Now more than ever, rural areas are facing a serious challenge: how to recruit workers and help them settle in small communities. In Quebec, the labour shortage has become one of the biggest obstacles to economic development.
Improved quality of life outside major urban centres
A SOM-Desjardins survey conducted during the 2019 Semaine des régions found that 58% of young Quebecers1 believe that rural areas offer better quality of life.
The young adults surveyed said that they believe there are promising career opportunities available outside major urban centres, with two-thirds agreeing that it is possible to find the same quality jobs in rural areas as in big cities. Overall, respondents seemed to have a positive perception of what it's like to live and work in smaller communities.
"It's clear that young adults in Quebec are open to seizing good opportunities. It's up to us--employers, large organizations and the education system--to work harder and create better conditions to help them be successful," said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. "We must align training programs with current labour market needs, strengthen our entrepreneurial culture and continue our efforts to keep kids in school."
What would it take to convince young workers to move to rural communities?
According to respondents, work atmosphere/team spirit and work-life balance are the two most important factors they consider when looking for a job. These factors were closely followed by salary, competitive advantages, self-fulfillment and performance.
When asked what might convince them to leave their current region, 55% of respondents said a better salary, while 20% said more attractive working conditions. 45% of respondents also mentioned more affordable housing as one of the most important deciding factors.