Sunday, February 28, 2021

Looking for Economic Region variable in LFS PUMFs

August 13, 2020


A researcher would like to analyze labour force activity in Nanaimo by gender, since the beginning of 2020.  They are ok with expanding the geography to the relevant Economic Region (Vancouver Island and Coast, British Columbia ).  There are a couple of tables that come close, but don't offer gender breakdowns, e.g. "Labour force characteristics by economic region, three-month moving average, unadjusted for seasonality, last 5 months".

I downloaded the Jan - July 2020 LFS PUMF files for them, plus documentation, but they don't include a variable for Economic Region.  The pumf variable layout file, and the pumfs themselves, only indicate two geography variables: province and CMA.  The guide/codebook does indicate economic region (Nanaimo is in 5910= Vancouver Isld and Coast Region).  Also Geographic Location attributes, including ERs, are included in the LFS variable lists on the StatCan website (e.g.

It's not that the variable is there but the data are suppressed in the PUMF - the variable just isn't there at all.

Is it possible that a variable for ER is included in the LFS master file, but not  the PUMF?  Or, that detailed geography data points are collected in a different file and used by StatCan to produce the estimates tables, but aren't actually part of the LFS microdata? 

Any suggestions for us on how we could use the LFS for this ER analysis, or alternative sources, would be most welcome!

You are correct:

1. Economic Regions (ER) are not available in the LFS PUMF.

2. None of the online CODR LFS tables have Economic Regions by sex.

The sole alternative would be to produce a custom tabulation for which, in this case, based on the client's sought specifications, there would typically be an associated cost of $154.48.

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