Despite the spread of the Delta variant and the spectre of a prolonged pandemic, the Quebec economy is holding its own, and even making headway. The easing of health restrictions brought a breath of fresh air to business this past summer. At the same time, the normalization of remote work combined with the deployment of e-commerce will ensure the necessary resilience for coping with the possibility of new waves of the virus.
Economic activity has returned to pre-pandemic level in Quebec
Source: Desjardins, Financial and Economic Forecast, Pour le moment, la quatrième vague n’affecte pas trop l’économie, August 2021
The labour shortage is spoiling the picture
In 2021, 94% of Quebec companies stated they had difficulties hiring personnel, and the labour shortage is threatening growth. It’s no longer possible to even keep track of the number of establishments that have been forced to shorten their operating hours due to lack of workers. Recruiting firms, on the other hand, are overloaded with work and are being forced to turn down many requests. We’ve never seen anything like this!
Source: Emploi Québec, Bulletin des postes vacants au Québec, 1st quarter 2021
Diametrically opposite trends depending on the industry
While the Quebec tech sector has become a victim of its own success and is seeing its employees being poached internationally, other sectors (such as restauration, health care, child care, etc.) are being ignored by workers due to their lack of competitive salaries and suboptimal work conditions.
We need solutions—and fast!
To contain the shortage, several proposals have been put forward:
- Increased use of immigrant workers, supported by 43% of companies
- Recall of retirees: Canada-wide, only 1 person out of 5 between the ages of 55 and 74 has a job.
The labour shortage may also have a catalyzing effect on innovation. To stay competitive, consider automation or artificial intelligence. And for those with a more futuristic point of view, robots and human performance–improving technologies may soon become a reality!