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La stabilisation de la construction au Québec

La stabilisation de la construction au Québec

Raymond Dépatie

Volume : 33-3 (1978)


Stabilizing Construction in Québec

The level of activity in Québec's construction industry exhibits considerable cyclical and seasonal instability. The consequences are a very serious unemployment problem for the industry's workforce, a chronically difficult economic environment in which the industry's contractors have to operate and a level of costs and prices for construction goods that increases much faster than that for most other goods and services. Also, a huge labour surplus, especially among unskilled workers, serves to increase significantly the duration of unemployment spells, which inevitably result when a worker's services are no longer needed on a particular worksite and he must seek employment on another worksite. In addition to a drastic curtailment in the number of workers authorised to get employment in the construction industry, steps to be taken in order to lessen these problems include strong measures by the government to prevent a bunching of construction projets in the entire public sector, to stabilize through time the supply of public funds to home-building, to have Quebec's Caisse de depot et placement pump money in the residential mortgage market when a tight monetary policy creates a shortage of private mortgage funds and finally to prevent either complete stoppages or substantial work slowdowns on public construction projects during winter time.