Catalogue no. 97-559-GWE2006003
The census provides information on the labour market activities and unpaid work of the Canadian population aged 15 and older, excluding institutional residents.
Labour market activities data from the census can be divided into three groups:
Data on unpaid work are collected on the following three activities:
The following variables, as defined in the 2006 Census Dictionary, have been created from the labour market activities and unpaid work questions asked in the census on May 16, 2006:
2006 Census data on labour market activities and unpaid work were obtained from various questions on the 2006 Census Form 2B questionnaire, which was used to enumerate a 20% sample of all households in Canada.
For persons living on Indian reserves and in remote and northern areas of the country, data were collected using the 2006 Census Form 2D questionnaire. The questions asked on the Form 2D questionnaire were the same as on the 2B questionnaire, but the examples, where provided for write-in responses, included industries or occupations more commonly found in the north.
While some labour market activity and unpaid work variables were created from direct questions on the 2B and 2D questionnaires, others were derived from information collected for two or more questions. Specifically:
Two variables, industry and occupation, are coded variables. Census coders assigned an industry or occupation code from the write-in responses to the following census questions:
The Labour force activity variable classifies the population into the following three mutually exclusive categories: Employed, Unemployed, or Not in the labour force. The Labour force includes the employed and the unemployed.
Within the labour force category, a distinction can also be made between the Experienced labour force and Inexperienced labour force. Industry, occupation and class of worker data are most frequently tabulated on the experienced labour force.
Industry data from the 2006 Census are classified according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2002. Please refer to the tables included in the 'Data' section of this document to view the specific levels of aggregation (Sector, Subsector or Industry group) available for industry data from the 2006 Census. For information on NAICS 2002 see North American Industry Classification System, Canada, 2002, Catalogue no. 12-501-XWE.
Occupation data from the 2006 Census are classified according to the National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S) 2006. Please refer to the tables included in the 'Data' section of this document to view the specific levels of aggregation (Broad category, Major group, Minor group, Unit group) available for occupation data from the 2006 Census. For information on the NOC–S 2006, see the National Occupational Classification for Statistics 2006, Catalogue no. 12‑583-XWE.
For information on the data quality activities that took place during the 2006 Census, refer to Data quality verification in place for the 2006 Census.
For information on factors that may impact the quality of census data, such as response errors and processing errors, please refer to the 2006 Census Dictionary, Appendix B Data quality, sampling and weighting, confidentiality and random rounding.
The evaluation of the labour and unpaid work variables consisted of the following:
Automated coding was used for the first time in 2006 to code the industry and occupation responses. Just over 45% of industry responses and 52% of occupation responses were automatically coded. The remaining responses were coded by census coders using computerized applications designed specifically for industry and occupation coding. This represents a significant change from previous census coding operations where all coding and subsequent data capture was done manually.
In addition to non-reponse and inconsistent response errors, coding errors can also affect the quality of industry and occupation data. Coding errors can result from vague, ambiguous or incomplete responses, as well as, misinterpretation of coding rules on the part of the coders.
Users of industry and occupation data should keep the above points in mind when comparing 2006 Census data with data from previous censuses. Users are also advised to refer to table notes accompanying census data products for further information on the data quality of specific industry and occupation codes.
During data processing of the labour market activities and unpaid work variables, inconsistent or missing responses are replaced with acceptable values. This is done by identifying persons in the same geographical area that have similar characteristics to the 'failed' record and then copying their values to fill in the missing or erroneous data. Very few changes were made to the edit and imputation methods for the 2006 Census regarding the labour and unpaid work variables. Imputation did not significantly alter the distribution of any of the variables.
Table 1 shows the imputation rates for the labour and unpaid work questions.
|Source: 2006 Census of Population, Canada, 20% sample data.|
|Question 33(a) Unpaid housework||2.2||2.2|
|Question 33(b) Unpaid child care||2.5||3.5|
|Question 33(c) Unpaid care for seniors||2.5||3.5|
|Question 34 Hours worked||2.4||2.0|
|Question 35 On lay-off or absent||5.8||6.9|
|Question 36 New job to start||4.0||4.6|
|Question 37 Looked for work||3.6||4.8|
|Question 38 Reason unavailable for work||4.2||5.7|
|Question 39 When last worked||2.5||2.6|
|Question 40 Industry||5.7||5.8|
|Question 42 Occupation||6.3||7.5|
|Question 44 Class of worker||5.6||4.8|
|Question 45 Incorporation status||9.1||8.7|
|Question 49 Weeks worked in 2005||6.7||6.2|
|Question 50 Full- or part-time work||5.2||4.6|
As with every census, the quality of the 2006 Census information on labour market activities and unpaid work was evaluated internally prior to publication. Where possible, the data were compared with alternative data sources. In the case of data on labour force activity, industry, occupation and class of worker, the main source for comparison was the Labour Force Survey.
For the most part, labour force activity estimates from the census compare well with those from the monthly Labour Force Survey. However, there are some differences between the two surveys. Census and Labour Force Survey estimates are most comparable for large populations. Estimates for smaller provinces, the territories and special populations, such as seniors aged 65 and over, show more variability between the two sources, particularly in the estimates of the labour force and the level of the unemployed.
When comparing estimates between the census and Labour Force Survey, users should take into account factors, such as population coverage, collection methodology, sample size and questionnaire content. For more information on the comparability of the census and Labour Force Survey data refer to the 2006 Census Dictionary, Appendix E.
For data on unpaid work, the main source of comparison was the 2005 General Social Survey (Cycle 19). Overall, the census data compared well with the General Social Survey with only some minor variations in the results.
The labour force activity concepts have remained fairly consistent since the 1981 Census. For information on the comparability of labour force activity data prior to 1981, refer to the 2006 Census Dictionary, Appendix E. For data users wishing to compare labour force activity back to the 1971 Census, the following variable has been created in order to facilitate historical comparison of labour market activity data: Historical Labour Force Activity (based on the 1971 concepts).
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2002 used to classify 2006 Census industry data is a revision of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 1997 used in the 2001 Census. The revision affects the comparability of 2006 and 2001 census industry data for Sector 23 Construction and Sector 51 Information and Cultural Industries. The North American Industry Classification System was used for the first time in the 2001 Census. It is not possible to compare 2006 Census industry data with data from censuses prior to 2001. For further information on the historical comparability of census industry data, refer to Industry (historical).
The National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S) 2006 used to classify occupation data from the 2006 Census is a minor update of the National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S) 2001 used in the 2001 Census. Comparability of the 2006 and 2001 census occupation data are not affected by this update. With minor adjustments, 2006 Census occupation data can also be compared with data from the 1996 and 1991 censuses. For further information on the historical comparability of census occupation data, refer to Occupation (historical).