The Census of Canada provides very detailed information about: ethnic and racial background, place of birth, period of arrival, gender, education, skill levels, language use, labour force participation, unemployment rates, class of worker, earnings, occupation and industry of employment. During the course of this project we expect similar data to become available based on the 2006 census. Census data has been widely used in projects related to immigrant labour market access.
A training session on free census data was held in summer 2009. Documents from the training are available here.
Other useful sources of Census data are described here.
Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS)
The 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey included about 42,500 respondents aged 15 and over and provides information on how people's ethnic and racial backgrounds affect their participation in Canada's social, economic and cultural life. In addition to information about place of birth, visible minority status, educational qualifications and work experience at the time of the survey, the EDS provides some information about the ethnic composition of people’s social networks, their experiences of discrimination in the workplace, the ethnic backgrounds of co-workers, and the languages spoken at work.
International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS)
The 2003 IALSS is the Canadian component of the international Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey. The main purpose of the survey is to find out how well adults use printed information to function in society. Survey data include background information (demographic, immigrant status, education, language, labour force, occupation, income, etc.). Respondents are tested in four domains: prose and document literacy, numeracy and problem-solving. Data from the IALSS allow more reliable comparisons among respondents than when language skills are self-reported.
Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC)
Initiated in 2001, LSIC is a comprehensive survey designed by Statistics Canada to study the process by which new immigrants adapt to Canadian society during the first four years of settlement. It provides exceptionally detailed information about educational qualifications and language fluency upon arrival in Canada, subsequent education, language/job training in Canada, accreditation experiences, and work history. Information can be linked to show how training, work experience in Canada, and the accreditation process, influence employment outcomes. There is also information about use of settlement services that can be linked to employment outcomes. The number of respondents ranges from 12,000 for the first wave to 7,700 for the third wave.
Labour Force Survey (LFS)
The LFS provides up-to-date employment estimates by industry, occupation, public and private sector, hours worked and much more, all cross-classifiable by a variety of demographic characteristics such as age, gender, and marital status. For employees, wage rates, union status, job permanency and workplace size are also produced. Beginning in 2006, additional questions were added to the LFS in order to identify immigrants, recording where they were born, when they landed in Canada and the country in which they received their highest level of education. The LFS provides a large sample and rich information on individual and job characteristics. It can also be used to track individual trajectories in the labour market over a six-month period. The LFS surveyed more than 53,000 households across Canada, more than 15,000 of them in Ontario.
Permanent Resident Data System (PRDS)
The Permanent Resident Data System (PRDS) (formerly the Landed Immigrant Data System, or LIDS), is derived from an administrative dataset made available to researchers by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It includes anonymous data from the landing cards of each immigrant arriving in Canada between 1980 and 2009. The PRDS database provides a very rich portrait of immigrants’ characteristics, including: age, gender, marital status, education, skill level, intended occupation, country of birth, citizenship and last permanent residence, immigration category, and intended province and city of settlement. Furthermore, the dataset represents every immigrant – it is not a sample.
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID)
The SLID is an ongoing longitudinal survey which interviews each individual over a six-year period. The longitudinal nature of the survey, as well as the extensive data content, provide important information concerning: employment and unemployment, wages, salaries and other earnings, employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers, non-wage benefits, labour mobility, turnover and work absences, unionization and industrial relations, hours of work and work arrangements, occupations, and pension plans and other retirement income programs. The survey includes questions identifying immigrant status, age at immigration, country of birth, year of immigration, mother tongue and visible minority group. It includes 30,000 households across Canada.
Workplace and Employee Survey (WES)
The WES is a file consisting of both employer and employee components and covering a broad range of topics from both the demand and supply side of the labour market. The WES was initiated in 1999 and lasted six years, with 6,322 business respondents and 23,540 employees. The survey contains detailed demographics and labour market information on individual workers, but also information on various workplace characteristics, business strategy, and human resource practices. These practices and strategies include compensation practices, the presence of joint labour-management committees, information sharing programs, use of new technology, training and development, recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, and labour relations. Employees are identified with immigration status and year, language used at home, and ethnic origin.
Publicly Available Data Resources
- Statistics Canada, 2011 Census Profile
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada- Facts and Figures 2010: Immigration overview – Permanent and temporary residents
- City of Toronto, Neighbourhood Profile, several socieconomic and demographic profile of neighbourhoods, uses 2001 and 2006 Census.
- City of Toronto, Ward Profile
- City of Toronto, Well-being Toronto New! several indicators about some of Toronto's neighbourhoods, including indicators of crime, education, environment, etc.
- Toronto Community Health Profiles,
Other Data Resources
- Citizenship Immigration Canada's iCAMS to iCARE