Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Class of worker

Release date: May 3, 2017


'Class of worker' refers to whether a person is an employee or is self-employed. The self-employed include persons with or without a business, as well as unpaid family workers.

Statistical unit(s)

Employed person
Labour force
Person 15 years or over


Class of Worker
Variant of class of worker - Detail on the Self Employed

Reported in

2016 (25% sample); 2011Note 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, please refer to Appendix 2.0.

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over in private households, who worked since January 1, 2015. The variable usually relates to the individual's job held during the week of Sunday, May 1 to Saturday, May 7, 2016. However, if the person did not work during that week but had worked at some time since January 1, 2015, the information relates to the job held longest during that period.

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Questions 40 and 41


Self-employed (incorporated business)
Without paid help
With paid help
Self-employed (unincorporated business)
Without paid help
With paid help
Unpaid family worker


This category includes persons who worked for others in the context of an employer-employee relationship. This includes persons who worked for wages, salaries, commissions, tips, piece-rates, or payments 'in kind' (payments in goods or services rather than money).

'Employee' does not include working owners of incorporated businesses even though they may receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, piece-rates or payments 'in kind' (payments in goods or services rather than money).

This category includes persons whose job consisted mainly of operating a business, farm or professional practice, alone or in partnership. This includes: operating a farm, whether the land is rented or owned; working on a freelance or contract basis to do a job (e.g., architects, private duty nurses); operating a direct distributorship selling and delivering products such as cosmetics, newspapers, brushes and cleaning products; and fishing with own equipment or with equipment in which the person has a share. The business can be incorporated or unincorporated. Self-employed persons include those with and those without paid help. Also included among the self-employed are unpaid family workers. They are persons who work without pay in a business, farm or professional practice owned and operated by another family member living in the same dwelling.

Data are available for:

(a) the employed;

(b) the labour force - persons who were either employed or unemployed in the reference week. Unemployed persons who worked prior to January 1, 2015, or who never worked, are shown in the data under the category 'Class of worker - Not applicable';

(c) persons with recent work experience; they are those who have worked at some point in time between January 2015 and May 2016, regardless of whether or not they were in the labour force in the reference week.


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