Canada - Labor Force Employment

Canada: Labor Force Employment

Mnemonic LBE.ICAN
Unit Ths. #, SA
Adjustments Seasonally Adjusted
Monthly 0.28 %
Data Dec 2021 19,370
Nov 2021 19,316

Series Information

Source Statistics Canada
Release Labour Force Survey (CANSIM)
Frequency Monthly
Start Date 1/31/1976
End Date 12/31/2021

Canada: Labor

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Agriculture Employment Dec 2021 241.3 239.2 Ths. persons, SA Monthly
Labor Force Dec 2021 20,583 20,560 Ths. #, SA Monthly
Labor Force Employment Dec 2021 19,370 19,316 Ths. #, SA Monthly
Total Employment Dec 2021 19,370 19,316 Ths. #, SA Monthly
Unemployment Dec 2021 1,212 1,243 Ths. #, SA Monthly
Unemployment Rate Dec 2021 5.9 6 %, SA Monthly
Wage & Salaries Sep 2021 93,093,187 91,961,433 Ths. CAD, SA Monthly

Release Information

For Canada, the labor force survey provides labor force, unemployment, unemployment rate, employment by industry, for provinces and metro areas. From 1976.


  • Industry classification: NAICS 2017
  • Measurements:
    • Thousands of persons (Ths. #)
    • Percent (%)
  • Cumulation: Three-month moving average
  • Adjustments:
    • Seasonally adjusted (SA)
    • Not seasonally adjusted (NSA)
  • Native frequencies:
    • Monthly
    • Annual
  • Start date: As early as 1976m1
  • Geo coverage:
    • Country
    • Provinces and territories (ICAN_^^)
    • Select CAs (ICAN_^^^)
    • CMAs (ICAN_M^^^)


  • NAICS 2012 - 1976 to 20120
  • NAICS 2007 with Census 2006 boundaries - 1996 to 2014
  • NAICS 2002 with Census 2001 boundaries - 1987 to 1995

The source writes:

The Cansim Labour Force Survey aims to divide the working-age population into three groups; employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force, as well as to provide descriptive and explanatory data on each. 

The LFS data is then used to produce the unemployment, employment and participation rates. The LFS provides data by industry, occupation, sector, hours worked and more. Geographic coverage includes Canada, the provinces, the territories and some sub-provincial regions. 

Target population - civilian, non-institutionalised population 15 years of age and over. The LFS is conducted nationwide, and in all provinces and territories. Excluded persons include Aboriginal population, Armed Forces, institutionalized, and households in extremely remote areas with very low population density. These groups together represent an exclusion of less than 2% of the Canadian population aged 15 and over.

Sample - The sample uses a cross-sectional design. To pick the sample, the source divides each province into smaller geographic sections, then selects dwellings from each section. Dwellings remain in the sample for six consecutive months. Information on all members of the household is usually collected from a single knowledgeable person. The sample size currently includes about 56,000 households. 

Interview Process - Response to the survey is manditory. Interviews are conducted by phone or online if the household meets certain criteria. 

Confidentiality - Data is subject to "ND" data points as the source supresses estimates that fall below a minimum number, based on a rubric classified by geography. 


  • Prior to 1996 - Census 2001 population counts
  • 1996m1 to 2010m12 - Census 2006 population counts
  • Prior to 1987 - NAICS 2002
  • 1987m1 to 2010m12 - NAICS 2007



Previously: NAICS 1997, SOC 1991, SGC 1996

Results for 2005m1: NAICS 2002, NOC-S, SGC 2001

Results for 2010m12, released 28 Jan 2011: Updated for most recent postcensal population estimates, current industry and occupation classifications (NAICS 2012), geographic boundaries (SGC 2006), seasonal adjustment (X-12-ARIMA).

Results for 2021m1, released 5 February 2021: Census of Population 2016, NAICS 2017, SGC 2016

Further reading

At the source:

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