Punch hard, but fast rebound for montreal’s economy

Coup dur, mais rebond rapide pour l’économie montréalaise

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The greater Montreal region will see its number of jobs total decline of 4.8% over the next three months, the equivalent of a little more than 105,000 jobs, writes the Montreal metropolitan Community.

The shock inflicted on the economy of montreal by the pandemic of sars coronavirus will be hard, but of short duration, considers its instance metropolitan. It could even be used as a means of revealing its shortcomings and to offer the chance to address them once the crisis has passed.

Service economy is relatively diversified, with a good manufacturing sector, and many jobs with high added value, the greater Montreal region will see its number of jobs total decline of 4.8 % over the next three months, the equivalent of a little more than 105,000 jobs, considers an economic note released Wednesday by the metropolitan Community of Montreal (CMM), the organization that includes 82 municipalities of the administrative regions of Montréal, Laval, Lanaudière, Laurentides, and Montérégie.

Accounting for almost 30 % of the jobs in the Greater Montreal area, the services that require direct personal contact, such as retail trade, transportation of people, services, real estate and arts and entertainment, accuse hard the blow of the fear of the pandemic and the rules of containment with loss of more than 13 %. The manufacturing sector, including aerospace, is also expected to be severely affected (9.7 per cent). Conversely, jobs in the public service and parastatal expected to increase (4.3 per cent), with the application, in particular, to staff of health care.

Fortunately, this shock in the second quarter of the year is expected to be rapidly followed by a rebound the following quarter (+ 4.7 per cent), once the situation is back under control, so that the year loop in a loss of jobs overall a much more modest 0.8 %, or 18,000 jobs.

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Too optimistic ?

Based on, among other things, on the most recent economic forecasts of experts, the data reported by the industry associations in montreal as well as on the case of the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong in 2003, this scenario could prove too optimistic, especially if the pandemic were to be a second wave or as the business partners of montreal-based companies (United States, France, United-Kingdom…) put more time to get up. In this case, the job losses for the year could rise to 3.5 %, or 77 000 jobs, and will continue to fade much more slowly.

“It is not known how will react to people when the health situation will start to improve, explained in a telephone interview with Sylvain Giguère, chief economist of the CMM. Is rueront in the shops, restaurants and entertainment venues or, on the contrary, will they remain hesitant ? “

The situation would, however, worse still, had it not been for the emergency aid mass provided up to now by the governments.

The question is of importance for all of Québec, stresses the CMM, the Greater Montréal area, and its 4.1 million inhabitants, accounting for half of its population and for three-quarters of all new jobs created since 2010, in particular because of the one of the highest economic growth rates in the country.


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A revealing

The current crisis could also have another effect, more positive this time, argues Sylvain Giguère, either to act as a means of revealing some fundamental problems which hinder the economic development of the metropolis for a long time. You can bet, for example, that many montreal companies realize today the magnitude of their delay in the area of telecommuting, online commerce and, more generally, use of digital technologies and automation. All of these young workers who have interrupted a little too quickly in their studies because jobs were abundant to make can be account today of the asset that would give them the acquisition of additional skills enabling them to recaser more easily and gain access to better working conditions.

In the full development of their next metropolitan Plan for economic development (MPED), the members of the CMM will seek the best means of long-term catch-up in terms of productivity, training, and use of the workforce, innovation and adoption of new technologies.

But in the shorter term, they will need to closely monitor several issues that could adversely affect the exit from the crisis, ” explains Sylvain Giguère. Among them, there will be contracts and foreign clients that the montreal-based companies have lost in the adventure. There will also be debt after all her weeks without income. There will also be the ability of businesses and public services to resume their activities in a safe manner and reassuring in a world where the COVID-19 will not go away may be not before a certain time.

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