Employment up and unemployment rate down in May

Montréal, June 9, 2017. – In May, employment increased both in Québec (+ 14,900; + 0.4%) and in Canada (+ 54,500; + 0.3%). The unemployment rate shrank by 0.6 points and stood at 6.0% in Québec, its lowest level since the beginning of the time series in 1976. In Canada, the unemployment rate rose by 0.1 points to 6.6%. This was drawn from an analysis of the employment and labour force data published by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, which was based on the findings of the Labour Force Survey1.

Growth was observed mainly in the service-producing sector (+ 13,000); there was little variation in employment in the goods-producing sector (+ 1,800).

Compared with May 2016, a variation of 83,300 jobs (+ 2.0%) was observed in Québec and 316,800 in Canada as a whole (+ 1.8%).

Little variation in employment since December 2016

Since December 2016, 5,800 more jobs were counted on the Québec labour market. This low variation is the result of an increase of 26,900 part-time jobs and a decrease of 21,100 full-time jobs. The progression of part-time employment was observed for women (+ 8,600) and men (+ 18,400). The downturn of full-time employment is attributable only to women (– 29,700).

The analysis by age group revealed a progression of employment in the 25-54 age group (+ 30,500), but a downturn among those aged 15-24  (– 10,400) and those aged 55 and over (– 14,300). Concerning the three age groups analyzed, in the 25-54 age bracket, the gain in employment mainly concerned men (+ 25,900). In the 55 and over age group, job losses only affected women (– 19,300), while in the 15-24 age bracket, they had an impact on both men (– 4,000) and women (– 6 400).

Relative to December 2016, 21,100 fewer persons were counted in the workforce. This is explained by an increase of 6,800 for men and a decrease of 28,000 for women. By age group, a decline was noted in the 15-24 age bracket (– 19,300) and for the 55 plus age bracket (– 11,700). For those aged 25-54, the workforce was up (+ 9,800).

Since December 2016, the unemployment rate shrank (– 0.5 points), mainly among men (– 0.8 points). A look by age group reveals a downturn of the unemployment rate in the 15-24 age bracket (– 1.1 points; 10.1%) and among those aged 25-54 (– 0.7 point; 5.0%), as opposed to an increase for those aged 55 and over (+ 0.3 points; 6.5%).


1. 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 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. »

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.

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