Employment holds steady and unemployment rate rises in August

Montréal, September 8, 2017. – Employment was little changed in Québec (-6,000; -0.1%) and in Canada (+22,200; +0.1%) in the month of August. In Québec, the unemployment rate increased 0.3 points to 6.1%. It was down 0.1 points to 6.2% in Canada. 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 Labour Force Survey.1

Employment was down in the goods-producing sector (-19,900), but rose in the service-producing sector (+13,900).

Since August 2016, employment has increased by 93,300 (+2.3%) in Québec and 374,300 (+2.1%) in Canada as a whole.

Student employment up in summer 2017 compared with summer 2016

In the summer of 2017 (May, June, July and August), 316,300 students (those aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full-time in March and intended to go back to school in the fall) held employment. Less than half of these students worked full-time (117,300), as most of them had a part-time job (199,000). More women (175,900) were employed than men (140,400). An analysis by age group reveals that most student workers were aged 20 to 24 (139,800) and 17 to 19 (132,400), while 44,100 students aged 15 and 16 were employed.

Compared with the summer of 2016, the number of working students was up (+32,900; +11.6%). These gains mostly benefitted men (+29,700) and were split between part-time (+21,100) and full-time work (+11,800). Over that period, employment grew among students aged 15 and 16 (+11,900) and those aged 17 to 19 (+ 19,500), but remained stable among students aged 20 to 24.

Compared to the average for the months of May to August 2016, the student employment and labour force participation rates increased, respectively, by 3.8 and 2.9 points to 56.5% and 64.9% in 2017. The unemployment rate dipped 2.0 points to 12.9%.


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 released by Statistics Canada. This document, available on the Institut’s 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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