Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Weeks worked during the reference year

Release date: November 17, 2021


Refers to the number of weeks during the reference year in which persons worked for pay or in self-employment at all jobs held, even if only for a few hours.

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 54a)


None; Number of weeks (write-in entry)


For the 2021 Census, the reference year is 2020 for this variable.

This variable includes weeks of paid vacation, weeks on sick leave with pay and weeks in which training was paid for by the employer.

'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.

Respondents were instructed to enter 52 weeks if they were paid for a full year even though they worked less than a year (for example, a school teacher paid on a 12-month basis).


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