Briefing

Statistics Canada pilot to collect race-based employment data

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Starting in July, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) will ask respondents whether they are a member of a visible minority group. The agency is also working on ways to disaggregate data that it’s already gathered. (Hill Times, Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Data on racialized Canadians’ employment and income is currently only available every five years via the census. So while the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics’ numbers show Black workers have been more likely to lose jobs or income during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their unemployment rate rose last month even as it dropped for their white counterparts, a similar analysis isn’t possible in Canada. As University of Alberta professor Malinda Smith told the Hill Times, broad categories miss the different experiences of Black people from different national backgrounds. The same is true of other “visible minority” groups. You can’t fix what you won’t count.