Employment and unemployment rate up in December

Montréal, January 8, 2016 – In December, employment increased in Québec (+12,700; +0.3%) and in Canada (+22,800; +0.1%). The unemployment rate was up 0.3 points to 7.8% in Québec; in Canada, it remained unchanged at 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.

Employment was up in the goods-producing sector (+5,800) and in the services-producing sector (+7,000).

Compared with December 2014, employment increased by 48,300 (+1.2%) in Québec, and by 158,100 (+0.9%) in Canada.

Employment up in Québec in 2015 after a period of stability in 2014

In 2015 (average from January to December), employment grew by 37,300 in Québec (+0.9%) compared with 2014. This increase followed a period of stability in 2014. In total, 4,097,900 people were employed in 2015. Only full-time employment increased (+45,000), as part-time work declined (-7,700). The rise in employment mostly benefited men (+30,500); employment increased by 6,700 among women. The number of workers aged 25 and over increased (+41,700), while the number of workers aged 15 to 24 declined (-4,400). The employment rate rose by 0.2 points to 59.9%.

There were 34,200 more people in the Québec labour force (+0.8%) in 2015. The participation rate was 64.8% (+0.1 point). The number of unemployed decreased by 3,100 (-0.9%). The unemployment rate stood at 7.6% (-0.1 points).

In 2015, employment increased mostly among employees (+36,000; +1.0%), particularly in the private sector (+28,400), while it rose by 7,600 in the public sector. Self employment grew by 1,200 (+0.2%).

Employment was down in the goods-producing sector (-25,800), but increased in the services-producing sector (+63,100). The decline in employment in the goods-producing sector was mostly felt in the construction industry (-20,900), while the increase in the services-producing sector benefited trade (+17,600), professional, scientific and technical services (+17,000), public administration (+16,800) and business, building and other support services (+14,200).

Employment growth was 0.7% in Ontario and 0.8% in Canada as a whole, compared to 0.9% in Québec. The annual unemployment rate in both Ontario (6.8%) and Canada (6.9%) was lower than that in Québec (7.6%).

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.


  • Marc-André Demers
    Labour Statistics Analyst
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    Institut de la statistique du Québec
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