Québec Sectoral Profile 2018-2020: Utilities

This document is the result of analyses performed using information available as at
April 5, 2018.

Key Highlights and Overview

  • The dynamics in the utilities industry depend on growth in population, manufacturing production, and construction activities
  • In Quebec, 92% of electricity production comes from hydraulic turbine plants and 5% from wind power—overall, 99% of electricity is produced from renewable energies
  • In the province, 84% of electricity production comes from the public domain and 16% is private

Although it includes natural gas distribution as well as water and sewage, the Quebec utilities industry is mainly linked to the production, transportation and distribution of electricity, and thus to Hydro-Québec.

Changes in GDP, employment and electricity generation*
The data table for this graph is located below

* Data are expressed as indices where the year 2007 = 100

Sources: Statistics Canada, GDP – CANSIM 379-0030, Employment – LFS, Electricity Generation – CANSIM 127-0008

Show data table
Changes in GDP, employment and electricity generation*
Year GDP Employment Electricity Generation (megawatt hours)
2006 94.5 92.6 93.8
2007 100.0 100.0 100.0
2008 104.4 98.7 100.8
2009 99.7 109.2 102.3
2010 105.4 108.0 96.0
2011 109.2 108.6 102.1
2012 108.7 90.4 103.6
2013 109.8 91.0 106.9
2014 108.2 89.2 104.1
2015 108.3 85.8 103.1
2016 108.8 84.6 ..

Over the past ten years, electricity production has been slowly increasing, while domestic consumption has been slowly declining: this helped to boost sales outside Quebec. Shipments to other provinces and exports to the United States experienced a solid growth during this period. According to Hydro-Québec, foreign markets generate 28% of net profits, while accounting for 16% of sales volumes. Three quarters of sales outside Quebec go to New England (48%) and New York State (28%) in the United States. Foreign markets represent a significant growth potential for Hydro-Québec, who aims to double its revenues and grow its net income accordingly, between now and 2030.

For Hydro-Québec, a responsible and energy-efficient consumption also entails energy efficiency. The crown corporation estimates that, between 2003 and 2015, thanks to awareness and program and building upgrade programs, energy savings accounted for the equivalent of the consumption of 500,000 households.

Despite considerable investments, the growth of the workforce in the utilities sector will be negligible, the reasons being that many jobs are created during design and construction phases but only a few of them remain after the commissioning of equipment, and efforts to increase efficiency and optimal cost management will result in the non-replacement of some retirees.

Sectoral Dynamics for Regions with Outlooks

Over the 2018–2020 period, the anticipated annual average growth rate (AAGR) is 0.1% (gain of approximately 75 positions) for the province of Québec.

Anticipated Dynamics in the Regions
Utilities
Region 2018–2020
AAGR
Laurentides 0.7%
Côte-Nord / Nord-du-Québec 0.6%
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 0.3%
Lanaudière 0.3%
Chaudière-Appalaches 0.2%
Province of Québec 0.1%
Monrtéal CMA 0.1%
Montérégie 0.1%
Mauricie 0.1%
Capitale-Nationale 0.0%
Outaouais 0.0%
Abitibi-Témiscamingue 0.0%
Bas-Saint-Laurent 0.0%
Estrie 0.0%
Gaspésie–Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine -0.3%
Centre-du-Québec -0.7%

n/a: not applicable

Source: 2018–2020 Sectoral Outlook annual exercise, Labour Market Analysis Directorate, Service Canada –
Québec Region, April 5, 2018.

The following occupations are the ones most likely to be affected by the anticipated dynamics (according to the occupation by industry matrix):

  • 7243 Power system electricians
  • 7244 Electrical power line and cable workers
  • 2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
  • 6552 Other customer and information services representatives
  • 9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators
  • 0912 Utilities managers
  • 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
  • 9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
  • 9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
  • 7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
  • 1122 Professional occupations in business management consulting
  • 2132 Mechanical engineers
  • 7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
  • 2131 Civil engineers.
  • Scope, Distribution and Trends in this Sector's Industry

    Level and Share of Employment by Region
    Utilities
      2015–2017 Average 10-year change in employment
    Employment Provincial share Regional share
      in thousands as a % as a % in thousands as a %
    Province of Quebec 26.9 100.0 0.6 -4.5 -14.3
    Resource Regions
    Abitibi-Témiscamingue x x x x x
    Bas-Saint-Laurent x x x x x
    Côte-Nord / Nord-du-Québec 1.5 5.6 2.8 0.2 12.5
    Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine x x x x x
    Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 1.9 7.2 1.5 0.2 11.5
    Intermediate Regions
    Centre-du-Québec x x x x x
    Chaudière-Appalaches x x x x x
    Estrie x x x x x
    Mauricie 1.6 6.0 1.3 -0.6 -27.3
    Greater Montréal area
    Lanaudière x x x x x
    Laurentides 2.4 9.1 0.8 0.2 10.6
    Laval x x x x x
    Montérégie 6.2 23.0 0.8 -0.7 -10.2
    Montréal 3.4 12.8 0.3 -2.2 -38.7
    Capitals
    Capitale-Nationale 2.6 9.6 0.6 0.2 8.5
    Outaouais x x x x x

    x: confidential data, fewer than 1,500 people employed in this region

    Source: Historical estimates based on Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey

