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    Results from the Labour Force Survey for Québec in May 2021

    Montréal, June 4, 2021. – In May 2021, there were 4,219,300 people employed in Québec (-8,000; -0.2% from the previous month). The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.6%. These are the main highlights from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey results released today.

    Employment in May 2021 has therefore increased by 691,900 since May 2020, which represents nearly 84% of the 825,900 jobs lost between February and April 2020.

    In May 2021, compared with April, both full-time (-7,200) and part-time (-900) employment remained stable. Employment declined in the private sector (-19,200), but increased among the self-employed (+8,500) and in the public sector (+2,700). The participation rate stood at 63.7% (-0.1 points). The employment rate was 59.5% (-0.1 points).

    In Canada, employment decreased by 68,000 (-0.4%) in May. The unemployment rate was 8.2% (+0.1 points). Ontario (-31,600) and Nova Scotia (-22,200) posted the sharpest employment declines.

    In the first five months of 2021, employment increased by 185,900 in Québec compared with the same period in 2020. Most of this increase came from full-time employment (+143,600; +42,200 for part-time employment). Compared to the average for the first five months of 2020, the unemployment rate in Québec declined by 2.8 points to 6.9% (Canada: 8.3%).

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

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

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

    The survey reference period for May 2021 is May 9 to 15. 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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