The Labour Force Survey - Trend Analysis in a Volatile Labour Market

With Christel Le Petit (Labour Force Survey Manager) and Susie Fortier (Chief of seasonal adjustment), Statistics Canada

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The Labour Force Survey is one of the first economic indicators on the Canadian economy. As such, each and every release of the survey is closely watched and analysed. Lately, some people have wondered if the monthly fluctuations in employment are more dramatic and volatile than usual. The goal of this presentation is to provide information that will help users interpret these monthly results and to demonstrate that: No, the survey has not become more volatile.

The presentation will cover the key aspects of the Labour Force Survey - from sampling to dissemination. The strengths of the survey, as well as its limitations, will be discussed, focussing on the analysis of trends with the LFS. Finally, a special discussion of seasonal adjustment and its annual revision process will be included.

Christel Le Petit

Christel Le Petit is the manager of the Canadian Labour Force Survey. Following a bachelor in Statistics from the University of Montreal, she joined Statistics Canada 25 years ago as a methodologist for a variety of surveys. She then expanded her analytical skills in the area of health research. She has been working with the Labour Statistics Division of Statistics Canada for seven years, where her team is responsible for the monthly Labour Force Survey as well as the analytical releases of SEPH, EI and Job vacancies.

Susie Fortier

Susie Fortier is Chief of the Time Series Research and Analysis Centre at Statistics Canada, where she has been working for the last 13 years. As such, she is the person responsible for the methodology used for seasonal adjustments in all Statistics Canada time series. She received a Bachelor’s degree in statistics and a Master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Sherbrooke. She teaches various time series courses at Statistics Canada’s Training Institute. Her research interests focus on time series reconciliation and benchmarking, seasonal adjustment, price index theory and SAS programming. Susie is also the production manager of the journal Survey Methodology.