Employment down and unemployment rate up in February

Montréal, March 7, 2014 – In February, employment decreased in Québec (– 25,500; – 0.6%) and posted a slight decrease in Canada (– 7,000). Full-time work remained stable, while part-time work declined by 28,400 (– 3.5%). The employment downturn was more substantial among men (– 21,000) than among women (– 4,600). Employment was down among workers aged 25 and over (– 18,300), and with those aged 15 to 24 (– 7,200). These are the main findings of an analysis of employment and labour force data published by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, from the results of the Labour Force Survey made public today by Statistics Canada1.  

Employment was down in the services sector (– 24,600), while the goods sector remained relatively stable (– 1,000). The unemployment rate increased 0.3% to 7.8%, due to an employment decline greater than that of the labour force (stable at 7.0% in Canada).The employment rate edged down 0.4 points to 60.0% (stable at 61.6% in Canada). Participation rate decreased 0.2 points to 65.1%. On a regional level (three-month moving averages), the Laurentides (– 6,600) and Montréal (– 5,700) saw employment drops, while the Montérégie posted gains (+ 5,400).

In the last twelve months, employment increased for women but decreased for men

Compared with February 2013, employment remained stable in Québec in February 2014 (– 2,600; – 0.1%). This relative stability masked contrasting trends in employment by gender: men lost 13,300 jobs, while women gained 10,600. Among women, most employment gains were in part-time work (+ 6,800) than in full-time work (+ 3,800). The analysis by age group revealed that employment growth for women was only among those aged 55 and over (+ 29,700; + 9.3%). In contrast, women aged 15 to 24 posted losses of 18,200 jobs (– 6.1%), while employment remained stable among those aged 25 to 54.

From February 2013 to February 2014, the female labour force remained stable, while the male labour force rose by 16,000 (+ 0.7%). The decline in men’s participation rate (– 0.1 points to 69.4%) was lower than for the female rate (– 0.4 points to 60.9%). During the same period, there were 10,000 less unemployed women (– 6.9%), but 29,300 more unemployed men (+ 16.4%). As a result, the unemployment rate decreased 0.5 points for women, but increased 1.2 points for men. The unemployment rate remained lower for women (6.5%) than men (9.0%). As for the employment rate, the drop was less pronounced among women (– 0.1 points to 56.9%) than men (– 0.8 points to 63.2%).

« The monthly estimates taken from the Labour Force Survey are based on a sample and are thus subject to a certain variability that is all the more significant when these estimates are broken down by sex, age, region, industry, etc. Monthly estimates also show more variability than trends observed over longer periods of time. »


Every month, the Institut de la statistique du Québec publishes the Résultats de l’Enquête sur la population active pour le Québec from data disseminated by Statistics Canada. This document, available on the Institut website at 2 p.m., includes an in-depth analysis with tables and charts.


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