Quebec has recorded an increase in July employment, the only one among the big four provinces to record an increase signifying that its economy is actually doing very well despite the fall of Bombardier and SNC.
Quebec had never beaten the national average until September 2016 and hasn’t been above it since an article in the Financial Post said. Quebec’s unemployment rate in July was 4.9 per cent which was sixteen per cent lower than the national rate of 5.7 per cent.
“I’ve never seen things so good in Quebec,” Eric Boyko, chief executive of Montreal-based entertainment company Stingray Group Inc, told the Financial Post in an interview. Stingray is a world leading music service provider.
Quebec fighting to make money despite the burden of separatism, and learning to make do without natural benefits such as a reserve of oil and proximity to the heart of the U.S. automobile industry, has created an excellent corps of entrepreneurs, the article added.
The very public shrinking of Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin Group would have caused considerable fear and loathing a decade ago. However, now except for the shareholders of the companies, not many people would be affected.
The FP article also said that the good economic times for Quebec meant that there were more jobs on offer than qualified workers to fill them up.
Public perception of Quebec based companies is also shifting. For example, experts have said that Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin are being replaced in the public’s consciousness by digital economy outfits such as Stingray, Lightspeed POS Inc. and Stradigi AI, all of which talk about becoming world leaders, but without the sort of heavy government support received by older champions of Quebec.
Stingray’s Boyko added that Quebec’s unemployment rates being lower than Ontario, new buildings and surplus of $8 billion meant that it was the best economic boom.
Quebec is the only province that has actually reduced debt in the past six fiscal years, which is a remarkable accomplishment, Rishi Sondi, an economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, said in a research report.
“The government should be lauded for its steadfast commitment to continue to bring its debt burden lower, and its efforts could pay dividends for years to come,” Sondi remarked.
Quebec is seeing the benefits of keeping ideology away from economic policy. When the invisible hand was slow to guide money towards start-ups, the government and local financial institutions stepped in to ensure there would be a pool of capital from which the next generation of entrepreneurs could draw.
Similarly, according to the Financial Post, the province was also ahead of its time in realizing that the upfront costs of a proper subsidized daycare program would be more than covered by stronger economic growth over the longer term. Some 87 per cent of Quebec women between the ages of 25 and 54 are in the labour force, compared with 93 per cent of its men, the lowest gap in the country. Better daycare facilities have meant that more women are joining the workforce.