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    In Québec, in the first quarter of 2021, employment was at 96.9% of its level before the pandemic, and the unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada

    Montréal, April 29, 2021. – In the first quarter of 2021, there were 23,100 fewer people employed in Québec than in the last quarter of 2020, and 133,000 fewer than in the last quarter of 2019, i.e. before the pandemic. Employment reached 96.9% of the level observed before the pandemic. This compares to 97.3% for Canada as a whole.

    The unemployment rate averaged 7.2% in Québec in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 5.3% in the last quarter of 2019. This was the lowest rate among the provinces compared (8.4% for Canada as a whole). These are the main findings from an analysis entitled Comment évolue la participation au marché du travail en temps de pandémie au Québec et ailleurs au Canada? released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

    Ratio of the number of people aged 15 and over employed in the first quarter of 2021 to the number in the fourth quarter of 2019, all of Canada and provinces

    Ratio of the number of people aged 15 and over employed in the first quarter of 2021 to the number in the fourth quarter of 2019, all of Canada and provinces.

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

    Part-time and women’s employment most impacted by the pandemic

    In Québec, the decline in total employment was mainly due to part-time employment, which was at 86.3% of its level before the pandemic. Meanwhile, the number of full-time jobs was close to that in the fourth quarter of 2019 (ratio of 99.4%).

    Employment among women stood at 95.6% of its pre-pandemic level, the lowest ratio in Canada (comparable to that in Ontario, at 95.7%). The ratio was 99.8% for full-time employment and 82.5% for part-time employment.

    The number of men employed stood at 98.1% of that before the pandemic. The ratio for full-time employment reached 99.0%, while it stood at 92.3% for part-time employment.

    Youth more affected, as in the other provinces

     In the first quarter of 2021, the number of young people aged 15 to 24 employed in Québec stood at 86.9% of that before the pandemic. This percentage was 96.9% for those aged 55 and over, and 99.1% for those aged 25 to 54.

    In all the provinces compared, employment among 15–24 year-olds was more affected by the pandemic than other age groups, but it was in Québec that the proportion of jobs recovered by youth was lowest in the first quarter of the year (between 87.6% and 97.3% in the other provinces).

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