Employment down and unemployment rate up in January

Montréal, February 9, 2018 – In January, employment was down in both Québec (-17,400; -0.4%) and Canada (-88,000; -0.5%). Québec’s unemployment rate rose 0.4 points to 5.4%. The unemployment rate in Canada increased by 0.1 points to 5.9%. 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 results of the Labour Force Survey.1

The drop in employment was only noted in the goods sector (-18,900), as employment in the service sector was little changed (+1,400).

Employment increased in the 4th quarter of 2017 in Québec

In the fourth quarter of 2017, employment increased in Québec (+31,200; +0.7%), growing faster than in the other three quarters of 2017. This was the strongest employment growth registered since the fourth quarter of 2016 (+39,300). The latest increase was only noted in full-time work (+44,800), as part-time work was down for the second consecutive quarter.

Employment rose in both the goods-producing sector (+20,900; +2.4%) and the service-producing sector (+10,400; +0.3%) in the fourth quarter of 2017. It was up mainly in the private sector (+30,300), as employment in the public sector and self-employment were little changed over the period.

As was the case in Québec, employment increased in Ontario (+0.8%) and Canada (+0.6%) between the third and fourth quarters of 2017.

Compared with the third quarter of 2017, Québec’s unemployment rate declined by 0.4 points to 5.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017. This rate is lower than that of Ontario (-0.2 points to 6.0%), but similar to that of Canada (-0.1 points to 5.6%). The employment rate was 61.4% (+0.4 points) in Québec; it stood at 61.3% (+0.2 points) in Ontario and 61.8% (+0.2 points) in Canada. The participation rate was 64.9% (+0.1 points) in Québec, compared with 65.0% (+0.2 points) in Ontario and 65.8% (+0.1 points) in Canada.


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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