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Skip module menu and go to content. The Canadian Productivity Review

The Canadian Productivity Review


Volume 2006, Number 4

Producing Hours Worked for the SNA in Order to Measure Productivity: the Canadian Experience

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Statistics Canada has no single source enabling the direct production of annual data for hours worked that are consistent with the Canadian System of National Accounts in respect of coverage and concepts. Therefore, labour data that are consistent with the CSNA are derived by integrating the results of various surveys and statistical programs. Despite the use of multiple sources, labour force estimates at the aggregate level of the CPA's provincial program are consistent and reconcilable with the results of the Labour Force Survey, the seminal survey of the Canadian labour market.

For the CPA, the Labour Force Survey, a household survey, is the primary source for estimating the volume of hours worked. Its coverage is the closest to the production boundaries in the System of National Accounts. With a professionally designed sampling process, it is designed to provide exhaustive coverage of the population being examined. Its use as a benchmark also avoids the risk of double counting, since its coverage includes all working categories and the civil population of age 15 and over in the 10 Canadian provinces for all industries (about 99% of the total).

In Canada, only the Labour Force Survey measures hours worked according to the SNA concept.1 It closely approximates the estimates of hours worked per person derived from the 1998 Time Use Survey.

While the Canadian methodology relies primarily on the Labour Force Survey to estimate the economy as a whole, as well as several groups of industries at the 2-digit level, the productivity program makes extensive use of establishment surveys and of the census to estimate industries in more detail. However, we ensure that the national total of all of these data corresponds to a benchmark derived from the Labour Force Survey.

  1. The SNA's concept of hours worked refers to the resolution adopted by the International Labour Office (ILO) in 1962 at the 10th International Conference of Labour Statisticians. See System of National Accounts, 1993, p. 451.


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