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    Results from the Labour Force Survey for Québec in August 2021

    Montréal, September 10, 2021. – In August 2021, there were 4,288,100 people employed in Québec (-11,000; -0.3% from the previous month). The unemployment rate was 5.8% (-0.3 percentage points). These are the main findings from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey results released today.

    From May 2020 to August 2021, employment increased by 760,700, which represents slightly more than 92% of the 825,900 jobs lost between February and April 2020.

    In August 2021, compared with July, part-time employment declined (-22,300), while full-time employment was little changed (+11,300). Employment was little changed in both the private (-4,300) and the public sector (+7,400), but decreased among the self-employed (-14,100). The participation rate declined by 0.4 points to 64.1%. The employment rate dropped 0.2 points to 60.4%.

    In Canada, employment was up by 90,200 (+0.5%) in August. The unemployment rate stood at 7.1% (-0.4 points). The largest employment gains were observed in Ontario (+53,000) and Alberta (+19,500).

    In the first eight months of 2021, employment increased by 193,200 in Québec compared with the same period in 2020. Most of this increase came from full-time employment (+145,200; +48,000 for part-time employment). Compared to the average for the first eight months of 2020, the unemployment rate in Québec declined by 3.1 points to 6.6% (Canada: -1.9 points to 8.0%).

    Employment and trend cycle, Québec, August 2020 to August 2021

    Évolution de l’emploi et de la tendance-cycle, Québec, août 2020 à août 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 changes in the data over a longer period. 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.

    Unemployment rate, Québec, August 2020 to August 2021

    Évolution du taux de chômage, Québec, août 2020 à août 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 August must be interpreted with caution when analyzing Labour Force Survey (LFS) data.

    The survey reference period for August 2021 is August 15 to 21. 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.

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    [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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