The job market held up in December and the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in Quebec while it remained unchanged at 5.8% in Canada.

After increasing to 5.2% in November, Quebec’s unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in December due to a drop in the number of people looking for work.

Quebec ends the year 2023 with 65,000 more jobs than at the start, according to Statistics Canada.

Four provinces posted an increase in employment in December. In Quebec, this represents an increase of 9,000 jobs.

Total hours worked increased 0.4% in December and were up 1.7% from a year earlier. The average hourly wage continues its progression which worries the Bank of Canada, with an increase of 5.4% in December, which follows a rise of 4.8% in November.

There were more jobs in the professional and social services sector in December, but fewer in retail trade and manufacturing.

The job market began to slow down during the second half of the year in Canada. The economy added an average of 48,000 jobs per month during the first six months of 2023, and this rate was reduced to 23,000 jobs per month in the second part of the year, says Statistics Canada.

The employment rate, which reflects the share of the population aged 15 and over who is employed, is down 0.9 percentage points since its peak of 62.5% in January 2023.

According to Statistics Canada, the decline in the employment rate is explained by population growth, which exceeds employment growth. The Labor Force Survey population aged 15 and over increased by 74,000 (0.2%) in December, matching the average monthly population growth recorded in 2023 (79,000 per month) .