Labor Force Survey Questionnaire and survey methods

Part 2: Labour Force Survey Questionnaire and survey methods (total 25 points)

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is Canada’s main source of monthly data on labour market outcomes including the level of employment, the unemployment rate and wage levels. Most other national statistical agencies have a similar survey e.g. the Current Population Survey in the United States.

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The Guide to the Labour Force Survey (see attached in the course website) discusses the survey methods and basic definitions. To get some idea of where the data is coming from you can look at the Labour Force Survey questionnaire (it starts on page 50 of the Guide to the Labour Force Survey)The survey collects information on personal characteristics (age, sex, education, etc. – see pp. 52-54 and labour force information (see p. 55 starting with Question 100).If the person is working in the survey week, a number of questions are asked about their job and working conditions. If the person is not working during the survey week questions are asked that aim to determine if the person is unemployed or not in the labour force.Go through the questionnaire and get a feel for the types of information the survey collects.Based on the questionnaire answer the following questions:

  • 1. Say that a person is employed during the survey week. Provide a list of job characteristics and working conditions that the survey collects data on (be sure to give the numbers of the questions that collect the information as part of your answer).See especially pp. 56-60 of the Guide. (5 points)
  • 2. Go to Section 2 of the Guide. This section discusses labour force status.
    (i) People surveyed can be classified into three labour force states.What are they?
    (ii) A particularly difficult state to measure in practice is unemployment.What three groups of people are classified as unemployed?
    (iii) Have a look at Figure 2.1 which shows the questions and responses to the questions used to classify people into each labour force state.Based on the Figure summarize the paths (sequence of responses to questions) by which someone might end up categorized as unemployed.
    (iv) The LFS definition of unemployed status in (ii) is quite standard but it is often argued that it leaves out some people who are probably unemployed.Suggest people who you might classify as unemployed but who would not be so classified by Statistics Canada. (10 points)
  • Go to Section 4 of the Guide (starts p.18). The section deals with Survey Methodology.
    (i) Section 4 claims that: “The LFS plays a central role in the national statistical system in several ways”.Summarize the three key roles it plays.
    (ii) What groups are excluded from the survey?
    (iii) The documentation notes that LFS follows a “rotating panel sample design”. What does this mean?
    (iv) Because the LFS is not a random sample of the population a “weight” variable is included (see Section 6). What is the role of this weight variable? What would a weight of 50 mean? (10 points)






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