Release of the first Report Card on Quebec Prosperity from the Quebec
Employers Council - Quebec earns a mediocre grade in prosperity and wealth
creation

MONTREAL, Aug. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - With students heading back to class in just a few days, the Quebec Employers Council is releasing today its very first Report Card on Quebec Prosperity, which aims to assess Quebec's economic positioning and its progress in the quest for prosperity and wealth creation. This publication comes at a highly opportune time, with several ministers in the Quebec government taking on new functions following the recent cabinet shuffle.

The 2010 edition of the Report Card shows that, despite some positive results, particularly in terms of university graduation, taxation on business investment and spending on research and development, Quebec will have to exert much greater effort if it wishes to create more wealth and take the road to prosperity over the coming years, especially with respect to the economic integration of immigrants, payroll taxes, labour laws and public debt. The Employers Council gives Quebec an overall grade of "C" based on an evaluation of each determinant of prosperity:


Quality and availability of labour:                                        C
Cost of human capital:      C
Regulation:        D
Public finances:       C
Business environment:      C
 
Average:        C

Mobilizing society as a whole for prosperity in Quebec

With the challenges arising from the facts observed, the Employers Council urges all players in Quebec society - government, employers, workers and social groups - to mobilize so as to meet these challenges successfully in the coming years.

"These results cannot be attributed to a government or political party but rather to a society that, after achieving gains, advances and successes, has failed to institute the best possible conditions for prospering sustainably in a context of worldwide competition," Mr. Dorval commented. "The issue here is all the most important when we take account of the quicker pace of demographic aging over the coming years. This Report Card is in some ways a radar enabling all players in Quebec society to determine the best path to follow in creating wealth and prospering, thereby providing Quebecers with the standard of living they aspire to and deserve."

The coming months will be crucial for Quebec at the very time several ministers are entering new portfolios and the Quebec government is engaging in various meetings and consultations (education, training, experienced workers, entrepreneurship, etc.). All parties will have to show realism, pragmatism and courage in identifying the best possible solutions in terms of the issues we are having to face - and to do so without partisanship. Once this step has been achieved, the Quebec Employers Council suggests launching a true campaign of audacity in 2011 based on Quebec's strengths, opening the way to prosperity for our current society in its entirety and for future generations.

Five determinants of prosperity

The Report Card on Quebec Prosperity will be published periodically and enhanced with other indicators over the years. It compares Quebec's performance with those of three other Canadian provinces comparable with economies of a size that allows for comparisons (Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia) and to many member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is based on 20 indicators grouped in five "determinants of prosperity" that embody the Council's priority areas, namely the quality and availability of labour, the cost of human capital, regulation, public finances and the business environment. The evaluation is based on empirical data from the study for each indicator and each determinant as well as an average overall grade.

"Wealth creation is an essential element in enabling a society to prosper and to ensure a high quality of life for its citizens," Council president Yves-Thomas Dorval concluded. "From this perspective, it seemed pertinent for the Employers Council to analyze Quebec's position in this area and to compare it with those of other provinces and other countries so as to produce an accurate view of the situation and to suggest possible solutions for improving it."

Summary

# Indicator Rank among four provinces Rank among provinces and OECD countries Grade
  Availability and quality of labour     C
1 Percentage of young adults lacking a high school diploma and not attending school 4/4 4/4 D
2 Percentage of the adult population lacking a high school diploma 4/4 12/33 B
3 Rate of undergraduate degrees 2/4 2/4 B+
4 Rate of postsecondary education among adults 3/4 4/34 A
5 Proportion of adults who have taken job-related training 4/4 4/4 D
6 Participation rate of older workers 4/4 20/34 C
7 Economic integration of immigrants 4/4 4/4 D
  Cost of labour     C
8 Employers' cost of payroll taxes 4/4 4/4 D
9 Minimum wage as a proportion of the median wage 4/4 11/23 B
  Regulation     D
10 Orientation of labour laws 4/4 4/4 D
11 Average number of documents produced per company 4/4 4/4 D
  Public finances     C
12 Marginal effective tax rate on capital 2/4 10/23 B
13 Tax burden 4/4 25/34 C
14 Debt level - 26/30 D
  Business environment     C
15 Average age of public infrastructure 3/4 3/4 C
16 Entrepreneurial intensity 4/4 4/4 D
17 R&D spending 1/4 7/33 A
18 Patents on inventions 4/4 8/11 C
19 ICT investment 3/4 3/4 C
20 Multifactor productivity - 13/20 C
  Average     C

Detailed results of the Report Card on Quebec Prosperity are available in French and English on the website of the Quebec Employers Council (www.cpq.qc.ca).

The Quebec Employers Council brings together many of Quebec's largest companies and the vast majority of sector-based employers' groups, making it Quebec's sole employers' confederation.

SOURCE Conseil du patronat du Québec

For further information: For further information:

Information and interviews: 
Louis-Paul Lazure
Vice-president - Communications
Tel. : 514 288 5161, ext. 226

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