    Some Characteristics of the Industry in Québec

    Establishment distribution by region
    Establishment distribution by region. The data table for this graph is located below

    Source: Statistics Canada, Establishment Counts by Economic Region,
    industry, and Employee Size Ranges, December 2015

    Show data table
    Establishment distribution by region
      Distribution
    Resource Regions 16.1%
    Intermediate Region 18.2%
    Greater Montréal Area 55.2%
    Capitals 10.5%

    Size of establishment
    Size of establishment. The data table for this graph is located below

    Source: Statistics Canada, Establishment Counts by Economic Region,
    industry, and Employee Size Ranges, December 2015

    Show data table
    Size of establishment
      Distribution
    1-9 employees 55.2%
    10-49 employees 25.9%
    50-99 employees 11.2%
    100-199 employees 2.1%
    200-499 employees 2.1%
    500 employees and over 3.5%

    Self-employed jobs compared to total employment
    Self-employed jobs compared to total employment. The data table for this graph is located below

    Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM 383-0031 Labour statistics,
    based on average employment in 2014-2016

    Show data table
    Self-employed jobs compared to total employment
      Distribution
    All Industries 7.9%
    Goods production 6.4%
    Utilities 0.1%

    Employment distribution by region
    Employment distribution by region. The data table for this graph is located below

    Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey; based on average
    employment in 2014-2016

    Show data table
    Employment distribution by region
      Distribution
    Resource Regions 18.7%
    Intermediate Region 12.4%
    Greater Montréal Area 54.7%
    Capitals 14.1%

    Sales of electricity, by market
    Sales of electricity, by market. The data table for this graph is located below

    Source: Hydro-Québec, Rapport annuel 2016, ventes d'électricité
    en TWh selon la destination

    Show data table
    Sales of electricity, by market
      Distribution
    In Québec 82.6%
    Outside Québec 17.4%

    Share of total employment and industry in Canada
    Share of total employment and industry in Canada. The data table for this graph is located below

    Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours;
    based on average employment in 2014-2016

    Show data table
    Share of total employment and industry in Canada
      Share in Canada
    Total Ontario 38%
    Québec 22%
    Utilities Ontario 39%
    Québec 24%

    Employed labour force aged 15 years and over
    Employed labour force aged 15 years and over. The data table for this graph is located below

    Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census, special tabulation for ESDC

    Show data table
    Employed labour force aged 15 years and over
      Distribution
    15-24 years All industry 12.8%
    22 Utilities 3.3%
    25-34 years All industry 20.6%
    22 Utilities 19.3%
    35-44 years All industry 22.3%
    22 Utilities 25.6%
    45-54 years All industry 23.5%
    22 Utilities 32.9%
    55-64 years All industry 17.2%
    22 Utilities 17.7%
    65 years + All industry 3.6%
    22 Utilities 1.1%

    Employment distribution by skill type
    National Occupational Classification Distribution
    0. Management 7%
    1. Business, finance and administration 20%
    2. Natural and applied sciences and related 27%
    3. Health 0%
    4. Education, law and social, community and government services 4%
    5. Art, culture, recreation and sport 0%
    6. Sales and service 7%
    7. Trades, transport and equipment operators 25%
    8. Natural resources, agriculture and related production 0%
    9. Manufacturing and utilities 9%

    Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census, special tabulation for ESDC

    For more information

    • Job Bank (Canada) – Job Market Trends and News: Information on job, skills and local labour market trends is important for making career decisions. In addition, information on wages, labour supply, labour demand and other factors helps employers recruit, train and retain workers and make business and investment decisions.

    • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2012: Utilities NAICS 22

    Note

    In preparing this document, the authors have taken care to provide clients with labour market information that is timely and accurate at the time of publication. Since labour market conditions are dynamic, some of the information presented here may have changed since this document was published. Users are encouraged to also refer to other sources for additional information on the local economy and labour market. Information contained in this document does not necessarily reflect official policies of Employment and Social Development Canada.

    Prepared by: Labour Market Analysis Directorate, Service Canada, Quebec
    For further information, please contact the LMI team
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