Education Indicators in Canada: Handbook for the Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program October 2023
Section E: Transitions and outcomes

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E1 Transitions to postsecondary education

Participation in education

Indicator E1 considers youth transitions from high school to postsecondary education based on data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The following tables are included:

  • Table 37-10-0101-01 presents participation rates in education for Canada by single age for the population aged 15 to 29.
  • Table 37-10-0102-01 presents participation rates in education for Canada by age group for the population aged 15 to 29.  
  • Table 37-10-0103-01 presents participation rates in education for Canada by age group for the population aged 18 to 34. 

Furthermore, integrated data from the Census of Population are used to present:

  • Table 37-10-0209-01 which considers postsecondary education participation of youth aged 19 to 23 by family characteristics (educational attainment, income, family type, area of residence and immigration status) measured five years earlier, in Canada and the provinces and territories.

Labour Force Survey tables

Concepts and definitions
  • The Labour Force Survey (LFS) asks respondents about school attendance at a "school, college or university" in the week before the survey. Respondents are considered to be students if they are:
    • taking a "credit course"; that is, a course or program of instruction that could be counted towards a degree, certificate or diploma;
    • taking classroom instruction or undertaking research towards a degree, certificate or diploma;
    • taking correspondence courses that are affiliated with a school and will be counted as a credit course;
    • attending school as a student nurse (even when engaged in the practical portion of their training in a hospital setting);
    • taking a "credit course" sponsored by their employer, and the instruction is given at a public educational institution, such as a university or community college;
    • a person with a mental or physical disability who is enrolled in a special education program.
  • For those who are students, information is collected on the type of school, and whether enrolment is full- or part-time, as designated by the educational establishment.
  • The participation rate in education reflects the total enrolment in an elementary/high school, college, or university as a percentage of the total population for each age or in each age group.
  • Age is collected for every household member in the Labour Force Survey, and information on labour market activity is collected for all persons aged 15 and over. For this indicator, the participation rate in education is presented by single age from 15 through 29 (table 37-10-0101-01) and for the following age groups: 15 to 19; 20 to 24; and 25 to 29 (table 37-10-0102-01) and 18 to 24, 25 to 29, and 30 to 34 (table 37-10-0103-01).
  • The type of institution attended captures the public and private educational establishments categorized as elementary/high school, college or university: elementary, junior high school, high school or equivalent; community college, junior college or CEGEP; university. Information on attendance at other types of schools, such as private institutes or vocational or secretarial schools, is also collected; however, these schools are not reflected in the totals presented in the E1 tables.
Methodology
  • The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a monthly household survey of a sample of individuals who are representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized population 15 years of age or older. It is conducted nationwide, in both the provinces and the territories. Excluded from the survey's coverage are: persons living on reserves and other Indigenous settlements in the provinces; full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the institutionalized population, and households in extremely remote areas with very low population density. These groups together represent an exclusion of approximately 2% of the population aged 15 and over.
  • Canada-level LFS estimates are derived using the results of the LFS in the provinces. LFS results for the territories are not included in the national estimates, but are published separately. Difficulties exist with respect to reaching small communities in the territories, and there are areas that are excluded. As well, since the sample design, rotation pattern and reliability criteria are different from those in the 10 provinces, estimates for the territories are not included with the provincial totals, but are calculated and reported separately.
  • The number of students, used to calculate the participation rate, is based on a monthly average from September to April. Full- and part-time students are captured.
  • Adjustments are made to LFS data every five years after new population estimates become available following the most recent census. At that time, all LFS data back to the previous census is re-weighted using the new population estimates (since the new population estimates will cover the inter-censal period between the two most recent censuses), and all corresponding historical LFS estimates are revised. Therefore, at the beginning of 2021, all estimates were adjusted to reflect 2016 Census population counts and LFS estimates have been revised back to 2006.
Limitations
  • The "type of institution attended" is based on the "kind of school" variable, where "other - specify" is an option that includes: English as a second language or French language courses that do not qualify as high school, college or university education; police academies; computer and business skills programs other than those offered by colleges or universities; culinary, hairdressing or bartending schools; and special education that focuses on community living and life skills for students with special needs.
  • It is unclear where trade certificate programs are placed in the "kind of school" variable. Trade schools could be coded to the "community college, junior college, or "CEGEP" group or to "other – specify", depending on how the respondent answers the question and the interviewer's interpretation of the answer.
  • Caution should be exercised in interpreting the ratios for provinces/territories and differences in ratios between provinces/territories and over time, as small estimates may present fairly high sampling variability. Estimates for small geographic areas, for small age-groups or for cross-classified variables will be associated with larger variability.

