Quebec’s employment rate has surpassed Ontario’s since 2018 and the gap is widening in our favor. In terms of work, what matters is that as many people as possible can work there. The appropriate indicator is the employment rate, that is, the proportion of people aged 15 to 64 who are employed.
In September 2018, just before the arrival of the CAQ government, the employment rate was 75.1% in Quebec and 73.2% in Ontario. A gap of 1.9 percentage points in favor of Quebec. As of October 2023, the employment rate was 78.1% in Quebec and 74.2% in Ontario. A gap of 3.9 percentage points in favor of Quebec. This means that among working-age people, Quebec has overtaken Ontario and the gap has more than doubled.
Another well-known indicator is the unemployment rate, that is, the proportion of people looking for work. As of September 2018, the unemployment rate was 5.5% in Quebec and 5.9% in Ontario. In October 2023, it was 4.9% in Quebec and 6.4% in Ontario. So this means that since the arrival of the CAQ government, the unemployment rate has fallen in Quebec while it has risen (very slightly) in Ontario.
Obviously, if someone was trying to make Quebec look bad, they could point to the number of jobs created. In this sense, Ontario is unbeatable because of its massive increase in population, mainly due to immigration. On the other hand, when we put the figures in perspective, the picture is very different. From September 2018 to October 2023, Ontario’s labor force grew by 8.4%, but the number of jobs increased by only 7.9%. In Quebec, the active population increased by 4.5%, but jobs by 5.2%.
In conclusion, all the indicators – employment rate, unemployment rate, job creation – show that since the CAQ government came to power, Quebec has surpassed Ontario in terms of employment.
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy