Labour Force Survey

Statistics Canada publishes monthly labour force statistics for all Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) and provinces. In addition, the City of Toronto purchases a special run from Statistics Canada of Labour Force Survey (LFS) data for city of Toronto residents (i.e. separate from the rest of the Toronto CMA).

LFS data are collected by place of residence, and therefore city of Toronto's "employment" represents "employed residents" and not "jobs" in the city of Toronto. There are more jobs in the city of Toronto than employed city of Toronto residents.

In this LFS database, you will find 22 monthly tables and 28 annual tables. Most of the tables contain data for five geographies: city of Toronto, Toronto CMA, Toronto/Hamilton/Oshawa CMAs, Ontario and Canada ( see attachment Table of Contents below a full description ).

LFS data in the IVT tables are not seasonally adjusted. Top level seasonally adjusted LFS data are available in our monthly Toronto Economic Bulletin on Open Data.

LFS is based on a monthly sample of approximately 2,800 households in the Toronto CMA, about half of the sample is from the city of Toronto; therefore, estimates will vary from the results of a complete census.

LFS follows a rotating panel sample design, in which households remain in the sample for six consecutive months. The total sample consists of six representative sub-samples of panels, and each month a panel is replaced after completing its six month stay in the survey. Outgoing households are replaced by households in the same or similar area. This results in a five-sixths month-to-month sample overlap, which makes the design efficient for estimating month-to-month changes. The rotation after six months prevents undue respondent burden for households that are selected for the survey ( see attachment Guide to the Labour Force Survey for more information).

Upon reviewing the data, you will see that at least some cells in the IVT tables have been suppressed. For confidentiality reasons, Statistics Canada suppresses Labour Force Survey data for any cell that corresponds to less than 1,500 persons.

At the beginning of 2015, Statistics Canada substantially changed the methodology used to produce LFS population estimates for the city of Toronto. These changes have resulted in large and inexplicable swings in population and related counts, which are not real. However, the unemployment and participation rates for city residents showed very little change in this revision.

City of Toronto Population Age over 15 from 1986 to 2016

The red dots in the chart above represents Statistics Canada's Annual Demographics estimates for the populations of the city of Toronto, age 15 and over. These are only estimates, but they are generally accepted as the most accurate estimates for the city's population. (Source:

The most recent Statistics Canada population estimate for the city of Toronto is for July 1, 2015; therefore, we have to use projections thereafter. There are several population projections for the city. The projection that EDC staff has chosen to use for rebasing city of Toronto LFS data is the Ontario Ministry of Finance Population Projections 2017-2041 and downloaded June, 2017 from

Please see attachment Rebased Labour Force Survey for City of Toronto below for annual adjustment factors, monthly adjustment factors and an example of how to rebase the absolute numbers for the city of Toronto.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Dataset Category Document
Refresh Rate Monthly
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Excerpt The labour force survey is a household survey carried out monthly by Statistics Canada.
Owner Division Economic Development & Culture
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Civic Issues
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Last Updated 2022-12-05 14:34:02
Is Retired? false
Date Published 2019-07-23 17:39:06.425917