Employment and unemployment rate little changed in March

Montréal, April 10, 2015 – In March, employment was relatively stable in Québec (+5,300; +0.1%), but increased slightly in Canada (+28,700; +0.2%). Part-time work declined (–8,500), while full-time work increased (+13,800). Employment rose among women (+8,600), but decreased among men (–3,200). Youth aged 15 to 24 gained 7,500 jobs, whereas employment was little changed among workers aged 25 and over (–2,200). These are the main findings of an analysis of the 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 Canada. 1

Employment was up in the services-producing sector (+15,800), but went down in the goods-producing sector (–10,500). The participation rate increased 0.2 points to 64.9% (in Canada: +0.1 points to 65.9%). The employment rate was stable at 60.0% (in Canada: +0.1 points to 61.4%). The slight increase in the labour force combined with stable employment caused the unemployment rate to edge up to 7.5% (+0.1 point). It remained stable in Canada at 6.8%.

At the regional level (three-month moving averages), the greatest increases in employment were seen in the Capitale-Nationale (+8,200) and Lanaudière (+5,900) regions, while employment was little changed in other regions. Chaudière-Appalaches and Montérégie had the lowest unemployment rate (5.2%).

Employment grew in the first quarter 2015 after a period of stability in the previous quarter

In the first quarter 2015, employment was up in Québec (+29,600; +0.7%), after a period of stability in the fourth quarter. These gains were seen in both full-time (+19,000) and part-time work (+10,700). Employment rose among men (+14,900) and women (+14,600). Persons aged 25 to 54 (+24,000) saw strong gains compared with those aged 55 and over (+5,700). Employment was stable among those aged 15 to 24.

Employment gains were split between self-employed workers (+18,500) and employees (+11,100). Among employees, the increase was entirely driven by the public sector (+11,400), as employment was relatively stable in the private sector.

In the first quarter 2015, employment was up in the services-producing sector (+44,000), but contracted in the goods-producing sector (–14,500). Professional, scientific and technical services (+14,100), trade (+11,300) and educational services (+8,200) recorded the largest increases. In contrast, construction (–13,500) and other services (–12,200) posted the most significant declines.

Compared with the fourth quarter 2014, the number of people participating in the labour force rose by 23,500 in the first quarter 2015. The unemployment rate in Québec fell 0.2 points to 7.4%, the lowest rate since the first quarter 2013. However, it was still higher than in Ontario (stable at 6.9%) and Canada (stable at 6.7%). The employment rate grew 0.4 points to 59.9% in Québec. It decreased by 0.2 points in Ontario (60.8%) and remained unchanged in Canada (61.4%). The participation rate increased 0.3 points to 64.7% in Québec, but declined along with the employment rate in Ontario (–0.3 points to 65.3%) and remained stable in Canada (65.8%). In the first quarter 2015, employment grew in Québec (+0.7%), but was little changed in Ontario (–0.1%) and Canada (+0.2%).


1. « 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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