Workplace Survey

Detailed information for 2010 (pilot survey)





Record number:


This pilot survey collects information on workplace characteristics such as employment profile, hiring, separations, labour turnover, job vacancies, skills shortages, pay and compensation.

Data release - This is a pilot survey. No public use microdata file will be produced by Statistics Canada.


This pilot survey collects information on workplace characteristics such as employment profile, hiring, separations, labour turnover, job vacancies, skills shortages, pay and compensation.

The pilot is a test of various ideas and strategies with a view to identifying what is do-able and what questions can be supported by the annual survey. The intent is to establish the reasonableness of the concepts and the data as well.

The pilot will help assess the feasibility of collecting statistical information on a wide array of emerging and relevant issues pertaining to business strategies, policies and practices in an ever-changing business environment. A modular approach is taken to ensure that current relevant issues are covered. The questionnaires comprise a core module plus a module on job vacancy and skills shortages and a module on workplace practices.

Particular focus is given to job vacancies, skills shortages, skills gaps, training practices as well as hiring and compensation practices. Survey data will be used by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to address current and emerging policy issues affecting workplaces and employment conditions.


  • Hours of work and work arrangements
  • Labour
  • Labour mobility, turnover and work absences

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for the survey is defined as all business locations operating in Canada that have paid employees, with the following exceptions:

- employers in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut
- employers operating in crop production and animal production; fishing, hunting and trapping; religious organizations; private households; and public administration.

Instrument design

The questionnaire for the pilot survey was designed by Labour Statistics Division and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. It was tested by Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design Resource Centre. Labour Statistics Division and Special Surveys Division of Statistics Canada reviewed and revised the questionnaire based on the results of the testing.


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

For the pilot survey, the sample size is 4,500.

The pilot is a test of various ideas and strategies, so that we can identify what is do-able and what questions can be supported by the ongoing budget. The intent is to establish the feasibility of the concepts and not to attempt any type of estimation for the universe.

The out-of-scope units are defined in the following manner:

1. workplaces located in Nunavut, Yukon or North West Territories;
2. workplaces operating in the following industries: agriculture and related industries; fishing and trapping; highway, street and bridge maintenance; government services; private households; religious organizations; and,
3. units without employees or units with only one employee who is assumed to be both the employer and employee.

With a view to maximize the probability that the selected unit is alive any unit that has not been confirmed as alive in the last 13 months before sample selection is eliminated. Furthermore, any unit where it can not be confirmed that the firm has employees will also be eliminated.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2011-01-17 to 2011-03-31

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Please note the main survey will be mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Prior to the start of the collection period, all companies in the sample are pre-contacted to determine through a series of filter questions whether they are in-scope for the survey and to identify the contact person best placed to respond to the questionnaire.The pre-contact phase is done by computer-assisted telephone interview.

Printed questionnaires are mailed to those companies found to be in scope during the pre-contact phase. Telephone follow-up is undertaken with companies that did not respond within a month. The questionnaires are optically scanned.

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

Error detection

A series of edit rules are applied to the captured data during processing. Invalid or inconsistent data are corrected by imputing valid entries. The edit rules include ratios, equalities and inequalities applied at the micro level during data processing.

The processing phase of the survey is for the most part concerned with applying consistency edits and validity edits to the data reported. Consistency edits ensure that data reported in one question does not contradict information reported in another question. Validity edits ensure that the data reported is valid (i.e. that percentage values reported do not exceed 100%, that values that are supposed to sum up do in fact sum up, that skip patterns are followed, etc.).


Imputation will be used to replace partially missing data and invalid or inconsistent entries. Imputation will be done automatically using the hot deck method.


Adjustment for non-response is based on the result of the pre-contact and on the final survey result. The adjustment is made at the level of the sample stratum, or at a more aggregated level as required. The estimates and variances are calculated using Statistics Canada's Generalized Estimation System for a stratified sample.

Quality evaluation

Data validation will be conducted by Special Surveys Division and by subject matter specialists in Labour Statistics Division.

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.

No public use microdata file will be produced by Statistics Canada and data will not be made available through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI).

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Data response error may be due to questionnaire design, the characteristics of a question, inability or unwillingness of the respondent to provide correct information, misinterpretation of the questions or definitional problems. These errors are controlled through careful questionnaire design and the use of simple concepts and consistency checks.

For this survey, non-responding records will be dealt with by adjusting the weights assigned to the responding records, such that one responding record will also represent other non-responding units with similar characteristics (i.e. size, province, industry) as the responding record.

Non-response error is related to respondents that may refuse to answer, are unable to respond or are too late in reporting. In these cases, data are imputed.

Processing error may occur at various stages of processing such as data entry, editing and tabulation. Measures will been taken to minimize these errors.

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