Employment and unemployment rate little changed in March

Montréal, April 8, 2016 – In March, employment was little changed in Québec (-11,200; -0.3%), but increased in Canada (+40,600; +0.2%). Due to a decline in labour force participation, (-17,300; -0.4%), the unemployment rate was down 0.1 points to 7.5% in Québec. In Canada, it declined by 0.2 points to 7.1%. 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 Survey1 made public today by Statistics Canada.

Unlike last month, employment was down in the goods-producing sector (-19,100), but rose in the services-producing sector (+7,900).

Compared with March 2015, employment remained stable in Québec, while it increased by 129,600 in Canada as a whole (+0.7%).

Employment stable for the third consecutive quarter in Québec

In the first quarter of 2016, employment was little changed (+2,200; +0.1%) in Québec, just like in the third (+2,300; +0.1%) and fourth quarters of 2015 (+3,300; +0.1%).  However, this slight variation masked opposite shifts in employment. In fact, an increase in full-time work (+14,700) was offset by a decline in part-time work (-12,400).

Employment was up in the goods-producing sector (+16,500; +2.0%), but decreased in the services-producing sector (-14,300; -0.4%) in the first quarter of 2016.

In Canada, employment was little changed (+0.1%), while an increase was noted in Ontario (+0.5%) between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2015, the unemployment rate in Québec remained unchanged in the first quarter of 2016 (stable at 7.6%). This rate was higher than that of Ontario (stable at 6.8%) and Canada (+0.1 points to 7.2%). The employment rate remained stable at 59.8% in Québec; it stood at 60.9% (+0.2 points) in Ontario compared to 61.1% (-0.1 points) in Canada. The participation rate was 64.6% (-0.2 points) in Québec; it stood at 65.3% (+0.1 points) in Ontario and remained unchanged at 65.9% in Canada.


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. »

The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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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