Integrated data from the Census of Population table

Concepts and definitions
  • Youth who had attained the postsecondary level of education at the time of data collection (May of the census year) or those who had attended a postsecondary educational institution in the nine months prior to data collection (September to May) were considered as having attended or completed a postsecondary education program and are included in the numerator of the indicator.
  • Youth living with parent(s) are defined as youth sharing the same household with at least one of their parents. Youth in two-parent households do not necessarily have to be living with both of their birth parents, as youth living with a birth parent and a step-parent would be considered as living with two parents. If the young person is living with a grandparent or another member of the family (and no parent is present), the young person is categorized as not living with parents.
  • If two parents were present in the household, the family educational attainment is taken from the parent with the highest educational attainment.
    • No parent with postsecondary education designates that no parent living with the youth has completed postsecondary education.
      • No high school diploma indicates that the highest parental educational attainment is below a secondary (high) school diploma or equivalency certificate.
      • High School diploma indicates that the highest parental educational attainment corresponds to a secondary (high) school diploma or equivalency certificate.
    • At least one parent with postsecondary education designates that at least one of the parents has a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree.
      • Above a high school diploma and below a bachelor’s degree indicates that the highest parental educational attainment corresponds to one of the following: an apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma; a certificate or diploma from a College, CEGEP or other non-university institution; or a university certificate or diploma below bachelor level.
      • Bachelor’s degree and above indicates that the highest parental educational attainment corresponds to a university certificate, diploma or degree at bachelor level or above.
  • Family income
    • Highest half of the Canadian households’ income corresponds to the 5 top deciles from the national economic family after-tax income deciles for all persons.
    • Lowest half of the Canadian households’ income corresponds to the 5 bottom deciles from the national economic family after-tax income deciles for all persons.
  • Family type is based on the census family status of the parent(s):
    • Lone parent refers to a reference person who has no spouse but does have a child or children.
    • 2 parents, married couple refers to those who are married and have not separated or obtained a divorce and whose spouse is living.
    • 2 parents, common-law couple refers to a person living with another person as a couple but who is not legally married to that person.
  • Population centres have a population of at least 1,000 and a population density of 400 persons or more per square kilometre. Rural areas include all territories lying outside population centres. Taken together, population centres and rural areas cover all Canada.
  • An immigrant refers to a person who is or who has ever been, a landed immigrant, or a permanent resident. Such persons have been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Immigrants who have obtained Canadian citizenship by naturalization are included in this category. Non-permanent residents are not included in this category.
Methodology

Youth aged 19 to 23 in the second linked census cycle and who received the long-form questionnaire for both cycles were selectedNote . This age group was chosen in order to minimize the proportion of youth who were in a situation where it was not possible to determine if they had participated in postsecondary education or notNote , while maximizing the proportion of youth living with their parents five years earlier. The family characteristics were measured from the first linked census cycle, when the vast majority of youth were living with their parents.

The percentage of youth who had started or completed postsecondary education, for a given family characteristic, was obtained by dividing the number of youth having attended or completed a postsecondary education program and having the given family characteristic by the total number of youth having the given family characteristic, then multiplying by 100.

For each census cycle, approximately 25% of Canada’s population receives the long-form census questionnaire. Among the National Household Survey (NHS)Note respondents in 2011, about 22% were matched to the 2016 long-form census. The weights were calculated to make the sample representative of the 2011 population still alive and living in Canada in 2016.

Limitations

To ensure confidentiality and data quality, minimum unweighted counts of 50 were required for the numerator and denominator. Difference between unweighted denominator and numerator was also required to be at least 50. Rounding was applied based on the unweighted count of the denominator. For unweighted denominator with >= 500 observations, percentage was computed using unweighted counts, and then rounded to 1%. For unweighted denominator below 500 observations, numerator and denominator were rounded (deterministic rounding, based 50) before the percentage was computed and the result was rounded to 1%.

