Construction Union Wage Rate Index

Detailed information for March 2017

Status:

Active

Frequency:

Monthly

Record number:

2307

The Construction Union Wage Rate Index measures monthly changes over time in the collective agreement hourly rates, where they exist, for 16 trades engaged in building construction in 22 metropolitan areas.

Data release - April 20, 2017

Description

The Construction Union Wage Rate Index measures monthly changes over time in the collective agreement hourly rates, where they exist, for 16 trades engaged in building construction in 22 metropolitan areas. These series can be employed in several ways, including keeping users abreast of pay scale changes within the unionized construction work force, identifying differences between trades and between regions, incorporating them into the escalation clauses of construction contracts and time series analysis.

Reference period: The time period for which the Construction Union Wage Rate Index equals 100; currently this is the year 2007.

Collection period: Monthly, during the month following the reference month.

Subjects

  • Construction
  • Construction price indexes
  • Labour
  • Prices and price indexes
  • Unionization and industrial relations
  • Wages, salaries and other earnings

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The universe consists of the hourly wage rate of a unionized journeyman for all construction unions for all trades engaged in industrial, commercial and institutional construction projects across Canada.

The population that is observed consists of a subset of 22 census metropolitan areas (CMA) and 16 trades.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.

Sampling

This is a sample survey with a longitudinal design.

While there exist many constructions trade categories, only 16 trades are actually tracked over time. These 16 trade groups are chosen on the basis of their high importance to the construction industry. For each trade group, a census is taken, as one trade group in a province is represented by one union.

SAMPLING UNIT
The CUWRI adopts a multistage approach when choosing the sample unit. Within each CMA, a collective agreement for each specific trade is selected. Within this collective agreement, the construction sector is then chosen (industrial, commercial or institutional). For the chosen sector, the type of worker is then selected, usually the journeyman which is the fully trained tradesperson. The basic wage rates and the supplements are then collected at the tradesperson level.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

There is no questionnaire for the Construction Union Wage Rate Index. The data are obtained from the wage rates and supplements information contained in the collective agreements that have been signed and are in place in the various jurisdictions.

Data collected for this survey are obtained either from Excel files or copies of the collective agreements received by emails from the respondents, or from collective agreements that we find ourselves on the websites of various construction or labour relations associations of each province.

Error detection

The mico data are verified by the survey analyst and any inconsistencies are clarified with the respondent.

Imputation

During periods where agreements are under negotiation and current contracts have expired, the last prevailing rates are carried forward until a new agreement is in place.

Estimation

Weights are calculated for each trade and census metropolitan area (CMA) combination. These are used to calculate indexes at the provincial, regional and Canada levels for each trade. Each weight is based on the product of the number of workers employed in given trade and CMA; and an annual average hourly construction wage rate from the CUWRI for the same trade and CMA combination.

SOURCE OF WEIGHT DATA
Census data provided the number of workers data used in the CUWRI weight calculations. These counts include workers 15 years and over in each CMA and trade based on the National Occupational Classification for statistics.

The annual average hourly rate data is calculated based on an arithmetic mean for the 12 months of hourly basic construction union wage rates from the CUWRI for each trade and CMA.

WEIGHT REFERENCE YEAR
For each trade and CMA, the 2006 Census provides the number of workers employed while the annual average hourly construction wage rates are calculated based on monthly wage rate data from the CUWRI for the 12 months of 2007.

WIEGHT UPDATE FREQUENCY
Weights are typically updated every 10 years at the same time as a sample update.

A fixed-basket Laspeyres index formula is used in the calculation of the indexes at the provincial, regional and Canada levels.

LINKING
With the introduction of a new basket, historical estimates are linked to the new basket by maintaining the same historical monthly changes. This is done by calculating a link factor for each index series as the ratio of the new index series (2007=100) in the overlap period to the old index series (1992 =100). This link factor is applied to the old index series to bring it up or down to the level of the new index.

The overlap period for the CUWRI is currently June 2009.

Quality evaluation

Prior to their release, the CUWRI are validated by comparing the month-to-month and 12-month index movements observed for the most current period with historical changes.

The indexes are also validated for coherence by confronting index movements with other sources of information on the construction industry and its wage negotiations.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Collected data are converted to a price index and data are released as such, so that it is not possible to identify the suppliers of the original raw price information.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

The wage rates and indexes are not seasonally adjusted. Given the length of time that can transpire between the expiration of a contract and the ratification of a new agreement, the revision period for the wage rates and indexes is 30 months.

Data accuracy

The statistical accuracy of the CUWRI depends on the reliability of the data that are used to calculate the indexes. The index weights are based on Statistics Canada's 2006 Census information, while the hourly wage rates are obtained from administrative data.

Each data source is subject to its own errors. Since the wage rate data requires very limited editing or imputation, the CUWRI is considered to be statistically reliable at all levels of aggregation.

The overall average response rate for 2016 was 93%.

NON-SAMPLING ERROR
The most common non-sampling errors in this survey are processing and response errors.

Processing errors can sometimes be the result of human error, given that the processing system is manual. Data are double-checked to minimize the risk of error.

As for response errors, certain verifications are done and responses sometimes need to be validated with respondents.

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