Employment was up in Québec in 2018, while the unemployment rate dropped below 6%

Montréal, February 14, 2019. – In 2018, employment in Québec was up by 38,900 on average (+0.9%) from 2017, bringing the number of jobs to 4,262,200. This was the fourth consecutive annual increase.

Along with Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, Québec was one of the drivers of growth in Canada in 2018. This was revealed in the publication État du marché du travail au Québec. Bilan de l’année 2018, made public today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, following the release of official final data for 2018 from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.

The unemployment rate at an all-time low

The unemployment rate fell below 6% and dropped to 5.5% in 2018, the lowest rate since 1976. The employment rate rose to 61.0%, its highest level in 42 years.

Employment gains in Québec in 2018 were mostly in full-time and permanent employment

Employment gains in 2018 were only noted in full-time and permanent employment. The regions of Montréal (+22,600) and Laval (+17,100) were the main sources of employment growth in Québec in 2018.

Job creation benefited women, those aged 55 and over, and private sector employees

Private sector employees (+24,800) were behind a large part of employment growth in 2018. Employment increased by 28,900 among workers aged 55 and over, strengthening their presence on the labour market. Among women (+27,000), employment growth was twice as fast as among men (+11,900).

Quebecers worked an average of 35 hours a week in 2018. This number was little changed from 2017. The average hourly wage rose 1.9%, while inflation was up 1.7%.

The publication État du marché du travail au Québec. Bilan de l’année 2018 also provides an analysis of labour market conditions in the whole of Canada and in the other provinces. In addition, it includes sections on Québec’s administrative regions and on the immigrant population.



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 conducting 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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