Changes in Employment Survey (CIES)

Detailed information for January 1995 to March 1997 (Cohort 1, ROE job separation dates from July 1, 1995 to September 30, 1995)





Record number:


The main purpose of this survey is to evaluate various programs run by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), such as the Employment Insurance Program and job skills and training programs. HRDC needs to examine these programs to assess their accessibility and usefulness.

Another use is to measure the impact of changes made to the Employment Insurance law in the last few years on their clientele.

Data release - November 16, 2006 (Public Use Microdata Files (PUMF) for Wave 1 only); February 11, 1998 (The Daily).


The primary objective of the Changes in Employment Survey (CIES) is to evaluate the impact of Bill C-12 on the Employment Insurance legislation and the degree to which program objectives have been achieved. Bill C-12 was introduced into legislation in part in July 1996, with the remainder coming into effect in January 1997. The legislation was designed to better reward work effort, to ensure adequate benefits by targeting those most in need, to encourage job creation, and to improve the perception of "fairness". Specific aspects of these objectives were addressed in the survey. In addition, the survey attempts to get a measure of the aggregate impact of the legislation.

Secondary objectives of the survey include the continuation of the information collected in the 1993 and 1995 Canadian Out-of-Employment Panel Surveys. This includes collection of background demographics on the individual and the household, as well as information on job search activities and outcomes, assets and debts, expenditures, and utilization of Employment Insurance and Social Assistance.


  • Employment and unemployment
  • Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
  • Job training and educational attainment
  • Labour

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The Changes in Employment Survey was composed of a sample of individuals who:

- were representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized population 15 years of age or older in Canada's 10 provinces and territories;

- had experienced at least one job separation within the required range for "job separation date"; and

- had been issued a Record of Employment (ROE) as a result of this job separation, regardless of the reason for the job separation

Instrument design

This survey of individuals who potentially had a change in their employment status, was modelled after a previously existing survey, the Canadian Out-of-Employment Panel Survey (COEP), but with changes in the sample design and content to allow a more complete picture of this population. The CIES has a similar content to the two previous COEP surveys, but covers the complete "Record of Employment" (ROE) population (i.e., no exclusions based on reason for issuing the ROE, and all dates were included).


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

A stratified random sample of individuals was selected from the Records of Employment (ROE) file maintained by Human Resources Development Canada. For each cohort, ROEs falling into the required range for "job separation date" were identified. These eligible ROEs were then stratified by province and reason for separation. Individuals with multiple ROEs within the date range were inspected to identify which ROE to use as the reference job, based on the larger value of insurable weeks of work × insurable earnings.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 1996-07-01 to 1997-03-31

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

All interviews were conducted from Statistics Canada's head office facilities in Ottawa using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system. For each cohort, data collection was done in two phases, or waves. Only respondents to the first wave interview were contacted for the second wave interview.

An advance letter was mailed to all respondents approximately two weeks before the start of the collection period for each cohort. This letter explained the purpose of the survey, provided a toll-free telephone number to answer any questions respondents might have about the survey, and informed respondents that they will be contacted for an interview in the near future.

A second letter was mailed to respondents just before the collection period for Wave 2 of each cohort. This letter was sent to those respondents who had completed an interview during Wave 1 and who had agreed to share their information with Human Resources Development Canada. It reminded respondents about the purpose of the survey and informed them that they would be contacted shortly for a follow-up interview.

All interviewers were given a training session designed to familiarize them with the purpose and concepts of the survey, the CATI questionnaire and basic telephone interview procedures.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

The first type of error treated was errors in questionnaire flow, where questions which did not apply to the respondent (and should therefore not have been answered) were found to contain answers. In this case a computer edit automatically eliminated superfluous data by following the flow of the questionnaire implied by answers to previous, and in some cases, subsequent questions.

The second type of error treated involved a lack of information in questions which should have been answered. For this type of error a non-response or "not-stated" code was assigned to the item.


This methodology does not apply.


The final weight included on each record is a combined weight based on the weights from each individual CIES reference quarter. All records on the file represent CIES respondents who gave permission to share their data with Human Resources Development Canada. The weights are based on whether a respondent was part of the community sample or the provincial sample but the weight calculations for both are done using the same principles.

