Auditor General says Canada jobs data inadequate, inaccurate

May 9, 2014

Federal Auditor General Michael Ferguson has criticized Canada’s main survey on the country’s job openings. In a new report on Statistics Canada, Ferguson says that data cannot be relied on to provide an accurate picture for governments or the private sector. StatsCan’s “Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours” is only released at the national, provincial, or territorial levels; this means that job vacancy data for smaller geographic areas are of limited value. Moreover, Ferguson said that the usefulness of the survey’s classification scheme is limited by the breadth of the survey’s categories. “Users informed us that as a result of these shortcomings, available information on job vacancies is of limited value to them,” said Ferguson in his report. “We found that needs for data from small geographic areas and small subpopulations in specific locations are not being met.” The news comes weeks after reports emerged that a $4.6-million StatsCan survey on Canada’s skills gap sits unanalyzed due to funding issues. Globe and Mail | Ottawa Citizen