Job gains in February while the unemployment rate remained stable

Montréal, March 13, 2015 – In February, 16,800 jobs (+ 04%) were added to the Québec labour force while the employment rate remained stable in Canada as a whole. The increase in employment was solely attributable to part-time jobs (+ 17,000); the full-time employment rate remained unchanged. Job gains were mainly seen among women (+ 11,900) compared to men (+ 4,800), and almost exclusively among those 25 years of age and over (+ 16,600). These figures are derived from an analysis of employment data by the Institut de la statistique du Québec based on the results of the Labour Force Survey made public today by Statistics Canada.1

In Québec, the services sector saw an increase in jobs (+ 24,100), while the goods-producing sector saw a decline (– 7,300). The unemployment rate remained at 7.4% because of a similar increase in employment and increased participation in the labour force (in Canada as a whole: + 0.2 points to 6.8%). The Québec employment rate increased by 0.3 points to 60.0%, while in Canada as a whole it decreased by 0.1 points to 61.3%). The participation rate increased by 0.2 points to 64.7% (in Canada as a whole: + 0.1 points to 65.8%).

In terms of regions, the greatest increase in employment (3-month moving averages) was seen in the Laurentides (+ 4,900), while the greatest decline was observed in the Montérégie (– 6,000). Chaudière-Appalaches had the lowest unemployment rate (5.4%).

Compared to February 2014, the increase in employment among women was concentrated in part-time jobs

From February 2014 to February 2015, 44,400 jobs (+ 1.1 %) were created in Québec. This was mainly observed among men (+ 27,200) compared to women (+ 17,100). The increase in employment among women was mainly in part-time jobs (+ 16,100), while full-time jobs remained rather stable (+ 1.000). Men saw an increase in 9,500 full-time jobs and 17,800 in part-time jobs.

In observing employment trends among women by age group, there was an increase of 15,700 jobs among those 55 years of age and over (+ 4.6%) and 3,700 among those 15-24 years of age (+ 1.3 %). In contrast, the employment rate among women 25-54 years of age declined slightly (– 2,200; – 0.2%). Among men, only those 15-24 years of age saw job losses (– 2,200; – 0.8%), while those 25-54  and 55 years of age and over saw gains (+ 15,700; + 1.1%; and + 13 700; + 3,2 % respectively).

Between February 2014 and February 2015 more women (+ 12,800) than men (+ 7,900) entered the labour force. Women’s participation rate remained stable at 60.6% while that of men decreased slightly by 0.3 points to 68.9%. During the same period, unemployment declined among women (– 4,300; – 3.2%) while a greater decline was observed among men (– 19,400; – 9.1 %). As a result, the unemployment rate varied less among women (– 0.3 points to 6.3%) than men (– 0.9 points to 8.3%). In addition, the increase in the employment rate among women (+ 0.1 points to 56.8%) was lower than that observed among men (+ 0.4 points to 63.2%).

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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