Here are the steps taken to produce the final survey weights:

- Identification and classification of survey respondents. A person is classified as a respondent if he/she completes a specific portion of the questionnaire. Of those people, only those who gave permission to share their responses with HRDC are considered respondents with regards to weighting.

- Adjustment of sampling weights for non-response.

- Calibration of weights. This calibration accounts for the fact that the frame may not be complete at the time each quarterly sample is selected.

- Adjustment of weights based on domain group. A single Social Insurance Number (SIN), semi-annual frame file is created and all SINs are divided into domains. The domain groups account for the duplication of SINs on the frame files for each reference quarter and represent one of the three following possibilities: the SIN is only on the frame for CIES reference Quarter 1, the SIN is only on the frame for reference Quarter 2, or the SIN is on both frames.

- Combined calibration of weights. This calibration accounts for the difference in size between the semi-annual frame files (single record per SIN) and the semi-annual sampling frames.

Quality evaluation

Considerable time and effort was made to reduce non-sampling errors in the survey. Quality assurance measures were implemented at each step of the data collection and processing cycle to monitor the quality of the data. These measures include the use of highly skilled interviewers, extensive training of interviewers with respect to the survey procedures and questionnaire, observation of interviewers to detect problems of questionnaire design or misunderstanding of instructions, procedures to ensure that data capture errors were minimized and coding and edit quality checks to verify the processing logic.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data that would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. 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.

It should be noted that the "Public Use" Microdata Files (PUMF) may differ from the survey "master" files held by Statistics Canada. These differences usually are the result of actions taken to protect the anonymity of individual survey respondents. Below is a list of the actions taken to protect the identity of the CIES respondents.

- Reduction of geographic identifiers -- Any information referring to a respondent's address or the address of their employment was excluded from the PUMF. The public use microdata files do not contain any geographic indicators below the region level.

- Removal of direct identifiers -- Any information referring directly to a respondent's name was excluded from the PUMF.

- Removal of variables containing sensitive information -- Any variables containing information of a personal or sensitive nature that would have aided in the identification of survey respondents were removed.

- Removal of duplicate information -- In situations where a variable on the master file contained the same information as another variable on the master file, only one of these variables was retained on the PUMF. An effort was made to keep as many of the variables that were derived during processing, from information obtained from original survey questions.

- Reduction of numerous household variables -- The survey master file contains multiple variables for each member of the respondent's household. This information was reduced by deriving new variables to take their place on the PUMF.

- Collapse of variable categories -- Variable categories were grouped together to allow a more concentrated set of information on the public use microdata file. This also helped to limit the amount of information that could be gained on a specific respondent to aid in the identification of that respondent. Some of the variables that were grouped include: respondent age, marital status, household composition, and highest level of education. As well, industry and occupation variables were collapsed to include only the major classification groupings.

- Capping of variables -- Quantitative variables were capped. Many of the categorical variables that were collapsed were also capped.

- Suppression of data -- Certain combinations of variables were rare within the sample and population. To reduce the risk of respondent identification due to these rare characteristics, specific variable values were suppressed.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

The Changes in Employment Survey (CIES) public use microdata files contain only those respondents who completed a minimum portion of the questionnaire and also gave permission to share their responses with Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), Strategic Monitoring and Evaluation. However, respondents who did not complete the minimum portion of the questionnaire were included in the weighting strategy. As such, it is important to know the response rate for each of the semi-annual CIES reference periods.

The response rate for Cohorts 1 and 2 is 46%.

Please refer to Chapter 8.0 (Data Quality) of the User Guide for detailed information.


  • Changes in Employment Survey - Public Use Microdata File User Guide (Cohorts 1 to 10)
    The Changes in Employment Survey (CIES) was conducted by Statistics Canada with the cooperation and support of Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), now called Human Resources and Social Development Canada. This survey of individuals who potentially had a change in their employment status, was modelled after a previously existing survey, the Canadian Out-of-Employment Panel Survey (COEP), but with changes in the sample design and content to allow a more complete picture of this population.

    This manual has been produced to facilitate the manipulation of the microdata file of the survey results.
Date modified: