Section 2: Methodology

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Target population

The target population is the same as that of the BPS, and comprises all employers in Canada, except those primarily involved in agriculture; fishing and trapping; private household services; religious organizations; the defence services; and federal, provincial and territorial public administration

Sampling and survey design

Job vacancy data are collected as part of the monthly BPS, which has a stratified simple random sample of 15,000 establishments out of a population of 900,000 establishments, taken from the Business Register. A 1/12 rotation of the sample is done every month.

Internet, mail and telephone are the three collection methods currently available to BPS respondents.

Quality of the survey

Every month, coefficients of variation (CVs) are published for the job vacancy counts and rates, as well as for the unemployment-to-job-vacancies ratios, for Canada and the provinces and territories. CVs for the unemployment-to-vacancies ratios are also produced by industry, for Canada and for the provinces and territories. The CVs are analyzed every month to identify the domains having less accurate job vacancy data.

The response rate includes all units that responded by providing usable information during the collection phase. The response rate for the job vacancy questions is around 70 percent.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Each month, Statistics Canada releases preliminary job vacancy data for the current month and revised data for the previous month. As job vacancy data are released, in three-month moving averages, the preliminary data are calculated from one month of preliminary and two months of revised data. From time to time, a historical revision is undertaken to account for changes related to new data sources, revised industry classifications, and frame changes. The job vacancy data series is revised at this time.

Because these are a new data series, it is not yet possible to perform seasonal adjustment, as this process requires at least five years of data. Changes in the number and job vacancy rates, from one period to the next, will contain seasonal, as well as non-seasonal variation.

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