Economy: Mayor Boyer Expects Record Year

Despite the current surge in inflation, the energy crisis and labor shortages, Ville de Laval is set to experience a record year in terms of private investment in 2022.

That, at least, is the opinion of Mayor Stefan Boyer, who has high hopes this year for the recovery from COVID-19. It relies on, among other things, the number of projects approved since the beginning of the year, as well as the many other projects that are under study and need to be approved.

Key announcements

He also promises that “major announcements” over the next few months, especially in the “industrial and research” sectors, will be limited to what Mr. Boyer has to say.

It is not known whether this concerns Cité de la Biotech, and even more so whether Laval is preparing to take over the plant and research center for the production of vaccines, which Moderna aims to install in Canadalast summer.

“I won’t elaborate on this, but we are working hard to bring life science companies to Laval,” he said, extolling the Laval ecosystem that gravitates around the INRS.Biotechnology-Armand-Frappier campus.

Remember that last year, 20 years after its inception, the City of Biotechnology and Human Health of Greater Montreal introduced master expansion plan whose estimated benefits exceed one billion dollars and 7,500 jobs over 10 years.

GDP rose sharply

If the pandemic has hit the global economy over the past two years, Laval has done an excellent job of keeping public and private investment above the billion dollar mark in 2020 and 2021.

Another indicator of the health of a region’s economy is the value of all goods and services produced there.

In this regard, Stéphane Boyer recalls that last fall, Desjardins predicted gross domestic product (GDP) growth of more than 11% in 2021 in Laval, the strongest in Quebec. This year, the financial institution was expecting Laval’s GDP to increase by 6.2% compared to 5.3% for all of Quebec.

Full employment

The mayor of Boye does not miss the opportunity to point out that the inhabitants of Laval have never been so numerous in employment, while the unemployment rate in the city-region is 3%. In this regard, Laval is right behind Chaudière-Appalaches, which dominates Quebec with 2.8%.

Between February 2020 and February 2022, the number of employed Laval residents increased by 25,300.

This is 12% more than before the pandemic.

In the ranking of the 17 administrative regions of Quebec, Laval also ranks 2nd for the best employment rate with a score of 64.1%. The employment rate, which economists consider the most representative indicator of a region’s economic health, corresponds to the percentage of people aged 15 and over who were employed at the time of Statistics Canada’s Monthly Labor Force Survey (LFS).

In addition, last month the Laval region ranked third in terms of activity with 66.1%, this indicator reflects the percentage of the working age population that is employed or actively looking for work.

Problems and challenges

Various indicators may be green, but Stéphane Boyer is aware of the issues and challenges that entrepreneurs and business people have to face.

“Despite the fact that the economy is doing very well, there is investment and GDP growth, the fact remains that the shortage of labor is currently an acute problem. Almost all the companies I meet are looking for employees,” he notes, estimating the number of vacancies in the region at about 12,000.

“In response to labor shortages, many are investing heavily in automation and robotics, which is driving growth,” adds the person, who sees this as a major trend for the coming years.

Incidentally, the Boyer administration plans to launch the second phase of the Opportunity Accelerator Program soon, which last year helped support small and medium-sized enterprises that want to make a technological and digital shift.

Finally, in the fall, the city’s Department of Economic Development will hold a major forum dedicated exclusively to the workforce.

Leave a Comment