Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Looked for paid work in past four weeks (full- or part-time work)

Release date: November 17, 2021


Refers to whether or not a person actively looked for paid work in the four weeks from April 11 to May 8, 2021. The work sought could be either full time (30 hours or more per week) or part time (less than 30 hours per week). 'Actively looked' means using such job search methods as contacting a Canada Employment Centre, checking with employers, or placing or answering internet ads.

Previously, in other census cycles, early enumeration was conducted in remote, isolated parts of the provinces and territories in the months leading up to the May enumeration. Because of COVID-19, there was no early enumeration for the 2021 Census. Collection procedures—especially in collective dwellings and remote, northern, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities—were redesigned to ensure the census was conducted in the best possible way, using a safe and secure approach.

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, who did not work for pay or in self-employment during the week of Sunday, May 2 to Saturday, May 8, 2021.

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 41


No; Yes, looked for full-time work; Yes, looked for part-time work (less than 30 hours per week)


This variable is used to derive the respondent's labour force status.

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

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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