Canada - Labor force participation rate, female (% of female population ages 15+) (national estimate)

Labor force participation rate, female (% of female population ages 15+) (national estimate) in Canada was 61.30 as of 2016. Its highest value over the past 55 years was 62.60 in 2008, while its lowest value was 29.70 in 1961.

Definition: Labor force participation rate is the proportion of the population ages 15 and older that is economically active: all people who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specified period.

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database. Data retrieved in November 2017.

See also:

Year Value
1961 29.70
1971 39.90
1976 45.70
1977 46.50
1978 47.90
1979 49.40
1980 50.60
1981 52.00
1982 52.10
1983 53.00
1984 53.80
1985 54.90
1986 55.70
1987 56.50
1988 57.40
1989 58.10
1990 58.50
1991 58.40
1992 57.80
1993 57.70
1994 57.50
1995 57.50
1996 57.50
1997 57.80
1998 58.40
1999 58.90
2000 59.40
2001 59.80
2002 60.90
2003 61.90
2004 62.00
2005 61.70
2006 61.90
2007 62.50
2008 62.60
2009 62.40
2010 62.40
2011 62.20
2012 62.10
2013 62.20
2014 61.60
2015 61.20
2016 61.30

Development Relevance: Estimates of women in the labor force and employment are generally lower than those of men and are not comparable internationally, reflecting that demographic, social, legal, and cultural trends and norms determine whether women's activities are regarded as economic. In many low-income countries women often work on farms or in other family enterprises without pay, and others work in or near their homes, mixing work and family activities during the day. In many high-income economies, women have been increasingly acquiring higher education that has led to better-compensated, longer-term careers rather than lower-skilled, shorter-term jobs. However, access to good- paying occupations for women remains unequal in many occupations and countries around the world. Labor force statistics by gender is important to monitor gender disparities in employment and unemployment patterns.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data on the labor force are compiled by the ILO from labor force surveys, censuses, and establishment censuses and surveys. For some countries a combination of these sources is used. Labor force surveys are the most comprehensive source for internationally comparable labor force data. They can cover all non-institutionalized civilians, all branches and sectors of the economy, and all categories of workers, including people holding multiple jobs. By contrast, labor force data from population censuses are often based on a limited number of questions on the economic characteristics of individuals, with little scope to probe. The resulting data often differ from labor force survey data and vary considerably by country, depending on the census scope and coverage. Establishment censuses and surveys provide data only on the employed population, not unemployed workers, workers in small establishments, or workers in the informal sector. The reference period of a census or survey is another important source of differences: in some countries data refer to people's status on the day of the census or survey or during a specific period before the inquiry date, while in others data are recorded without reference to any period. In countries, where the household is the basic unit of production and all members contribute to output, but some at low intensity or irregularly, the estimated labor force may be much smaller than the numbers actually working. Differing definitions of employment age also affect comparability. For most countries the working age is 15 and older, but in some countries children younger than 15 work full- or part-time and are included in the estimates. Similarly, some countries have an upper age limit. As a result, calculations may systematically over- or underestimate actual rates.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The labor force is the supply of labor available for producing goods and services in an economy. It includes people who are currently employed and people who are unemployed but seeking work as well as first-time job-seekers. Not everyone who works is included, however. Unpaid workers, family workers, and students are often omitted, and some countries do not count members of the armed forces. Labor force size tends to vary during the year as seasonal workers enter and leave.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: The series for ILO estimates is also available in the WDI database. Caution should be used when comparing ILO estimates with national estimates.


Topic: Labor & Social Protection Indicators

Sub-Topic: Labor force structure