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Revisions to the Labour Force Survey, 2001 to 2014

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Released: 2015-01-28

Statistics Canada has an established history of applying a standard revision to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates following the release of postcensal population estimates from each census of population.

This revision includes an update of the LFS estimates to reflect the most recent population estimates; an update of geographic boundaries; methodological enhancements to imputation; as well as an update of seasonal adjustment. These revised LFS estimates are now available for 2001 to 2014.

Up to December 2014, labour force estimates had been based on data from the 2006 Census of Population. Starting with today's release, all estimates are now based on the 2011 Census of Population counts. In general, population estimates based on the 2011 Census have been revised slightly downward. As a result, the LFS population aged 15 and older has been revised downward by 0.3% or 73,000 for December 2014. This is similar to the size of the previous revision in 2011.

At the national level, the rates of employment, unemployment and participation were little changed from the unrevised rates. For example, the national unemployment rate in December 2014 was 6.7%, a difference of 0.1 percentage points from the unrevised rate of 6.6%.

Like the population estimates, levels of employment have been revised downward. For December 2014, overall employment was revised down 0.6%, mostly the result of lower population estimates for men aged 25 to 54.

Provincially, employment levels in December 2014 were revised downward by 1% or more in British Columbia (-2.7%), Manitoba (-1.6%), Prince Edward Island (-1.2%) and Ontario (-1.0%). The only upward revision greater than 1% was for Newfoundland and Labrador (+3.6%).

There was a general shift downward in the number of workers employed in educational services; public administration; professional, scientific and technical services; as well as finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. At the same time, there was a general shift upward in the number of workers employed in construction, accommodation and food services as well as 'other services.'

By class of worker, employment was revised downward in the public sector, while there was little change in the number of private sector employees and the number of self-employed.

  Note to readers

More details on these revisions are available in the publication "The 2015 Revisions of the Labour Force Survey (LFS)," as part of the Improvements to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71F0031X) series.

With today's release, the following CANSIM tables are available and have been revised from 2001 to 2014: 282-0001 to 282-0024, 282-0085 to 282-0089, 282-0093 to 282-0095, 282-0100 and 282-0122 to 282-0136. CANSIM table 282-0092 on actual hours has been revised from 1987 to 2014.

New CANSIM tables have been created for all sub-provincial areas based on the 2011 Census boundaries and the data series is available for 2001 and onwards. Concordance tables for the CANSIM vectors are now available. For CANSIM concordance tables for 282-0109, 282-0110, 282-0118 and 282-0119, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

The remaining tables will be released in CANSIM according to the following schedule:

January 29, 2015

CANSIM tables 282-0027 to 282-0042, 282-0047 to 282-0051 and 282-0069 to 282-0078.

January 30, 2015

CANSIM tables 279-0029 to 279-0039, 282-0025, 282-0026, 282-0101 to 282-0108, 282-0137 to 282-0140 and 282-0200 to 282-0225.

February 2, 2015

CANSIM tables 282-0079 to 282-0084.

These revisions do not include updates to the classification structures for industries and occupations. These updates will take place in early 2016.

The January 2015 Labour Force Survey estimates will be released on February 6.

The article "The 2015 Revisions of the Labour Force Survey (LFS)," as part of Improvements to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71F0031X), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Jeannine Usalcas (613-951-4720; or Jason Gilmore (613-951-7118;, Labour Statistics Division.

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