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Press release: Job creation: Montreal is feeling the pinch Despite the trend chart's strong indicators, Montreal's job woes have been some cause for concern in the past year

Job creation: Montreal is feeling the pinch

Despite the trend chart's strong indicators, Montreal's job woes have been some cause for concern in the past year: the job curve is on a downward trend and the unemployment rate jumped from 6.5% in January 2000 to 8.5% in January 2001.

Montreal, March 2, 2001 - The new economy, which was doing quite well, has not managed to offset the decline in the traditional Montreal economy: the manufacturing sector lost many jobs, particularly in the clothing industry, according to the latest edition of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal's Trend Chart, made public today.

Still, productivity gains were better than elsewhere in the country, primarily due to the contribution of new technologies, which place Montreal at the vanguard of major North American cities. Indeed, on a per capita basis, Montreal ranks fourth, behind San Francisco-Silicon Valley, Seattle and Boston.

Lastly, Quebec, which owes more than half its increase in GDP to Montreal, enjoyed excellent growth in 2000. For the second year in a row, the province has recorded a 4 % increase—a performance unheard of in the past 12 years.

Seeing the signs of an imminent economic slowdown in Canada, the Trend Chart includes an article that asks the following question: “Is Montreal in a better position than in 1990 when Canada was in the throes of a difficult recession?

Board of Trade economist Jean-Pierre Langlois believes that Quebec and Montreal are not immune to the economic jolts that have already begun to shake up the U.S. Far from it. Still, we remain somewhat optimistic, sustained by the knowledge that the restructuring of Montreal's economy is much further ahead than ten years ago.

Montreal is faring well on several fronts: real estate, tourism, Internet penetration rate, number of work stoppages and the Montreal Stock Exchange, where the shift to derivatives is proving to have been the right move.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the media and influence towards government and decision-makers.

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