How to Find Economic Data from CANSIM and ODESI

This help guide includes two sample searches for data related with employment using CANSIM and ODESI. It helps you find the data needed to do an econometric analysis. Use the links below to navigate to the different sections of this guide.

Finding Employment Rates from Labour Force Survey (LFS) in CANSIM

Data requests: monthly data, employment rates, Ontario, 25-44 years old, both females and males, during the period between Jan 2000 and March 2016

1. Connect to CANSIM@Statistics Canada

2. Enter in keyword LFS into the search box and click on Searchcansim1

3. On the result page find a title that contains the information you need. Please note that the image shown below may not include the same time period as you see when searching because the data are updated. Click on the table number 282-0001.


4. The data displayed are part of CANSIM table 282-0001. Use the Add/Remove data tab to customize your table.


Go through Steps 1-6 to select the items that match your request and click on Apply in Step 7.

Step 1: select Ontario

Step 2: select employment rate

Step 3: select both sexes, male, female

Step 4: select 25 to 44 years

Step 5: select Jan 2000 to March 2016

Step 6: HTML table, time as columns

5. You may use the Manipulate tab to convert the output format of data.


6. Use the Download tab to download data in the desired format. The table can be exported to spreadsheet.


Browsing ODESI for Labour Force Survey and Downloading Microdata

  1. Connect to <odesi>
  2. Click on Browse in the top-right corner of the site
  3. Click on the + sign next to ODESI (Click to View Categories) in the top-left corner of the screen to expand categories
  4. Click on Labour and Employment -> Canada -> Labor Force Survey -> 2010s -> 2016


5. Click on Public Use Microdata Files (PUMF) and select the survey you want to use. In this example, we use Labour Force Survey, March 2016 [Canada]


6. Click on Metadata to get information about the resource, such as survey methods and codebooks.

7. Click on Variable Description to analyze data:

Step 1: You may want to have a general idea of the impact of employees’ education on their hourly wage.

8. Click on a variable to see the question that was asked and the frequencies of all possible responses.

9. Click on Tabulation at the top of the right-hand panel to create cross-tabulations.


10. Click on Education -> Highest educational attainment (1990-) -> Add to row


11. Click on Hourly Wage -> Usual hourly wages, employees only -> Add as measure


The data table will look something like this:


12. In many cases, it is advisable to weight analysis results before reporting them to ensure that your survey sample is representative of the entire population. To apply weights, select the Weight icon in the top-right corner of the window and choose the weight variable to be used.


13. Export your tables by clicking on the icons in the top-right corner of the window either to Excel Spreadsheet or in PDF format.


Step 2: You may want to look into various variables that may have impact on the hourly wage including (but not limited to) highest educational attainment, geographic location and gender.

14. Click on the Save Icon (i.e., the disk) in the top-right corner of the window.


15. Click on SUBSET

16. Under Variable Description click on Demographics -> Province -> Add to subset


17. Click on Sex of respondent -> Add to subset

18. Under Hourly Wage click on Usual hourly wages, employees only to add it to subset

19. Under Education click on Highest educational attainment (1990-) to add it to subset

20. The four variables are added. Click "OK" to return to the download page.


21. Select a data format from the drop-down box. Click on "Download" to start downloading.


22. Tick the box next to Include documentation or download the documentation separately.