Wage Survey of Seasonal Workers in the Horticultural Sector
Detailed information for 2003
This survey identified identify the prevailing wages paid to seasonal horticultural workers in labourer or manual occupations. Specifically, it focused on foreign and domestic workers hired as farm labourers or harvesters, and nursery or greenhouse labourers.
Data release - August 30, 2004
- Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s)
- Data sources and methodology
- Data accuracy
This survey was conducted on behalf of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The results will be used to assist the federal government in implementing the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program by determining prevailing wage rates in the horticultural sector.
Reference period: Calendar year
- Agriculture and food (formerly Agriculture)
- Crops and horticulture
- Wages, salaries and other earnings
Data sources and methodology
The target population was defined as horticultural operations with seasonal employees in the seven regions (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia). Operations without employees are considered out of scope, only operations with employees were included on the frame. Horticultural operations were identified on the database by variables that indicated the sales revenue from different commodities. Only operations that had sales generated by nurseries, greenhouses, potatoes, tobacco, ginseng, fruits or vegetables were included on the frame. Farms with less than $30,000 revenue reported on the Census of Agriculture were excluded from the frame.
The survey questionnaire was jointly designed by Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Both focus groups and personal interviews were conducted by the Questionnaire Design Resource Centre of Statistics Canada as a means of testing the survey instrument.
This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.
The sampling frame was constructed using Statistics Canada's Farm Register supplemented with additional information from the 2001 Census of Agriculture as well as a list provided by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada that identifies operations that participate in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). The Farm Register is a list of all farming operations and is used for many agricultural surveys. The Farm Register also contains up to date contact information. Information from the 2001 Census of Agriculture indicated which operations had employees. Operations without employees are considered out of scope, only operations with employees were included on the frame. Farms that were not in the 2001 Census of Agriculture were not included on the sampling frame.
Horticultural operations were identified on the database by variables that indicated the sales revenue from different commodities. Only operations that had sales generated by nurseries, greenhouses, potatoes, tobacco, ginseng, fruits or vegetables were included on the frame. Farms with less than $30,000 revenue reported on the Census of Agriculture were excluded from the frame. Farms that were given an inactive or temporarily inactive status (on the Farm Register) were excluded. A total of 9519 operations were included on the final sampling frame.
The frame was stratified by region, type of operation and by participation in SAWP to ensure that the sample had sufficient units to provide estimates that were representative of the target population.
The desired sample size was approximately 2000 horticultural operations. The sample was allocated proportional to the size of the stratum, with a minimum of 22 units sampled in each stratum. If there were 22 or less in the stratum then it was considered a take-all stratum and all units were included in the sample. In total, 2006 units were selected to be in the sample.
Data collection for this reference period: 2004-03-01 to 2004-03-31
Responding to this survey is voluntary.
Data are collected directly from survey respondents.
The data were obtained using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) application during the collection period from March 1 to March 31, 2004. A letter explaining the survey objective and the types of data to be collected was sent to respondents prior to collection.
View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .
During collection there were automated edits that checked that the sum of the foreign and domestic workers was within a small window of the total number of workers for both occupations; nursery or greenhouse labourers, and farm labourers/harvesters. Methodology completed additional edits for consistency.
There was little partial non-response in this survey. Cells that asked for wages paid that respondents did not answer were imputed with the mean value within the same region, range of number of employees, and commodity (where possible) for the same origin (domestic or foreign) and occupation (nursery or greenhouse labourer, or farm labourer/harvester); this only affected 0.5% of the in-scope respondents. Revenue ranges were asked in the questionnaire for the purpose of analysis. Non-response of the revenue category was imputed using sales information from the frame, 7% of questionnaires required imputation for this question.
Estimates were produced using Statistics Canada's Generalized Estimation System (GES). The design weights were adjusted for refusals and other non-response. Estimates were produced for the seven regions, Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. In addition, for better data quality estimates were also rolled up for the three Prairie Provinces. Estimates were also produced for revenue ranges and the combination of activity or commodity for each region. GES produces the coefficient of variation with each estimate; the following letters represent the quality of data:
A Very good up to 5%
B Good 5% to 15%
C Acceptable 15% to 33.3%
E Use with caution more than 33.3%
F Not for publication
Since this is the first Statistics Canada survey to collect salary information for foreign and domestic Nursery or Greenhouse Labourers and Farm Labourers/Harvesters, little information is available to compare results.
Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which 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.
Confidentiality analysis includes the detection of possible "direct disclosure", which occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of a few respondents or when the cell is dominated by a few operations.
Revisions and seasonal adjustment
This methodology does not apply to this survey.
Because the figures of interest are estimated, the survey has some sampling error, expressed as a CV. The CV is a percentage that expresses the size of the standard error as a proportion of the estimate to which it is related. For example, a CV of 10% indicates that the standard error is 10% of the estimate. The CVs for most estimates in the survey were very good (< 5%).
Survey estimates may also contain non-sampling error. Non-sampling errors are not related to sampling and may occur for many reasons. Population coverage errors, differences in the interpretation of questions, incorrect information from respondents, and mistakes in recording, coding and processing data are examples of non-sampling errors. Non-response is an important source of non-sampling error. While the impact of non-sampling errors is difficult to evaluate, measures such as response rates and imputation rates can be used as indicators of the potential level of non-sampling error. The response rate for this survey was 77%.
- Wage Survey of Seasonal Workers in the Horticultural Sector (2003 reference period): Methodology Report