-4%)

  • 9,389

    Construction starts

    (+40%, a historical record)

  • $3.8 billion

    Residential investment

    (+33%, a historical record)

Purchasing power

This analysis presents the outcomes for the year 2021, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, and provides a financial portrait of the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) population. After good results in terms of the cost of living and purchasing power in 2020, the Québec City CMA registered an increased inflation rate (+3.5%) and low growth in personal disposable income per capita (+0.3%) in 2021. However, the average annual salary grew by 4.7%, the highest increase among the eight major Canadian CMAs. Meanwhile, the average hourly wage increased by 2% in the Québec City CMA, the third-highest growth among its Canadian counterparts.

Strong real estate market activity continued in 2021 in the Québec City CMA, with a 15.5% increase in price for a single-family house, and a 5% increase in rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Despite these rises, the average price for a single-family house ($324,075) remains the lowest among major Canadian CMAs.

The number of bankruptcies dropped for the fourth year in a row in the Québec City region, with 907 consumers and 135 businesses filing for bankruptcies in 2021.

Information updated as of May 2022.

  • $52,299

    Average salary

    (+4.7%)

  • +3.5%

    Inflation rate

    (2021)

  • $16.8 billion

    Retail sales

    (+11%)

  • $34,973

    Personal disposable income

    (+0.3%)

Demographic overview

Our demographic report for 2021 has shown that population growth is more than ever a challenge for the Québec City CMA, with gradually smaller annual increases. Analyses have shown that the proportion of natural increase in the overall population growth continues to shrink. Although the number of births is stable and should remain stable for the next decade, deaths will significantly increase due to population aging, which will ultimately lead to a negative natural growth rate. Local family policies that encourage births while also attracting young families across Quebec and Canada are essential to continue to leverage natural increase in the CMA’s demographic dynamics.

Analyses have also shown that the Québec City CMA is doing well in terms of intraprovincial migration, with a positive net result in 2021 (+538). Once again, significant gains in the 15–24 age category in 2021 (+1,223) were completely outweighed by losses in the 24–54 (-484) and 45–64 ( 696) age categories. Attraction and retention policies that target specific age groups will help improve net migration in the province of Quebec so that this component can have a stronger effect on the population increase.

Information updated as of April 2022.

  • 836,800

    Total population

    (2021)

  • +0.5%

    Population growth

    (2021)

  • 752

    Natural increase in population

    (2021)

  • 4,318

    Attracted people

    (2020-2021)

Our Economics Team

Abdoul Echraf
Economist
aechraf@quebecinternational.ca
Émile Émond
Economist
eemond@quebecinternational.ca
El Hadji Djime Nimaga
Economist
elnimaga@quebecinternational.ca

Contact for information requests

Elsa Iskander
Advisor - Press relations and public communications
eiskander@quebecinternational.ca

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