Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Hours worked for pay or in self-employment

Release date: November 17, 2021


Refers to the actual number of hours that persons worked for pay or in self-employment at all jobs held in the week of Sunday, May 2 to Saturday, May 8, 2021. This includes hours worked for wages, salaries, tips, commissions, piece-rate payments or payments 'in kind' (payments in goods or services rather than money). Hours worked in one's own business, farm or professional practice or hours worked without pay in a family business, farm or professional practice, owned or operated by a relative living in the same household are also included.

Excluded are hours during which the respondent was absent, with or without pay, due to illness, vacation or other reasons.

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)

Direct variable: Question 38


Number of hours (to the nearest hour); None


'Worked for pay or in self-employment' includes work without pay in a family farm, business or professional practice. For a more detailed description of 'Worked for pay or in self-employment,' refer to the definition for Employed person variable.

Data on actual and usual number of hours worked are available from the Labour Force Survey.

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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