1. Introduction

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The Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) is a longitudinal survey initiated to produce estimates from 1993 onwards. The survey was designed to measure changes in the economic well-being of Canadians as well as the factors affecting these changes. The target population consists of all persons living in Canada with the following exclusions: persons living in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, persons living on Reserves, persons living in institutions, and military personnel living in barracks.

The SLID sample is comprised of two panels. Each panel remains in the survey for six consecutive years and a new panel is rotated in every three years. In January following the reference year, SLID sample households are interviewed by telephone. Demographic information is collected for every person in the household while income, education and labour data are collected for every person in the household 16 years or older.

Before reference year 2004, respondents could be contacted for a January interview and a May interview. The May interview was to collect income data for respondents who did not agree to give us permission to link to the income tax records. From 2004 onwards, however, we dropped the May interview to save on collection costs. If a respondent declines to grant permission to link to the T1 tax file, we ask them the income questions in January.

Although originally designed as a longitudinal survey, SLID has always maintained the capability of producing cross-sectional estimates. This cross-sectional aspect took on new importance with the cancellation of the Survey of Consumer Finance after the 1997 reference year. At this time SLID became the primary source of cross-sectional household and family income data.

All persons who are members of selected SLID households in the beginning of the first year of a panel's existence are longitudinal sample persons for SLID. As such, it is these individuals that are followed longitudinally. Any (non-longitudinal) person living in a household with a longitudinal person is referred to as a cohabitant. Cohabitants living with cross-sectionally eligible longitudinal persons will also be part of the cross-sectional sample.

For more information about survey concepts, definitions and design please refer to Statistics Canada publication: "Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics - A survey overview", /bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?lang=eng&catno=75F0011X

Sample surveys are subject to errors. As with all surveys conducted at Statistics Canada, considerable time and effort is taken to control such errors at every stage of the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics. Nonetheless errors do occur. It is the policy at Statistics Canada to furnish users with measures of data quality so that the user can interpret the data properly. This report summarizes these quality measures for SLID.