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    Results from the Labour Force Survey for Québec in September 2021

    Montréal, October 8, 2021. – In September 2021, 4,319,300 people were employed in Québec (+31,200; +0.7% from the previous month). The unemployment rate was 5.7% (-0.1 percentage points). These are the main findings from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey results released today.

    Employment therefore increased by 791,900 from May 2020 to September 2021, which represents nearly 96% of the 825,900 jobs lost between February and April 2020.

    In September 2021, compared with August, full-time employment was up (+26,600), while part-time employment was little changed (+4,600). Employment rose slightly in the private sector (+17,600), but was little changed in the public sector (+8,300) and among the self-employed (+5,300). The participation rate and employment rate both gained 0.4 points to 64.5% and 60.8%.

    In Canada, employment increased by 157,100 (+0.8%) in September. The unemployment rate was 6.9% (-0.2 points). The largest employment gains were observed in Ontario (+73,600), Québec (+31,200) and Alberta (+19,600).

    In the first nine months of 2021, employment increased by 182,400 in Québec compared with the same period in 2020. Most of this increase came from full-time employment (+142,400, compared to +39,900 for part-time employment). Compared to the average for the first nine months of 2020, the unemployment rate in Québec has declined by 2.9 points to 6.5% (in Canada: -2.0 points, for an average of 7.8%).

    Employment and trend-cycle, Québec, September 2020 to September 2021

    Employment and trend-cycle, Québec, September 2020 to September 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, September 2020 to September 2021

    Unemployment rate, Québec, September 2020 to September 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 September must be interpreted with caution when analyzing Labour Force Survey (LFS) data.

    The survey reference period for September 2021 is September 12 to 18. 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 on 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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