Employment and the unemployment rate varied little in February

Montréal, March 10, 2017. – In February, employment varied little in Québec (–1,100; –0.3%) and Canada (+15,300; +0.1%). Québec’s unemployment rate edged up slightly by 0.2 points to 6.4%; in Canada, this rate was 6.6% (–0.2 points). These are the main findings of an analysis of employment and labour force data published by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, based on the findings from the the Labour Force Survey1.

Employment in the service sector varied little (–12,100), while that in the goods sector remained stable (+800).

Compared with February 2016, employment in Québec varied by 83,000 jobs (+2.0%) and by 288,100 for Canada as a whole (+1.6%).

The unemployment rate for women varied little from February 2016, but remained lower than that for men

From February 2016 to February 2017, women recorded an increase of 33,200 jobs, a large number of which were full-time employment (+27,100). A similar portrait was observed among men: an increase of 49,600 jobs, most of which were full-time employment (+27,700). Variations for part-time employment for each gender, respectively 6,200 and 21,900 jobs, were also observed.

Employment growth for women was noteworthy among those aged 25–54 years (+21,900) and 55 years and over (+19,600). There were 8,200 fewer jobs for those aged 15 to 24. Among men, employment growth was shared between those aged 25 to 54 (+21,700) and 55 or over (+27,800), while that for youth aged 15 to 24 remained unchanged.

Over the past twelve months, 36,900 people joined the workforce; this increase was observed mainly among women (+33,000). During this period, the number of unemployed women did not vary, but the number of unemployed men plummeted (–45,800). The participation rate was up 0.6 points among women to 60.8%, but dropped 0.4 points among men (68.8%). The employment rate rose for both women (+0.6 points to 57.6%) and men (+1.0 points to 64.0%). The unemployment rate was 7.0% (–2.0 points) for men and 5.7% (–0.2 points) for women.



1. Every month, the Institut de la statistique du Québec publishes 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., constitutes an in-depth analysis with tables and charts. The monthly estimates drawn from the Labour Force Survey are based on a sample, and are thus subjected 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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