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    Employment up and unemployment rate down in February 2021

    March 12, 2021. – Employment was up (+112,600; +2.7%) in Québec in February 2021 from January 2021. The unemployment rate declined by 2.4 percentage points in February to 6.4%. These are the main findings from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey results released today.

    Employment has increased by 687,300 since May 2020, which represents slightly more than 83% of the 825,900 jobs lost between February and April 2020.

    The increase in employment in February came from part-time employment (+75,700) and, to a lesser extent, from full-time employment (+37,000). Employment was up in the private sector (+113,300), while it was little changed in the public sector (+1,200) and among the self-employed (-1,900). The participation rate edged up 0.1 points to 63.6%. The employment rate rose 1.6 points to 59.5%. 

    In Canada, employment was up by 259,200 (+1.4%) in February. The unemployment rate declined 1.2 points to 8.2%. The largest employment gains were recorded in Québec (+112,600) and Ontario (+100,300).

    In the first two months of 2021, employment decreased by 187,500 in Québec compared with the same period in 2020. This decline was due to a drop in part-time employment (-110,700) and full-time employment (-76,800). Compared with the first two months of 2020, the unemployment rate in Québec has increased by 2.8 points to 7.6% in the first two months of 2021 (Canada: 8.8%).

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

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

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

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

     

    A word of caution regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on LFS data

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

    The survey reference period for February 2021 is February 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.

     


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