To ensure that the population of interest was not significantly different in the linked file versus the unlinked file, participation rates were calculated for both files, and in general were very similar (within two percentage points) for all provinces and territories. The only exceptions were in New Brunswick and Yukon, where the difference between the two files were five and seven percentage points.

Caution should be exercised in interpreting the results obtained for the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, where the 2011-2016 linkage rate was lower than in other jurisdictions. Caution should also be exercised in interpreting the provincial/territorial differences as small estimates may present fairly high sampling variability.

Data sources
  • Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Web site, survey 3701.
  • Integrated 2011 National Household Survey, survey 5178 and 2016 Census of Population data, survey 3901, Statistics Canada.

E2 Transitions to the labour market

Students and work

Indicator E2 covers the transition from postsecondary education to the labour market. This sub-indicator uses Labour Force Survey (LFS) data to examine the 15 to 29 population group. The following tables are included:

  • Table 37-10-0104-01 and table 37-10-0106-01  look at the extent to which students in this age group  combine school and work.
  • Table 37-10-0107-01 presents the distribution of this population group, both students and non-students, by type of institution attended, age, and labour force status.
  • Table 37-10-0196-01 presents the percentage of this age group in education and not in education, by labour force status (NEET). Highest level of education attained and sex is also presented.

Concepts and definitions

  • The Labour Force Survey (LFS) asks respondents about school attendance at a "school, college or university" in the week before the survey. Respondents are considered to be students if they are:
    • taking a "credit course"; that is, a course or program of instruction that could be counted towards a degree, certificate or diploma;
    • taking classroom instruction or undertaking research towards a degree, certificate or diploma;
    • taking correspondence courses that are affiliated with a school and will be counted as a credit course;
    • attending school as a student nurse (even when engaged in the practical portion of their training in a hospital setting);
    • taking a "credit course" sponsored by their employer, and the instruction is given at a public educational institution, such as a university or community college;
    • a person with a mental or physical disability who is enrolled in a special education program.
  • For those who are students, information is collected on the type of school, and whether enrolment is full- or part-time, as designated by the educational establishment.
  • The LFS divides the population aged 15 and over into three mutually exclusive groups: employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force.
  • Employed persons are those who, during the LFS reference week:
    • did any work at all at a job or business; that is, paid work in the context of an employer–employee relationship, or self-employment. It also includes unpaid family work, which is defined as unpaid work contributing directly to the operation of a farm, business or professional practice owned and operated by a related member of the same household; or
    • had a job but were not at work due to factors such as own illness or disability, personal or family responsibilities, vacation, labour dispute or other reasons (excluding persons on layoff, between casual jobs, and those with a job to start at a future date).
  • Unemployed persons are those who, during the LFS reference week:
    • were on temporary layoff during the reference week with an expectation of recall and were available for work, or
    • were without work, had actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and were available for work, or
    • had a new job to start within four weeks from the reference week, and were available for work.
  • The remainder of the population, those neither currently supplying nor offering their labour services, are referred to as persons not in the labour force.
  • Age is collected for every household member in the Labour Force Survey, and information on labour market activity is collected for all persons aged 15 and over. For this indicator, the proportion of students who were also working is presented by single age for 15 through 29 (table 37-10-0104-01) and by three age groups: 15 to 19, 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 (table 37-10-0106-01). The distribution of the 15- to 29-year-old population, both students and non-students, by labour force status, is presented by single age for 15 through 29, and as a total for 15 to 29 (table 37-10-0107-01). The percentage of 15- to 29-year-olds in education and not in education by labour force status is also presented (table 37-10-0196-01).
  • The type of institution attended captures the public and private educational establishments categorized as elementary/high school, college or university: elementary, junior high school, high school or equivalent; community college, junior college or CEGEP; university; and other types of schools, such as private institutes or vocational or secretarial schools.
  • Student and labour force status (table 37-10-0107-01) are presented as:
    • non-students: non-student employed; non-student not in the labour force; non-student unemployed.
    • students: university student employed; university student not in the labour force; college student employed; college student not in the labour force; elementary/high school student employed; elementary/high school student not in the labour force; and student unemployed/other, which includes all unemployed students who attend a school institution, as well as those students for whom the type of institution was not specified, regardless of their labour force status (employed, unemployed, or not in the labour force).
  • In addition to those who are employed, the total “not in education” portion of the 15- to 29-year-old population also includes those who are neither employed nor in education (or training). Such individuals are sometimes referred to as the “NEET” population. This captures a somewhat diverse group of young people in a number of possible situations. Some may be part of this group by choice, perhaps taking time off work and/or school to travel or to start families and care for their young children. Some might prefer to be working, but have abandoned the job search temporarily. These people would be seen as “not in the labour force”Note as opposed to those who are seeking work but are unemployed. The group of people who are not in education and are either “unemployed” or “not in the labour force” is a population that could potentially be at risk for economic and social difficulties.
  • The NEET indicator focuses on transitions from education to the working world. The percentages of individuals between 15 and 29 years of age who are considered to be “in education” or “not in education” are presented, along with their respective employment situations. Such information can be helpful in understanding how young adults may combine school and work, or how they may transition from one to the other. The “not in education” portion of this population is further examined with a focus on those individuals who are neither employed nor in education (or training), a group sometimes referred to as the “NEET” population.
  • The NEET indicator is calculated using cross-tabulations for the following variables: school attendance, labour force status, sex, age (15 to 29 overall; 15 to 19; 18 to 24; 20 to 24; and 25 to 29) and educational attainment (highest level of education attained). Individuals are categorized by their education status (in education or not in education) and their labour force status (employed, unemployed, or not in the labour force). Some historical data are also presented.
  • The “in education” group of the NEET indicator captures both full- and part-time students, while “not in education” portrays those who are no longer pursuing a formal education. As per the OECD definition, the educational institutions considered for this indicator are primary and secondary educational institutions, colleges and universities. Employment status is based on International Labour Organization (ILO) guidelines. The employed are defined as those who during the survey reference week: (i) work for pay (employees) or profit (self-employed and unpaid family workers) for at least one hour; or (ii) have a job but are temporarily not at work (through injury, illness, holiday, strike or lock-out, educational or training leave, maternity or parental leave, etc.). The unemployed are defined as individuals who are, during the survey reference week, without work, actively seeking employment and currently available to start work. And not in the labour force captures individuals who are not working and who are not unemployed; i.e., individuals who are not looking for a job.

