Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Labour force status

Release date: November 17, 2021


Labour force status refers to whether a person was employed, unemployed or not in the labour force during the reference period. The labour force consists of persons who contribute or are available to contribute to the production of goods and services falling within the System of National Accounts production boundary.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, please refer to Appendix 2.1.

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over in private households

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Questions 38 to 43


For the values for the Labour force status variable, please refer to Table 2.8.


For more information, see the definitions for Employed person, Unemployed and Not in the labour force variables.

The Labour force status categories were derived from the responses to the following questions on the census questionnaire:

See Figure 2.9 for the components of the population and the Labour force status variable.

For information on the comparability of the 2021 Census labour force status data with those of the Labour Force Survey, see Appendix 2.11.


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