White paper on economically dynamic regions

With this white paper prepared by Aviseo Consulting, the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec wants to draw the attention of the various levels of government to the issues related to regional economic development. These challenges mainly concern attracting and retaining the workforce, matching workers’ skills to the needs of industries, and building solidarity between regions so that Quebec as a whole can grow at a steady pace. The pan-regional recommendations made in the white paper reflect priorities from the perspective of the business communities and will require the collaboration of a number of stakeholders in order to be translated into action.

Key figures

  • The exceptionally low unemployment rate and the shrinking workforce create labour scarcity throughout Quebec, which is particularly felt in the RCMs in the regions.
  • Urban CMAs and RCMs with strong natural resource sectors are employment hubs in Quebec.
  • The growth of per capita GDP varies greatly between regions, with an average annual growth between 2.4% and 4.6% since the recovery in 2009.
  • RCMs located outside of CMAs are 34% behind in relation to investments in comparison to CMAs.
  • RCMs with less dynamic job markets have more self-employed workers. In contrast, a stronger job market reduces the need to start a business.
  • Of the SMEs outside of CMAs, 96% have fewer than 100 employees, which indicates that it is a challenge for small businesses to expand and grow.
  • The unemployment rate for those who have recently come to Quebec is nearly 2.5 times higher in Montreal, i.e., 13.2% as compared to 5.4% in the rest of Quebec.
  • Those who work outside of CMAs are less likely to have university degrees, and in some RCMs (primarily those outside of CMAs), 15% to 25% of workers do not have a high school diploma.
  • The supply of homes in several regions is not aligned with the needs of families, which is a barrier to attraction.
  • Only administrative regions with large universities have positive inter-regional migration rates for 20- to 24-year-olds.
  • Cars still rule Quebec, and public transit is rarely used, which may indicate a supply issue.
Please note this publication is only issued in French.