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    Employment up and unemployment rate stable in March 2021

    Montréal, April 9, 2021. – In March 2021, employment was up in Québec (+25,900; +0.6% from the previous month). The unemployment rate remained stable at 6.4%. These are the main findings from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey results released today.

    Employment has increased by 713,200 since May 2020, which represents slightly more than 86% of the 825,900 jobs lost between February and April 2020.

    In March 2021, compared with February, full-time employment increased (+47,400), while part-time employment declined (-21,500). Employment was up in both the public (+27,500) and the private sector (+11,400), but decreased among the self-employed (-13,000). The participation rate rose 0.3 points to 63.9%. The employment rate was up 0.3 points to 59.8%.

    In Canada, employment gains totalled 303,100 (+1.6%) in March. The unemployment rate declined by 0.7 points to 7.5%. Ontario (+182,300) registered the largest employment increase, followed by Alberta (+37,100), British Columbia (+35,000), and Québec (+25,900).

    In the first three months of 2021, employment decreased by 74,900 in Québec compared with the same period in 2020. This decline was due to a drop in part-time employment (-50,100) and full-time employment (-24,900). Compared to the average of the first three months of 2020, the unemployment rate in Québec has increased by 1.3 points to 7.2% (Canada: 8.4%).

    Changes in employment and trend-cycle data, Québec, March 2020 to March 2021

    Changes in employment and trend-cycle data, Québec, March 2020 to March 2021

    Note: Trend-cycle data are a smoothed version of seasonally-adjusted data where the effects of irregular movements have been reduced. They are helpful in analyzing long-term changes in the data. For more information: Statistics Canada, Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2021. Adapted by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

    Changes in the unemployment rate, Québec, March 2020 to March 2021

    Changes in the unemployment rate, Québec, March 2020 to March 2021

    Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2021. Adapted by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

     

    Mise en garde au sujet des effets de la pandémie de COVID-19 sur les données de l’EPA

    The effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the labour market in March must be interpreted with caution when analyzing Labour Force Survey (LFS) data.

    The survey reference period for March 2021 is March 14 to 20. The correct categorization of individual labour force status according to the usual definitions of employment, unemployment1 and inactivity may have been more difficult in this edition of the survey, as has been the case since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The COVID-19 section of the Institut de la statistique du Québec’s website provides analyses of the pandemic’s impact in Québec. It should also be noted that the monthly data are based on a sample and are therefore subject to a certain amount of variability.

     


    1 The Labour Force Survey defines unemployed persons as those who, during the reference week: 1- were on temporary layoff with an expectation of recall and were available for work, or 2- were without work, had looked for work in the past four weeks, and were available for work, or 3- had a new job to start within four weeks, and were available for work.

     


    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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