Employment held steady and the unemployment rate dropped in January

Montréal, February 10, 2017 – In January, employment varied little in Québec (+3,400; +0.1%), though it increased in Canada (+48,300; +0.3%). Québec’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.3 points (6.2%) due to a drop in the labour force (–11,200); in Canada, this percentage was 6.8% (–0.1 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, based on the findings of the Labour Force Survey1 made public today by Statistics Canada.

Employment remained stable in both the services (+5,600) and goods (–2,100) sectors.

Compared with January 2016, employment rose by 97,100 in Québec (+2.4%) and by 276,100 in Canada as a whole (+1.5%).

Québec records its highest employment increase since the second quarter of 2002

In the fourth quarter of 2016, employment in Québec rose (+44,400; +1.1%). This increase followed growth in the third quarter and stability in the first two quarters of 2016. This was also the highest employment increase since the second quarter of 2002. The full-time employment increase (+29,400) was nearly double that observed for part-time employment (+15,000).

In the fourth quarter of 2016, employment growth was significant in the services sector (+37,000; +1.1%), while employment growth in the goods sector was 7,400 (+0.9%).

As was the case in Québec, employment increased in Ontario (+0.8%) and Canada (+0.6%) between the third and fourth quarters of 2016.

Compared with the third quarter of 2016, Québec’s unemployment rate declined by 0.5 points to 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016. This rate was slightly higher than that of Ontario (–0.3 points to 6.3%), but lower than that of Canada (–0.1 points to 6.9%). The employment rate was 60.6% (+0.6 points) in Québec, 60.8% (+0.3 points) in Ontario and 61.3% (+0.3 points) in Canada. The participation rate was 64.8% (+0.3 points) in Québec, compared with 64.9% (+0.1 points) in Ontario and 65.8% (+0.2 points) in Canada.


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.