Employment and unemployment rate up in December

Montréal, January 6, 2017 – In December, employment was up in Québec (+20,400; +0.5%) as well as in Canada (+53,700; +0.3%). The unemployment rate was up 0.4 points in Québec (6.6%) following an expansion of the labour force (+40,500); in Canada, the unemployment rate reached 6.9% (+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 according to the findings of the Labour Force Survey1 made public today by Statistics Canada.

Employment was up in the service-producing sector (+29,000), but down in the goods-producing sector (–8,500).

Compared to December 2015, a variation of 89,500 jobs was observed in Québec (+2.2%) and 214,100 in Canada as a whole (+1.2%).

Québec posted growth of just over 36,000 jobs in 2016

In 2016, Québec had 4,133,100 jobs, some 36,100 (+0.9%) more than in 2015 (averages for January to December). This growth was attributable to full-time jobs (+53,700); the number of part-time jobs decreased (–17,600). Employment progressed especially among women (+24,400); a variation of 11,800 jobs was observed among men. The increase in the employment rate was only noted among those 25 years and more (+54,900); employment among youth aged 15–24 was down by 18,800. The employment rate attained 60.0%.

In 2016, the Québec labour force rose by 14,100 (+0.3%), while the number of unemployed dropped by 22,000 (–6.5%). The employment rate attained 64.6%
(–0.2 points), and the unemployment rate settled at 7.1% (–0.5 points).

The 2016 increase in employment was particularly beneficial to workers (+40,000; +1.1%), especially those in the private sector (+35,800). Employment in the public sector varied little (+4,200). There were 3,900 fewer self-employed (–0.7%).

The goods-producing (+7,400) and services-producing (+28,700) sectors recorded a rise in employment. The business-service sector; business, building and other support services (+12,700); and the information, culture and recreation industry (+8,200) experienced stronger growth, while trade (–10,100) posted the largest decline.

Employment growth was 1.1% in Ontario and 0.7% in Canada as a whole, compared with 0.9% in Québec. The annual unemployment rate in Ontario (6.5%) was lower than that in Canada (7.0%) and Québec (7.1%).


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.

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
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    Institut de la statistique du Québec
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