Employment Insurance Coverage Survey (EICS)
Detailed information for 1998
The Employment Insurance Coverage Survey provides a meaningful picture of who does or does not have access to EI benefits among the jobless and those in a situation of underemployment. The survey also covers access to maternity and parental benefits.
Data release - July 12, 1999
The main purpose of this survey is to study the coverage of the employment insurance program. It provides a meaningful picture of who does or does not have access to EI benefits among the jobless and those in a situation of underemployment. The Employment Insurance Coverage Survey also covers access to maternity and parental benefits.
The survey was designed to produce a series of precise measures to identify groups with low probability of receiving benefits, for instance, the long-term jobless, labour market entrants and students, people becoming unemployed after uninsured employment, people who have left jobs voluntarily and individuals who are eligible, given their employment history, but do not claim or otherwise receive benefits. The survey provides a detailed description of the characteristics of the last job held as well as reasons for not receiving benefits or for not claiming.
Through the survey data, analysts will also be able to observe the characteristics and situation of people not covered by EI and of those who exhausted EI benefits, the job search intensity of the unemployed, expectation of recall to a job, and alternate sources of income and funds.
Survey data pertaining to maternity and parental benefits answer questions on the proportion of mothers of an infant who received maternity and parental benefits, the reason why some mothers do not receive benefits and about sharing parental benefits with their spouse. The survey also allows looking at the timing and circumstances related to the return to work, the income adequacy of households with young children and more.
Reference period: Calendar year
Collection period: There are 4 collection cycles each year: April-May, July-August, November-December and January-February. Each cycle lasts 5 weeks and begins during the month following the reference month.
- Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
- Non-wage benefits
Data sources and methodology
The target population for this survey is composed of unemployed individuals (as defined by the Labour Force Survey) and other individuals who, given their recent status in the labour market, could potentially be eligible for employment insurance. This population is divided in 4 types: (1) persons who were unemployed during the reference week; (2) persons employed part-time during the reference week; (3) persons not in the labour force during the reference week but with some employment during the 2 years prior to the reference week and all mothers not working (including on maternity leave) and not looking for work and (4) persons employed full-time during the reference week and who started their current job during the previous two months.
The target population for this survey is a subset of the target population for the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Specifically excluded from the LFS coverage are residents of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, persons living on Indian Reserves, full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces and inmates of institutions. These groups together represent an exclusion of approximately 2% of the population aged 15 or over.
The questionnaire developed jointly by Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Social Development Canada was tested in a Pilot Survey before its implementation in 1997. Experts from the Questionnaire Design Resource Centre used cognitive interviews and prepared an evaluation report. The main recommendations were implemented. Minor changes were incorporated over the years, either to correct application errors, broaden the target population for some questions or to implement wording changes recommended by interviewers.
This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.
The Employment Insurance Coverage Survey (EICS) is administered to a sub-sample of individuals in the Labour Force Survey (LFS), and therefore its sample design is closely tied to that of the LFS. The EICS uses the rotation groups that completed their 6 months in the LFS in March, June, October or December. Mothers from four additional rotation groups are also selected to obtain an adequate sample size.
The LFS sample is further stratified using the EICS types which are: (1) persons who were unemployed during the reference week; (2) persons employed part-time during the reference week; (3) persons not in the labour force during the reference week but with some employment during the 2 years prior to the reference week and, since 2000, mothers on maternity leave and mothers who have not worked in the past two years; (4) persons employed full-time during the reference week and starting their current job during the previous two months; (5) working mothers of infants less than one year old. One hundred percent of the available LFS sample available is kept for some stratum and a sub-sample of 70 or 50% is taken for others, using simple random sampling. In order to reduce the response burden within the household, a maximum of 3 persons per household are selected.
Only the full-time employed (Type 4) who have experienced an interruption in work in the two months prior to the survey reference week need to be interviewed. Since this information was not available from the LFS interview, all full-time workers with short job tenure at their current job were selected. The question on work interruption was asked in the EICS and respondents who worked continually over the 2 months prior to the reference week were not asked further questions. They are out-of-scope for the survey.
Responding to this survey is voluntary.
Data are collected directly from survey respondents.
Individuals selected for the EICS are contacted three to seven weeks after their last LFS interview. All interviews are conducted over the telephone using a computer assisted interviewing application. Proxy response is not allowed in the EICS. Responses to survey questions are captured directly by the interviewer using the computerized questionnaire.
Similar to the LFS, the interviewers are asked to make all reasonable efforts to obtain the EICS interview. Refusals at first contact are followed up by a senior interviewer. However, contrary to the LFS, no letters are sent to help obtain the respondent's cooperation.
Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that 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.