Labour market situation improved in most RCMs located far from large urban centers

Québec, April 16, 2014 – In Québec, the rate of workers age 25 to 64 increased in 2012 for a third consecutive year, after declining in 2009 due to the economic recession. It went up 0.4 percentage points to 76.1%. Most supralocal regions took advantage of the growth achieved in the province, especially those far from large urban centers. Significant increases were recorded in the RCMs of Rocher-Percé (+ 3.6 points), La Haute-Côte-Nord (+ 1.9 points) and Bonaventure (+ 1.9 points). The supralocal regions that make up the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Centre-du-Québec regions recorded, in 2012, growth in rate of workers higher than or equal to the provincial average. This was revealed in the Institut de la statistique du Québec publication Bulletin Flash. Évolution du marché du travail dans les MRC released today on its website.

A deteriorating situation in Outaouais

The labour market contracted in 10 of the 104 RCMs of the province. This was particularly the case in Gatineau and Les Appalaches, where the rate of workers went down 0.4 points. For Gatineau, this is the third consecutive year in which growth in the rate of workers is among the lowest in Québec. Moreover, in Outaouais, La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau is the only RCM posting growth, albeit small, of its rate of workers (+ 0.2 points).

Although Gatineau (78.5%) and Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais (79.0%) still had a rate of workers higher than that of Québec, the five supralocal regions of Outaouais saw their situation deteriorate over the past years. For example, Gatineau, which in 2009 came 16th among the 104 RCMs, is now 27th due to the deterioration of its labour market situation over the last three years.

Weak growth in northern suburbs of Montréal

In 2012, the rate of workers of almost every supralocal region of the northern suburbs of Montréal recorded a variation less than or equal to that of the entire province. Only the Montcalm RCM (+ 0.5 points) in Lanaudière recorded growth higher than that of the province (+ 0.4 points).

High rate of workers in suburban rings of Montréal and Québec, as well as in Nord-du-Québec

In 2012, 40 RCMs had a higher of equal rate of workers than that of the province (76.1%). For the third consecutive year, the Caniapiscau RCM—in the Côte-Nord region—topped the ranking with 88.3%. Following were Kativik (85.4%), La Jacques-Cartier (84.3%) and Marguerite-D’Youville (83.6%). Moreover, the supralocal regions with the highest rates of workers were mainly concentrated around Montréal, Québec and in Nord-du-Québec. Sixteen of the 20 RCMs with the highest rates are located close to those core urban areas and three are located in the Nord-du-Québec region.

Employment income in Caniapiscau reached a new record high

In Québec, the median employment income in current dollars of workers age 25 to 64 went up by 2.9% to $39,250 in 2012.This year once again, the Caniapiscau RCM had by far the highest worker median employment income in Québec at $81,599. Tagging far behind were Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais ($52,156), Gatineau ($50,078) and Sept-Rivières ($49,760). In contrast, the Basques RCM ($29,315) in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region had the lowest median income in Québec for the second consecutive year.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


  • Pierre Cambon
    Phone: 418-691-2411, Ext. 3065
  • Sylvain Carrier
    Communications Advisor
    Phone: 418-691-2403, Ext. 3329
    Cell: 418-655-2411

  • Information and Documentation Centre
    Phone: 418-691-2401
    or 1-800-463-4090 (toll free in Canada and the United States)

  • Twitter account: