Unemployment Rate (Census)


Percentage of all unemployed persons in the labour force (age 15 and over)

Methods and Limitations:

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of  the labour force. The unemployment rate for a particular group (age, sex, marital status, etc.) is  the number unemployed in that group expressed as a percentage of the labour force for that  group. Estimates are percentages, rounded to the nearest tenth. 

To ensure respondent confidentiality, estimates below a certain threshold are suppressed. For  Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia suppression is applied to all data below  1,500. The threshold level for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,  Manitoba and Saskatchewan is 500, while in Prince Edward Island, estimates under 200 are  supressed. For census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and economic regions (ERs), use their  respective provincial suppression levels mentioned above. Estimates are based on smaller  sample sizes the more detailed the table becomes, which could result in lower data quality. 

Source (s):

Statistics Canada. 2022. (table). Census Profile2021 Census of Population. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2021001. Ottawa. Released December 15, 2022.

Statistics Canada. 2017. Canada [Country] and Canada [Country] (table). Census Profile. 2016 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2016001. Ottawa. Released November 29, 2017.

Statistics Canada. 2013. Canada (Code 01) (table). National Household Survey (NHS) Profile. 2011 National Household Survey. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 99-004-XWE. Ottawa. Released September 11, 2013.

Statistics Canada. 2007. Canada (Code01) (table). 2006 Community Profiles. 2006 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE. Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007.


Unemployment Rate (Census) in the Sustainable Development Goals

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8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day. And in too many places, having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty. This slow and uneven progress requires us to rethink and retool our economic and social policies aimed at eradicating poverty.

A continued lack of decent work opportunities, insufficient investments and under-consumption lead to an erosion of the basic social contract underlying democratic societies: that all must share in progress. The creation of quality jobs will remain a major challenge for almost all economies well beyond 2015.

Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working age population.

Related Unemployment Rate (Census) Targets


By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value