Methodology

  • The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a monthly household survey of a sample of individuals who are representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized population 15 years of age or older. It is conducted nationwide, in both the provinces and the territories. Excluded from the survey's coverage are: persons living on reserves and other Indigenous settlements in the provinces; full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the institutionalized population, and households in extremely remote areas with very low population density. These groups together represent an exclusion of approximately 2% of the population aged 15 and over.
  • Canada-level estimates are derived using the results of the LFS in the provinces. LFS results for the territories are not included in the national estimates, but are published separately. Difficulties exist with respect to reaching small communities in the territories, and there are areas that are excluded. As well, since the sample design, rotation pattern and reliability criteria are different from those in the 10 provinces, estimates for the territories are not included with the provincial totals, but are calculated and reported separately.
  • The number of students is based on a monthly average from September to April. Full- and part-time students are captured.
  • Regarding NEET, data for the provinces are the average of the first three months of the calendar year (first quarter), which excludes summer employment. For the territories, this average rate is calculated for 8 months (September to April) as the survey sample and data collection differs meaningfully from those of the provinces.
  • Adjustments are made to LFS data every five years after new population estimates become available following the most recent census. At that time, all LFS data back to the previous census is re-weighted using the new population estimates (since the new population estimates will cover the inter-censal period between the two most recent censuses), and all corresponding historical LFS estimates are revised. Therefore, at the beginning of 2021, all estimates were adjusted to reflect 2016 Census population counts and LFS estimates have been revised back to 2006.

Limitations

  • Caution should be exercised in interpreting the ratios for provinces/territories and differences in ratios between provinces/territories and over time, as small estimates may present fairly high sampling variability. Estimates for small geographic areas, for small age-groups or for cross-classified variables will be associated with larger variability.
  • Regarding NEET, the LFS does not collect data on official work-study programmes in which students might participate; in Canada, these would be considered education in the form of a co-op or student intern programme.

Data source

  • Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada. For more information consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Web site, survey 3701.

