Quebec’s economy has grown at a brisk pace over the past few years, with real GDP expanding by an annual average of 2.8 per cent between 2017 and 2019. However, the coronavirus pandemic will throw Quebec’s economy into a tailspin this year, with real GDP forecast to decline by 3.8 per cent—a drop 3.5 times larger than the one recorded during the recession in 2009. Fortunately, the pullback will be short-lived, as Quebec’s economy is poised to rebound sharply next year, expanding by 5.8 per cent.
The coronavirus pandemic will also rattle Quebec’s labour market. After declining by an estimated 0.7 per cent in the first quarter, employment is expected to fall by a further 8.9 per cent in the second quarter, pushing the jobless rate up to 14.2 per cent. Although the labour market will begin to recover in the second part of the year, the Quebec economy is projected to shed a total of 130,958 jobs this year. Fortunately, the job market’s prospects are set to improve next year, as it is anticipated that the economy will pump out a total of 101,597 net new jobs, a 2.4 per cent increase.
In response to the pandemic, the Quebec government declared a health emergency throughout the province on March 13, 2020. The government has also shut down all non-essential activity until May 4, 2020. All educational institutions in Quebec are at present shuttered, as are many businesses, including museums, libraries, bars, cinemas, and movie theatres.
At the same time, nervous consumers are tightening their purse strings and opting to stay in the safety of their homes. The impact of reduced consumer spending will be felt throughout the economy, with the accommodation and food, and the arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors bearing the brunt of the pain.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Quebec
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