City's economic rebound makes it No. 2 in North America: Montreal International

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Montreal is second only to Phoenix in terms of its economic recovery from COVID-19, an economic briefing of North America’s 20 biggest cities by Montreal International claims.

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, atotal of 820,500 jobs were lost Quebec-wide, raising the unemployment rate from 4.5 to 17 per cent between February and April. With the reopening of some of the economy in May, the unemployment rate fell to 13.7 per cent.

In Montreal, “the gradual lockdown lift over the past few months has allowed many sectors to bounce back, especially those that were most heavily affected by social distancing measures, such as cultural and recreation services, hospitality and food services, as well as wholesale and retail trade,” Montreal International said in the briefing. “All in all, employment in the metropolitan area started to pick up in May and has grown by 15.1 per cent” from April to July.

In a tweet responding to the study, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said: “From the start of the crisis, I took action to find immediate solutions to our economic recovery. Surrounded by experts, Montreal speaks with one voice. Although a lot of work awaits us, we are on the right track. We are mobilizing for Montreal.”

Quebec’s economy added 54,000 jobs in August — a 1.3-per-cent increase that built on gains of 576,000 over the previous three months, Statistics Canada said in a report Friday. Employment growth last month was entirely in full-time work.

The only other Canadian city to make the top-20 list is Toronto, at No. 14. New York City came in last. Montreal International is a non-profit organization funded by the private sector as well as the Canadian, Quebec and municipal governments.