Characteristics and median employment of postsecondary graduates

Indicator E2 covers the transition from postsecondary education to the labour market. This sub-indicator looks at the characteristics of postsecondary and apprenticeship graduates a number of years after graduation. The following tables are included:

  • Table 37-10-0114-01 displays the characteristics and median employment income of postsecondary graduates five years after graduation, by educational qualification and field of study (alternative primary groupings).
  • Table 37-10-0115-01 displays the characteristics and median employment income of longitudinal cohorts of postsecondary graduates two and five years after graduation, by educational qualification and field of study (alternative primary groupings).
  • Table 37-10-0122-01 displays the characteristics and median employment income of postsecondary graduates two years after graduation, by educational qualification and field of study (alternative primary groupings).
  • Table 37-10-0156-01 displays the characteristics and median employment income of postsecondary graduates five years after graduation, by educational qualification and field of study (science, technology, engineering, and math and computer science fields (STEM) and business, humanities, health, arts, social science, and education fields (BHASE; non-STEM groupings).
  • Table 37-10-0157-01 displays the characteristics and median employment income of longitudinal cohorts of postsecondary graduates two and five years after graduation, by educational qualification and field of study (STEM and BHASE (non-STEM) groupings).
  • Table 37-10-0158-01 displays the characteristics and median employment income of postsecondary graduates two years after graduation, by educational qualification and field of study (STEM and BHASE (non-STEM) groupings).
  • Table 37-10-0194-01 displays the median employment income of journeypersons who certify in selected trades, two and five years after certification, cross-sectional analysis.
  • Table 37-10-0195-01 displays the median employment income of journeypersons who certify in selected trades at 4 and 2 years before certification, year of certification, 2 and 4 years after certification, longitudinal analysis.
  • Table 37-10-0204-01 displays the movements of journeypersons by province or grouped territories of certification (origin) and of residence or employment (destination), one and three years after certification.
  • Table 37-10-0205-01 displays the net mobility indicators of newly certified journeypersons, one and three years after certification.

For more information about the labour market outcomes indicators for postsecondary graduates, please refer to this technical guide: Labour market outcomes for college and university graduates, 2010 to 2016.

For more information on labour market outcome indicators for apprentices, please refer to the technical guides: Earnings indicators for certified journeypersons in Canada, 2008 to 2018 and Indicators on the interprovincial and territorial mobility of certified journeypersons, 2008 to 2018.

E3 Labour market outcomes

Unemployment and employment rates

Overall, the E3 indicator outlines labour market outcomes. This sub-indicator presents recent and historical Labour Force Survey (LFS) data on unemployment rates by educational attainment. The following tables are included:

  • Table 14-10-0361-01 provides information on trends for the population aged 15 and over at the Canada level and also presents data on unemployment rates among Canada’s off-reserve Indigenous population aged 15 and over, by educational attainment.
  • Table 14-10-0362-01 provides a comparison of trends in unemployment rates by educational attainment for 25 to 29-year-olds in Canada and the provinces.  
  • Table 37-10-0197-01 presents data on employment rates of 25 to 64-year-olds, by highest level of education attained, age group and sex.

