No sector of the economy can afford to lose $ 5.2 billion. However, this is the estimated loss for the Montérégie in the last two years, only in the manufacturing sector, due to the labour shortage.
Most companies have had to refuse contracts, pay late penalties or even reduce their activities because of the dire shortage of workers. The Montérégie is the region of Quebec with the greatest financial losses.
This concerning conclusion emerges from a consultation tour of manufacturing companies in 10 regions across the province conducted by Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) and a survey of 400 manufacturers from here.
In Quebec, as in the Montérégie region, the situation is alarming. “The labour shortage is an obstacle on economic recovery. How much money is the government prepared to lose in the next few years? How many companies will have to refuse contracts, relocate part of their activities abroad or reduce their growth or close before the labour shortage in the manufacturing sector is tackled with measures that have an impact”, says Véronique Proulx, President and CEO of MEQ.
Concerning losses, critical needs in the field
The finding is even more concerning given that the situation is generalized to the entire industry. In fact, 98.5% of the companies surveyed say they need labor and 70% of them say they refuse contracts or pay penalties for delays in production. Many must slow down their activities and some are even considering moving their business.
Almost one in four businesses need to fill 20% or more of their workforce. In fact, jobs with wages between $ 20 and $ 29 an hour are the most in demand in the manufacturing sector (49%). Among the most difficult positions to fill are day labourers, operators, welders, machinists, assemblers, technicians, mechanics and engineers.
“The current pool of workers today is simply not enough. The government must propose specific measures to alleviate the labor shortage in the manufacturing sector and align its programs with the manufacturing sector in order to have a concerted and coherent overall vision that will have a real impact. Now is the time to act!”, explains Mrs. Proulx.
A clear objective for the government
MEQ is therefore asking the Quebec government to return to the same number of vacant positions in the manufacturing sector as before the pandemic. We must therefore go from 25,330 vacant positions (2nd quarter of 2021) to 16,425 (4th quarter of 2019) and therefore reduce the number of vacant positions in Quebec manufacturing by at least 8,905 within a year.
In fact, MEQ will update its survey each year in order to measure the evolution of the economic impacts and report the various criteria evaluated.