Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Labour force status (based on 1971 concepts)

Release date: November 17, 2021


Refers to whether a person was employed, unemployed or not in the labour force during the week of Sunday, May 2 to Saturday, May 8, 2021, according to 1971 labour force status concepts.

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

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Questions 38 to 43


The categories for the historical labour force status variable are:


The population aged 15 years and over are classified according to 1971 labour force status concepts as follows:



Not in the labour force

Persons aged 15 years and over who are not employed or unemployed are considered 'Not in the Labour Force.' According to 1971 labour force status concepts this category also includes:


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