Don Drummond, an economist who wrote a report for the government five years ago on how to improve the country’s labour-market data, said the concerns over the Labour Force Survey lie in the limitations of the figures available.
The measurements don’t even address the most interesting information, because they zero in on the net numbers of the labour force, rather than the “real action” of the gross data, Drummond said.
For example, the announcement might say that 20,000 jobs were created for a given month, “but that’s actually dead wrong,” said Drummond, who believes a more detailed picture would give Canadians a better grasp of the situation.
“All it says is that employment went up by 20,000. But that 20,000 number might reflect the creation of 300,000 jobs and a loss of 280,000 jobs.”
The second potential pitfall is hidden beneath the sampling variability of the data, which could mean the figure provided is way off the mark, Drummond added.
The two- or three-month trends give a much more reliable account of the situation, he said. And the regional and occupational statistics use sample sizes that are too small, resulting in data that Drummond warned can be “extraordinarily misleading.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Statcan job numbers set for release amid added scrutiny on Ottawa’s labour data | 680News.
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