Monday, February 25, 2019

Data Requested on Pay Frequency

A researcher is searching for a data source where he can get “employee pay frequency”, see figure 1 below, for the following variables:
- for private and public companies,
- industries at the 2 digit NAICS code level, &
- provinces and territories (or provinces).

Figure 1, e.g., two questions asked so that StatCan can calculate employees’ weekly earnings or hourly earnings


LFI_Q202 — [Including tips and commissions,] what is his/her hourly rate of pay? Go to 220

If no hourly rate then next question is …

LFI_Q204 — What is the easiest way for you to tell us his/her wage or salary, [including tips and commissions,] before taxes and other deductions? Would it be yearly, monthly, weekly, or on some other basis?

If “Yearly”, go to 209

If “Monthly”, go to 208

If “Semi-monthly”, go to 207

If “Bi-weekly”, go to 206

If “Weekly” or “Other”, go to 205


Source, Labour Force Survey user guide

I wasn’t able to find other surveys (other than the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours) which ask about pay frequency, but then this was not an exhaustive search.

And please see U.S. example:- link:  “How frequently do private businesses pay workers?” [] Beyond the Numbers, May 2014, BLS

Re: Figure 2 … *Email included an attached screen capture of Fig. 2

Any leads would be appreciated.  It would be great if this could be retrieved from a PUMF or RTRA, but if not, what are the options.

Follow-Up Question:
This is in follow-up to this data request (pay frequency…) below.  The researcher just specified to me that he wants to obtain firm-level data.  Noting that this would likely require the  Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH), I am looking for validation please on whether SEPH it is available in the RDC’s or CDER.  I don’t find it on either the page of survey data sources for the RDC’s or CDER.

The SEPH data is unfortunately not available in the RDCs, and is not currently available in CDER, however they have been in discussions with the SEPH manager about including it in CDER and he was open to the idea, provided there is a demand for it. He noted that it would take some time to prepare the files for use though.

Follow-up Question:
Thank you so much for confirming information about access to SEPH data.  This is what I had thought could be the answer.  And although we have at least one request a year for SEPH data, how that would translate to CDER users I am not sure J

In the meantime, it would be great to find out more about another possible source or sources for tabulations.

On a pure curiosity level, could DLI contacts request information on CDER researchers from their institutions, e.g., numbers?

Follow-up Answer:
Unfortunately it doesn’t look as if we’ll be able to get this particular bit of information:

“In theory the data is available but not something that we publish. Also the concept is not quite what the researcher is looking for. There is a difference in “employee pay frequency” and “easiest way to tell us your wage/salary”.

I am also not sure how CDER numbers would work, but I can look into that for you!

Follow-up Question:
Thank you so much for looking into data sources for this research question.

The researcher would like to please inquire into the possibility of using multiple years of SEPH data for pay frequency at the firm level in CDER.  The researcher acknowledges that the SEPH measure of “easiest way to tell us your wage/salary” would only be a proxy for pay frequency.  Given this somewhat restrictive definition, and the fact that SEPH is not currently available in CDER, what would be the next steps for inquiring about the possibility of using SEPH in CDER?  Does the researcher need to provide any specific information at this stage and would it be acceptable for me to be looped in the discussions?

Follow-up Answer:
Our CDER contact has replied with the following:

“Do you know a bit more about the scope of the project? CDER only provides access to business microdata for research projects and not custom tabulations. If this is indeed the case, I will get in touch with the manager of SEPH and perhaps we can organize a call with the researcher.”