Concepts and definitions

  • The concepts and definitions of “employment” and “unemployment” adopted by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) are based on those endorsed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
  • The labour force is the civilian non-institutional population 15 years of age and over who, during the survey reference week, were employed or unemployed.
  • Unemployed people are those who, during the LFS reference week, were available for work and were either on temporary layoff, had looked for work in the past four weeks, or had a job to start within the next four weeks.
  • According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate refers to the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force. The unemployment rate for a particular group (educational attainment, for example) is the number unemployed in that group expressed as a percentage of the labour force for that group.
  • Unemployment rates are presented for the following categories of educational attainment (which is measured according to the highest level of schooling completed): all levels of education; less than high school; high school; college or trade; and university.
    • Less than high school: No education or education below high school graduation.
    • High school: High school graduation or some postsecondary education (not completed).
    • College or trade: trade certificate or diploma from a vocational school or apprenticeship training; non-university certificate or diploma from a community college, CEGEP, school of nursing and similar programs at this level; university certificate below bachelor's level. That is, ISCED 5 programs.
    • University: bachelor's degree or university degree/certificate above bachelor's level. That is, ISCED 6 and higher programs.
  • Employed persons are those who, during the reference week: (1) did any work at all at a job or business, that is, paid work in the context of an employer-employee relationship, or self-employment. It also includes unpaid family work, which is defined as unpaid work contributing directly to the operation of a farm, business or professional practice owned and operated by a related member of the same household; or (2) had a job but were not at work due to factors such as own illness or disability, personal or family responsibilities, vacation, labour dispute or other reasons (excluding persons on layoff, between casual jobs, and those with a job to start at a future date).
  • The employment rate represents the percentage of employed people among the working aged population. To calculate the employment rate for a group with a particular level of educational attainment, the number of employed persons with the particular level of educational attainment is divided by the total number of persons in the population aged 25 to 64 who have attained that education level and then multiplying this quotient by 100.
  • The employment rate indicator examines the relationship between educational attainment and the employment rates of 25-to 64-year-olds, overall, by sex, and by age group. It also provides insight into how this relationship has evolved over time.
  • The education level is measured according to the highest level of schooling successfully completed, based on the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) categories.
  • The off-reserve Indigenous population refers to individuals who reported being an Indigenous person; that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit). In the LFS, a person may report more than one Indigenous group; for example, a respondent could report being both First Nations and Métis.Note

Methodology

  • To calculate the employment rate for a group with a particular level of educational attainment, the number of employed persons with the particular level of educational attainment is divided by the total number of persons in the population of the reference age bracket who have attained that education level and then multiplying this quotient by 100.
  • The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a monthly household survey of a sample of individuals who are representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized population 15 years of age or older. It is conducted nationwide, in both the provinces and the territories. Excluded from the survey's coverage are: persons living on reserves and other Indigenous settlements in the provinces; full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the institutionalized population, and households in extremely remote areas with very low population density. These groups together represent an exclusion of approximately 2% of the population aged 15 and over.
  • Canada-level estimates are derived using the results of the LFS in the provinces. LFS results for the territories are not included in the national estimates, but are published separately. Difficulties exist with respect to reaching small communities in the territories, and there are areas that are excluded. As well, since the sample design, rotation pattern and reliability criteria are different from those in the 10 provinces, estimates for the territories are not included with the provincial totals, but are calculated and reported separately.
  • The LFS unemployment rate is based on a monthly average from January to December.
  • Starting in late 2003 in Alberta, and then in April 2004 for the rest of Western Canada, the LFS added questions to identify Indigenous respondents living off-reserve with the goal of producing provincial labour market statistics on the Indigenous population. The Indigenous identity questions were also asked in the territories in 2004. As of January 2007, the question on Indigenous identity was extended to all provinces. Labour market data for the Indigenous population have been available for all provinces since the fall of 2008.
  • As of January 2021, Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates reflect population counts based on the 2016 Census. LFS data for 2006 through 2020 have been revised based on these modifications. For more information, please see Improvements to the Labour Force Survey (LFS): The 2021 Revisions of the Labour Force Survey (LFS), Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 71F0031X.
  • Figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are those reported by the OECD, and they are extracted from the OECD and Eurostat databases compiled from national labour force surveys for the OECD member countries.

Limitations

  • Indian reserves have historically been excluded from the LFS due to the serious challenges in contacting and interviewing potential respondents, with many of them living in remote locations not easily accessible to LFS interviewers given the short data collection period each month, and the large effort and cost associated with traveling to these locations. Full-time members of the Canadian Forces and institutional residents are also excluded due to similar challenges in contacting and interviewing potential respondents.
  • Caution should be exercised in interpreting the provincial ratios and differences in ratios between provinces and over time, as small estimates may present fairly high sampling variability. Estimates for small geographic areas, for small age-groups or for cross-classified variables will be associated with larger variability.

Data source

  • Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada. For more information consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Website, survey 3701.

Employment income

This second indicator subset of Indicator E3 explores the impact of the highest certificate, diploma or degree on earnings.

The following tables are included:

  • Table 98-10-0407-01 presents Census of Population data on the distribution of earners.
  • Table 98-10-0410-01 presents Census of Population data on average and median employment income by highest level of education and major field of study.

