This definition is a technical one for gathering statistical data and has been refined and modified over the years both for operational reasons and to reflect social and economic changes. For instance, earlier in this century the labour force was considered those 10 years of age and over. This changed to 14 years in 1941 and 15 years in 1961, reflecting the decline of an agriculturally based economy.
The size of the labour force is determined by the size of the adult population (potential labour force) and the proportion of that population willing and able to work (actual labour force); it is calculated from a monthly survey of 52 000 households with 96 000 respondents across Canada, from which unemployment rates, employment rates, reasons for leaving the labour force, etc, are also calculated. The proportion of the adult population in the labour force is referred to as the participation rate, which varies by region and by demographic factors such as age or sex.
Author PAUL PHILLIPS
Links to Other Sites
Cradle of Collective Bargaining
The impact of Technology on collective bargaining is examined on this site that focuses on the Hamilton Labour experience. A Canada's Digital Collections website.
Explore this extensive collection of historical photographs depicting people at work in Canada and elsewhere. Part of the CN Images of Canada Gallery at the Canada Science and Technology Museum website.
Winnipeg General Strike
This special CBC feature analyzes the issues that prompted the historic Winnipeg General Strike in 1919.
Canadian Labour History
This website documents the history of the labour movement and labour reform in Canada. From the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
The Labour/Le Travail website offers bilingual abstracts of articles concerning labour issues in Canada. Also links to many websites about labour issues. From the Canadian Committee on Labour History.
Labour Protest and Organization in Nineteenth-Century Canada, 1820-1890
This article provides detailed information about the history of the labour movement in Canada. From the journal "Labour."