MONTREAL -- A study of Quebec's 2020 job market set with the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis reveals that compared to the previous year, 275,000 salaried jobs paying less than $20 an hour were lost, but there was an increase of 105,000 jobs paying $30 an hour or more.

The study released Monday by the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) states that between 2019 and 2020, women lost twice as many jobs paying less than $20 an hour as men, but women also had the largest increase in jobs paying $30 an hour or more, by two and a half times.

Young people aged 25 to 44 accounted for about 40 per cent of the total decline in jobs paying less than $20 per hour. The largest casualties were in the retail, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing industries.

Growth data for jobs paying $30/hour or more show that people with at least a bachelor's degree accounted for 75 per cent of this increase.

Immigrants who have been in Quebec for more than 10 years accounted for about 25 per cent of the overall increase last year, compared to 10 per cent of jobs in this category in 2019.

People working in the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, and professional, scientific and technical services industries accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the overall increase in jobs paying $30 per hour or more last year.

These statistics were compiled following the release of final data for 2020 from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2021.