According to data from the Institut de la Statistique du Québec (ISQ), Mauritians earn the least in Quebec, with an average net income of $29,892, or $3,201 less than the provincial average.
In Quebec, per capita disposable income – which is income net of taxes and duties – rose 8.2% to $33,093. An increase that, according to ISQ, could be explained by income support from governments that compensated for the financial slump during the pandemic.
As for the situation in Mauricie, it is the economy, industrially focused, that is singled out. “One of the reasons is that we are focused on the manufacturing sector. If you look around Montreal, there are many jobs in finance and professional services. That raises their average and lowers ours. There are also many early school leavers in the region. Without a diploma, it is more difficult to find well-paid jobs, despite the labor shortage,” explained UQTR economics professor Frédéric Laurin.
Montérégie, Quebec and Montreal are the places where disposable income is highest at over $34,000. Centre-du-Québec, Bas-St-Laurent and Mauricie complete the march. In the region, the income in the Nicolet-Yamaska RCM is highest at $30,875, or $372 more than Trois-Rivières. Shawinigan is close to $29,000 and La Tuque barely tops $27,000. La Tuque ranks 3rd among the lowest disposable income RCMs in all of Quebec, Shawinigan ranks 9th, and MRC des Chenaux ranks 11th.
“We are an aging city and there is a large return of Shawinigan residents returning to the area for their retirement. The good news is that the cost of living is lower here. We are working hard, we are in the middle of an economic transition. We’re giving ourselves a good ten years to get into the peloton,” said Shawinigan Mayor Michel Angers.
The Maskinongé RCM, west of Mauricie, has experienced good growth. It ranks 14th among areas across Quebec that have seen the strongest disposable income growth.
“This growth is partly due to royalties from the PCU and other government programs, but there is also a mobilization from companies that have increased salaries to keep their employees. We have big players like Canadel and Marquis who are concerned about jobs in the region,” said Prefect Jean-Yves St-Arnaud.