Employment holds steady and unemployment rate declines in November

Montréal, December 2, 2016 – In December, employment changed very little in Québec (+8,500; +0.2%) and Canada (+10,700; +0.1%). The unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 points in Québec (6.2%) due to the drop in the labour force (–20,300; –0.5 points); in Canada, the unemployment rate was 6.8% (–0.2 points). 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.

Employment stability was attributable to growth in the service-producing sector (+15,100), which was in part offset by a decline in the goods-producing sector (–6,700).

Compared with November 2015, employment varied by 80,600 in Québec (+2.0%) and 183,200 in Canada as a whole (+1.0%).

Québec had 31,300 more jobs in the first eleven months of 2016

In the first eleven months of 2016, there were 31,300 more jobs in Québec (+0.8%) compared with the same period in 2015. In Canada, the number of jobs increased by 122,100 (+0.7%) over this period, while in the United States,2 employment was up 1.8% (+2,639,900). The employment rate remained stable in Québec at 59.9%, but dropped 0.2 points in Canada (61.1%). In the United States, the employment rate increased by 0.4 points to 59.7%.

Over the same period, the labour force rose by 9,100 people in Québec, 160,000 in Canada and 2,086,700 in the United States. The participation rate dropped in Québec (–0.3 points), though it varied little across Canada (–0.1 points) and in the United States (+0.1 points). The activity rates were, respectively, 64.5%, 65.7% and 62.8% for the first eleven months of 2016.

When comparing the first eleven months of 2016 to the same period in 2015, the number of unemployed individuals dropped in Québec (–22 200, –6.6%) and the United States (–553 300; –6.6%); in Canada, this number increased (+37 900; +2.9%). Over this period, the employment rate decreased in Québec (–0.5 points) and the United States (–0.4 points), but rose in Canada (+0.1 points). The Québec unemployment rate was 7.1%, similar to that for Canada (7.0%), but higher than for the United States (4.9%).


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. »

2. The United States data were taken from the Current Population Survey (CPS) – Household data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The concepts used in Canadian and American surveys differ. Among these differences, the CPS covers the civilian non-institutional population 16 years of age and over, whereas the EPA addresses the civilian non-institutional population 15 years of age and over.

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.

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.


  • Marc-André Demers
    Labour Statistics Analyst
    Phone: 514-876-4384, Ext. 6212
    Institut de la statistique du Québec
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