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Socio-economic Profile

The Baie-Comeau IP Zone in numbers

  • Population = 20,687 
  • Income recipients = 16,830 
  • Number of workers = 12,685 
  • Employment rate = 62% 
  • Unemployment rate = 4.5% 
  • Jobs to be filled within the next 5 years = 1,802 
  • Median household income: $96,777 
    (38% of households have an average income of $100,000 or more, versus 33% in Quebec)  
  • Average age of population: 45.4 years 
  • Surface area of Baie-Comeau = 334 km2 
  • Population density per km2 = 61.8 inhabitants 
  • Average residential market price: $156,000 

The Manicouagan RCM has a population of 30,158, with a median employment income of $42,800 per year.

Main fields of study: 

  • Architecture, engineering, and related services
  • Commerce, management, and public administration
  • Health and related fields

Sectors with job concentrations above the national average:

  • Production, transportation, and distribution of electricity
  • Alumina production and processing
  • Forestry support activities

57% of jobs in Manicouagan are skill based 
26% of skill-based jobs are in the manufacturing sector

Main economic sectors


Generating hydroelectricity is a major economic growth driver for the Baie-Comeau region. 

The numerous Hydro-Québec facilities across the region contribute to the solidity of the city’s industrial zone.  

There are two facilities (McCormick et Manic-1) sharing the same reservoir at the entrance to Baie-Comeau, one facility (Manic-2) located north of the city, as well as the Manic-3 facilities and the Manic-5 complex with the Daniel-Johnson dam which are located north of Baie-Comeau on the unorganized territory of the Rivière-aux-Outardes. 

There are three facilities on the Rivière-aux-Outardes and one on the Toulnoustouc River, both of which are located on the outskirts of the city.

The Côte-Nord is ranked second for having the largest potential for wind power.


Baie-Comeau has seven metal fabrication companies and one aluminum recycling company. Aluminerie Alcoa is the an important aluminum smelter in North America. The company employs around 850 workers and is the Manicouagan RCM’s main manufacturing company.

Mining Products

Baie-Comeau has an excellent potential for mineral resource extraction. The area is home to several world-class titanium, vanadium, and graphite deposits, as well as a marine clay processing centre. Nearly $50 million is invested in exploration each year.


The forestry industry is the source of the region’s industrial development. Many businesses and jobs are connected to the quality and abundance of this resource.

The region has a good harvesting potential. Thus, projects studied include:

  • Forest biomass enhancement
  • Energy efficiency and improvement
  • Fibre quality  

The Cégep de Baie-Comeau also has a college technology transfer centre, the Centre d’expérimentation et de développement en forêt boréale (CEDFOB).

Overview of Baie-Comeau’s emerging green metallurgy sector

Aluminium, cobalt, iron, cast iron, rare earths, graphite, lithium, cadmium, nickel, scandium, titanium and others

Hydroelectricity, bio-coal, bio-fuel, hydrogen, oxygen

  • 6 strategic minerals of Quebec are involved in the projects in addition to several other important resources
  • More than $2 billion in potential investment in CAPEX for the realization of the 16 projects presented with the participation of foreign capital
  • $50M in research and development investment that has already been completed or to be invested for the realization of certain projects
  • 8 key proprietary patents related to project processes, some of which represent breakthrough technologies for the environment
  • More than 27 organizations involved, including 15 research partner organizations, 9 producers and 3 suppliers
  • 16 innovative projects in green metallurgy with different levels of maturity that are expected to develop over more than 5 years