Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Reasons unable to start a job

Release date: May 3, 2017


Refers to the reasons why persons could not have started a job in the week of Sunday, May 1 to Saturday, May 7, 2016.

Early enumeration was conducted in remote, isolated parts of the provinces and territories in February, March and April 2016. When enumeration has taken place before May 2016, the reference date used is the date on which the household was enumerated.

Statistical unit(s)

Person 15 years or over


Not applicable

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 did not work for pay or in self-employment during the reference week and who actively looked for paid work in the four weeks prior to enumeration

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 34


Yes, could have started a job; No, already had a job; No, because of temporary illness or disability; No, because of personal or family responsibilities; No, going to school; No, other reasons


This variable is used to derive the respondent's labour force status.

'Availability for work,' in the reference week, is based on the individual's responses to Question 33 (Did this person look for paid work during the four weeks from April 10 to May 7, 2016?) and Question 34 (Could this person have started a job during the week of Sunday, May 1 to Saturday, May 7, 2016 had one been available?), as well as Question 29 (School attendance).

For information on the comparability of the 2016 Census labour force status data with those of the Labour Force Survey, see Appendix 6.1.

For more information, see the definitions for Unemployed, Employed person and Not in the labour force variables.


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