Employment and unemployment rate stable in February

Montréal, March 11, 2016 – In February, employment was little changed in Québec (+3,400; +0.1%) and in Canada (-2,300; 0.0%). The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.6% in Québec. In Canada, it increased by 0.1 points to 7.3%. 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 (+14,700), but declined in the services-producing sector (-11,300).

Compared with February 2015, employment rose by 16,600 (+0.4%) in Québec, and by 117,900 (+0.7%) in Canada as a whole.

Employment trends among women over the past 12 months (seasonally adjusted data for February 2016 compared with February 2015)

Between February 2015 and February 2016, employment was little changed among both women (+6,800) and men (+9,900). Job stability among women masks opposite movements: an increase in full-time work (+33,900) offset by a decline in part–time work (-27,100). Similar variations were observed among men (+35,600 and -25,600 respectively).

An analysis of employment trends in the different age groups shows few changes among women. However, among men, employment rose by 14,100 for those aged 55 and over.

Over the past 12 months, the number of women in the labour force remained stable, while the number of men increased by 28,000. The participation rate of women was down 0.5 points to 60.2%. Among men, it was up 0.4 points to 69.3%. The unemployment rate stood at 5.9% (-0.5 points) for women, compared with 9.1% (+0.7 points) for men. The unemployment rate for women was below 6% for the first time since October 2008. As for the employment rate, it was little changed among both women (-0.1 points to 56.7%) and men (-0.2 points to 63.0%).


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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