Chapter 9 Labour market activity
Participants submitted 51 comments on labour market activity, with varied observations. In many of the submissions received on this topic, users requested richer data on types of workers or employment tenure.
Worker types • Participants contributed 11 comments on the types of workers. Several of them wanted information on the temporary or casual workforce which is of growing importance to labour law. Data on these types of employees could help researchers assess the number of Canadians working in precarious employment. As well, some participants wanted to know the incidence of multiple-job holders, useful for monitoring employment density.
Job tenure and duration • Also of interest was the inclusion of a question on employment duration and job tenure. According to users, more data on employment patterns (e.g., length and consecutive nature of employment) would permit better analysis of labour market results and help ascertain the scope of Employment Insurance (EI) beneficiaries (those who qualified compared with those who obtained assistance).
Others that commented on labour market activity asked for more detailed information on
- Canada's contingent workforce and underemployment
- retirees (e.g., whether retirees are working of their own volition)
- the respondent's work characteristics (e.g., start time, length of work week)
- whether landed immigrants are working in their intended field of study and the length of time they needed to find employment in that field
- the self-employed who work from home.
Labour market activity content • It was reported that labour market data are essential to support the programs and policy decisions in various domains, such as health, human resources and transportation. A few participants thought the content could be reduced (it was mentioned the Labour Force Survey currently disseminates this information in detail). However, it was also noted that no other survey provides the level of geographical detail offered by the census.
Considering the factors for introducing new questions or modifying existing census content, such as consultation feedback, support to legislation, program and policy needs, data quality, costs, historical comparability, respondent burden, privacy, operational considerations and alternative data sources, the present set of labour market activity questions seems to best address the needs for data in this area. Therefore, no changes are anticipated for 2011.
Labour market activity content on the census is used for evaluating and monitoring federal legislation, policies and programs including:
- Canada Pension Plan
- Employment Insurance
- Old Age Security Act
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 92-379-XIE, 2001 Census Handbook.
Questions 34 to 45, 49 and 50 on the 2006 Census questionnaire (see Appendix 3) relate to labour market activity.
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