Concepts and definitions

  • Earnings/Employment income refers to total income received by persons aged 15 years and over during calendar year 2015 as wages and salaries, net income from a non-farm unincorporated business and/or professional practice, and/or net farm self-employment income.
  • The distribution of earnings by highest certificate, diploma or degree is presented for the following levels of earnings: < $5000 (including loss); $5,000 to < $9,999; $10,000 to < $19,999; $20,000 to < $29,999; $30,000 to < $39,999; $40,000 to < $49,999; $50,000 to < $59,999; $60,000 to < $69,999; $70,000 to < $79,999; $80,000 to < $89,999; $90,000 to < $99,999; $100,000 and more.
  • Highest certificate, diploma or degree refers to the highest certificate, diploma or degree completed by an individual, and is sometimes used as a proxy for human capital. For comparisons using Census of Population data, it is classified as:

No certificate, diploma or degree - includes persons who have not obtained any certificates, diplomas or degrees or their equivalents;

Secondary (high) school diploma or equivalency certificate - includes persons who have graduated from a secondary school or equivalent. It excludes persons with a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree;

Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma - includes Registered Apprenticeship certificates (including Certificate of Qualification, Journeyperson's designation) and other trades certificates or diplomas such as pre-employment or vocational certificates and diplomas from brief trade programs completed at community colleges, institutes of technology, vocational centres, and similar institutions;

College, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma – includes persons who obtained a postsecondary certificate or diploma from a community college; a CEGEP (either general/pre-university or technical); an institute of technology; a school of nursing; a private business school; a private or public trade school; or a vocational school;

University certificate or diploma below bachelor level - includes persons who have obtained a university certificate or diploma below the bachelor level and who have not obtained any higher degrees, certificates or diplomas;

University certificate, diploma or degree at bachelor level or above - includes persons who have obtained a university (level) certificate or diploma or a degree from a degree-granting institution. This includes persons who obtained a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, a degree in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or optometry or an earned doctorate. If a bachelor's degree is normally a prerequisite for a university certificate or diploma course, as may occur with teaching certificates, then persons who obtained that certificate or diploma are included here.

  • Average employment income by educational level is presented for the following 10 five-year age groups: 15 to 19; 20 to 24; 25 to 29; 30 to 34; 35 to 39; 40 to 44; 45 to 49; 50 to 54; 55 to 59 and 60 to 64. Figures for ten-year age groups, the population aged 25 to 64, the population aged 15 to 64, and the overall population aged 15 and over are also presented.

Methodology

  • Employment income was derived based on administrative tax and benefit records received from the Canada Revenue Agency for the population aged 15 years and over in private households (excluding institutional residents). Income refers to income received during the calendar year of 2015 from the sources of paid employment (wages and salaries) and self employment (net farm income and net non-farm income from unincorporated business and/or professional practice).
  • The 2016 Census of Population definition of average employment income refers to the weighted mean total employment income of individuals 15 years of age and over who reported income for 2015. Average income is calculated from unrounded data by dividing the aggregate income of a specified group of individuals (e.g., males 45 to 54 years of age) by the number of individuals with income in that group. Note that the words “mean” and “average” were used interchangeably in the text and tables in this indicator.

Limitations

Tables 98-10-0407-01 and 98-10-0410-01 are based on the Census of Population.

The Census of Population covers all persons who usually live in Canada, in the provinces and the territories. It includes persons who live on Indian reserves and in other Indian settlements, permanent residents, non-permanent residents such as refugee claimants, holders of work or study permits, and members of their families living with them. Foreign residents such as representatives of a foreign government assigned to an embassy, high commission or other diplomatic mission in Canada, members of the Armed Forces of another country stationed in Canada, and residents of another country who are visiting Canada temporarily are not covered by the Census of Population.

The survey also excludes persons living in institutional collective dwellings such as hospitals, nursing homes and penitentiaries; Canadian citizens living in other countries; and full-time members of the Canadian Forces stationed outside Canada. Also excluded are persons living in non-institutional collective dwellings such as work camps, hotels and motels, and student residences.

For comments on data quality for the Highest certificate, diploma or degree variable, refer to the Education Reference Guide, Census of Population, Catalogue no. 98-500-X2021013.
For comments on data quality for the earnings/employment income variable, refer to the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, Catalogue no. 98-500-X2021004.

Data source


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