The post-pandemic economy in Quebec

The sectors defined as strategic for Québec are at the center of recovery actions: aeronautics, mining and forestry, aluminum, life sciences (biopharmaceutical, medical technologies, natural health products) and electric transport

0
17
The post-pandemic economy in Quebec. By Eder Pessalacia.

Québec province has approximately 22% of Canada’s population and is responsible for 20% of the country’s economic activity. In comparison, it is second only to Ontario, a province that contributes 39% to Canadian GDP. These figures reveal Québec’s importance for the federation’s economic recovery, as the Covid-19 pandemic is being eased with vaccination and measures to contain the virus are taken.

Like other provinces, Québec was hit hard by the coronavirus, having its worst month of unemployment in early 2019, when many companies were forced to slow down or stop their production activities. In April of last year, 2020, when the virus was spreading in an increasing and uncontrolled way, the unemployment rate in Québec was 17%. A staggering leap, three times the rate of 4.5% in February, the month before the start of the pandemic in the region.

During the year 2020, social isolation measures and contamination control were sometimes relaxed, sometimes tightened, as we learned to deal with the new situation. The companies adjusted to the reality imposed by the conjuncture and, with this learning, the unemployment rate gradually dropped, until reaching 6.4% in February 2021. This reduction corresponds to the replacement of 113,000 workers in jobs, that month only.

During the year 2020, social isolation measures and contamination control were sometimes relaxed, sometimes tightened, as we learned to deal with the new situation. The companies adjusted to the reality imposed by the conjuncture and, with this learning, the unemployment rate gradually dropped, until reaching 6.4% in February 2021. This reduction corresponds to the replacement of 113,000 workers in jobs, that month only.

The Quebec government works to make the post-pandemic economy more regional. Prioritizing the province, relying less on imported products, encouraging local production of goods and services, and adopting green ecological production strategies. Credit lines were opened for companies to innovate, permanently migrate to the digital world and keep their jobs. The sectors defined as strategic for Québec are at the center of recovery actions: aeronautics, mining and forestry, aluminum, life sciences (biopharmaceutical, medical technologies, natural health products) and electric transport.

Another change motivated by the social distance measures was the rapid and surprising adoption of remote work. The impact was so great that only the Québec government currently has 75% of its employees working from home. This means a volume of 50,000 workers, which allows savings of 56 million dollars. This is a profound change, which should last for another year or two, and then be partly incorporated into the future way of working.

There will still be several months for the complete vaccination of the population, which should further force companies to reinvent themselves, become greener and more local, migrating to the digital world. Meanwhile, economic recovery plans will increase the government’s deficit to maintain jobs and support business survival. We are only sure that we will not go back to the old normal, “because the normal will be another”.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here