National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011

Background to preliminary release

The purpose of this preliminary release is to advise users of the NOC/NOC-S of the changes that have been made. It is with appreciation that we provide this feedback to the many users who submitted comments to Statistics Canada or Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) during the public consultations on the 2011 revision.

The National Occupational Classification provides a systematic classification structure that categorizes the entire range of occupational activity in Canada. Its detailed occupations are identified and grouped primarily according to the work performed, as determined by the tasks, duties and responsibilities of the occupation. It is jointly revised by HRSDC and Statistics Canada every five years to incorporate information on new occupations. Each ten years, structural changes that affect the coding framework, such as the addition of new classes, are considered.

NOC 2011 represents a significant structural revision. It was undertaken to eliminate the differences that have existed between Statistics Canada's NOC-S and HRSDC's NOC. Users of both systems requested the elimination of these differences during the public consultations. While significant changes have been made to the Major Groups and to the NOC-S coding system, the vast majority of specific occupational groups will be comparable to earlier data sets.

NOC 2011 maintains the strengths of both of its predecessors. Its Major Groups provide a level of detail that is comparable to that of the Major Groups of NOC-S 2006. Like NOC 2006, its organization is based on the dual criteria of Skill Type and Skill Level, supporting more relevant labour market analysis.

The full NOC 2011, including definitions for all classes and information on the main duties and employment requirements associated with each class, will be released in January 2012. It will include a theoretical concordance to both NOC 2006 and NOC-S 2006. The first data release based on this classification is expected to be the occupational data from the 2011 National Household Survey.

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