In economic terms, the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s was a major turning point for Quebec in the eyes of many people. In the last 50 years, people’s living standards, educational levels and life expectancy have improved considerably. For nearly a decade, unemployment has no longer been the scourge that it was until the mid-1990s. Today there is greater concern over the shortages of skilled labour that we are now facing.
But while this look back is cause for legitimate pride, comparisons of Quebec’s economic performance with that of other Canadian provinces or other countries around the world are somewhat less inspiring in some regards. Whether based on the two major variables of collective wealth and productivity, or based on other variables that will be analyzed below in greater depth, Quebec continues to fall behind. Some analysts have dissected this phenomenon in enormous detail,(1) something that is reflected in our GDP, which is compared in the following chart to those of three other Canadian provinces and to those of Canada as a whole, the United States and other OECD countries.
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- See in particular Marcel Boyer. La performance et le développement économique du Québec : Les douze travaux d’Hercule, CIRANO, December 2009.