Montreal drives job creation
Jean-Pierre Langlois, economist
Montreal, February 4, 2000 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal was pleased with Statistics Canada's January 2000 figures released this morning. "Were it not for Montreal, Quebec would have lost 12,000 jobs since last December. Montreal's annual job creation rate was 104,300 in December and 88,7000 in January, against 92,600 and 88,400 for Quebec overall (seasonally adjusted data)," stated the Board of Trade's economist, Jean-Pierre Langlois.
"In fact, since last October, job growth in Montreal has been stronger than in Toronto, and since December, our unemployment rate (6.5%) has been below the national average (6.8%), an unusual performance for the area. Even more surprising is the emergence in January 2000 of a 1.7% gap in the jobless rate between Montreal and Quebec in favour of the former, while less than a year ago, no such gap existed."
"Where in the first half of last year we were concerned that Montreal wasn't creating any jobs, we're now surprised that it's created as many as it has since last fall. Last December, Montreal's annual job creation amounted to 104,300 - 3,700 more than Toronto, the country's most active urban centre in terms of job creation. Even if January's figures show a slight drop in new jobs in Montreal (88,700), the growth is still greater than Toronto's (77,800)."
"As for Vancouver, it lost 7,800 jobs in January over the same period last year, or an 0.8% drop (against gains of 5.5% for Montreal and 3.3 % for Toronto)."
"This job creation trend could not help but affect unemployment rates. In January, Montreal brought its jobless rate down to 6.5%, bettering December 1999's figure of 6.7%, its best in a long time. For the first time since 1988, Montreal's rate is lower than Vancouver's (7.3% in December and 6.7% in January)."
"In January, the Quebec rate was 8.2% against 6.8% for Canada, 5.4% for Toronto, 5.6% for Calgary and 5.7% for Ontario."
"Although Montreal has clearly outperformed Vancouver, it still cannot rival Toronto, even if the past few months have been morale boosters. Toronto's employment rate remains an enviable 63.8%, against Montreal's 61.5%. Moreover, although it has increased in the last while, Montreal's participation rate is still almost 200 basis points below Toronto's. Montreal's participation rate dropped in January, indicating that the City's unemployment rate would not be so low without these Montrealers who stopped looking for work last December."
"In Canada overall, employment continues to grow briskly, gaining 44,300 jobs between December and January. Ontario led the pack, with 21,000 new jobs created in one month, against only 3,000 in Quebec. As for the rate of increase in employment, only Newfoundland fared worse than Quebec."
"We can expect this robust employment situation to lead to an increase in consumer spending in the coming months," concluded Jean-Pierre Langlois.
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 public and influence towards government and decision-makers.