Science, health sectors have greatest job growth potential, Quebec predicts

Doctors, accountants and couple therapists are among those with the best shot of landing a good job almost anywhere in Quebec in the next three years, according to the Ministry of Labour.

Doctors, accountants, couple therapists among those in high demand across Quebec, according to government

An animator is seen at working at Cinesite Studios last year, when the animation studio announced the creation of 500 new jobs. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

If you want a shot at landing a good job in Quebec in the next three years, look in the science, health and business sectors.

But if you want to work in transportation, manufacturing or the trades, be prepared to look a little harder.

That's according to new figures provided by the Quebec government.

The Ministry of Labour rated 500 types of jobs based on their expected demand from 2015 to 2019 across the province.

Topping the list are accountants, financial agents, nurses and doctors. Trades such as carpenter, electrician and machinist, on the other hand, are expected to be in low demand.

The government calculates job prospects based on two factors: the forecast for labour requirements in each sector and the unemployment rate for different specialties.

It then assigns each job type a rating of favourable, acceptable and restricted for each region of the province.

These ratings are by no means a guarantee that job-seekers will find (or be denied) work in their field, but they serve as indicators of what jobs will be in demand.

The chart below shows how many jobs in each sector received a "favourable rating" for the whole province.

Most of these jobs are highly specialized and demand lengthy training.

Here's a list of jobs that have been given "favourable" ratings in most of Quebec's regions, in no particular order:

  • Network technicians.
  • Preschool teachers.
  • Couple therapists.
  • Social workers.
  • Health science technicians.
  • Pharmacists.
  • General physicians.
  • Specialist doctors.
  • Nurses.
  • Auditors and accountants.

And these are the jobs with the most "restricted" ratings across most regions:

  • Sheet metal workers.
  • Receptionists.
  • Printing press operators.
  • Electricians.
  • Ironworkers.
  • Plastic and rubber product workers.
  • Carpenters.
  • Construction workers.

The government also published the expected growth rate for each sector for all regions of the province. Overall, mining is forecast as the top industry, with an average annual growth of 3.3 per cent until 2019. It's followed by health care and non-metallic mineral manufacturing.

Computer and electronic manufacturing, printing and forestry are at the bottom, expected to shrink by 1.3 to 2 per cent a year.

The picture is slightly different for the Montreal region. Fabricated metal manufacturing and food industries are expected to grow the most in the metro area.

This chart shows the anticipated growth for all sectors in Quebec and Montreal.

There is a great deal of variation across the province. Quebec's regions have distinct economies, with their own labour needs.

This map shows the top industry for each region.

(Roberto Rocha/CBC)

To see a larger version of the map, click here.

No guarantees

Economist Andrew Sharpe cautioned that these projections should be taken with a grain of salt.

"There's a lot of uncertainty associated with these types of forecasts," said Sharpe, the executive director of the Ottawa-based Centre for the Study of Living Standards, explaining that it's difficult to predict the future of specific industries or the economy in general. 

"You should never go into an occupation if you don't have an aptitude for it, just because of a government projection."

Sharpe added that the categories fail to single out key sectors, such as video game production — a big source of jobs in Montreal.

Quebec's unemployment rate is now 6.6 per cent after a strong 2016. The national rate is 6.9 per cent.

Labour Minister François Blais said the government would "continue to support workers so that they have access to training so that they can acquire the specialized skills to fill the many jobs to be filled in the coming years."

with files from Benjamin Shingler


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