April 2015    Print this article

The Mining Sector: An Excellent Job Creator!

Steve Boulet
Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

Traditionally, most mining sector activities in Québec have been concentrated in three administrative regions: Northern Québec, the North Shore and Abitibi-Témiscamingue. In 2014, these three regions alone were responsible for more than 90% of the $3.1 billion invested in mining in Québec, and for nearly 80% of the total shipment value.1 They also accounted for 70% of all mining sector employment.

Most direct jobs created by the mining industry are well-paid. The average annual salary in the mining sector is in excess of $90,000, which is well above the general average for Québec ($40,000).

Although the direct impacts of mining activity are felt mainly in three regions, its beneficial effects are reflected throughout Québec. For example, the mining industry requires many different types of services, such as equipment, financial and legal services, and engineering. The companies that provide these services are scattered throughout Québec. According to estimates produced by the inter-sector model of the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ), the mining sector’s employment multiplier is 0.9. In other words, 0.9 indirect jobs are created for every direct job in the mining sector. For comparison purposes, the manufacturing sector’s employment multiplier is 0.6.

For 2014, the ISQ estimates that nearly 12,8002direct jobs were created in the mining sector.  If we apply the ISQ multiplier, these 12,800 jobs would have generated 11,500 indirect jobs, meaning that the mining sector was responsible for roughly 24,300 direct and indirect jobs in that year.

Metal processing also generates several thousand jobs in Québec, in the traditional resource regions and also in the major cities. The processing plants, which obtain their supplies from mines in Québec, employed nearly 3,200 people in 2014.3If we apply the ISQ’s manufacturing sector employment multiplier of 0.6, then the processing industry would also have generated nearly 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

In short, mining sector jobs are often associated with resource regions such as Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the North Shore and Northern Québec, but the sector also has a clear economic impact on Québec as a whole by creating indirect jobs.

1. ISQ.  Mining Statistics Program. Provisional data for 2014.
2. ISQ.  Mining Statistics Program.  Employment calculated in person-days.
3. Not including the aluminium plants.

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