An economic/establishment census is a procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information on the full set of economic units belonging to a given population or universe. It is the complete enumeration of a population or groups at a point in time with respect to well defined characteristics. The partial enumeration resulting from a failure to cover the whole population may be referred to as an “incomplete census”. An economic census is a valuable source of benchmark information on total employment and size of establishments, employment by economic activity, hours of work, and earnings, among others. Employment is measured as the number of jobs held by employees, not the number of employed persons. The units of observation are establishments or enterprises.

For more information, refer to the Quick Guide on Sources and Uses of Labour Statistics.

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