Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Stats Canada Regrets...

OTTAWA – In a highly unusual move, Statistics Canada has delayed the release of a major set of data from the 2011 National Household Survey by a month.

Data on Canadian income, earnings, housing and shelter costs were to be released Wednesday morning, but instead will now be unveiled by the federal statistical agency on Sept. 11. The National Household Survey replaced the mandatory long-form census.

Census manager Marc Hamel said that the release involved complex calculations based on hundreds of formulas. But over the weekend, he said the agency’s experts found a problem while doing some last-minute checks.

The folks at StatsCan insist that this flub-up has nothing to do with the switch to a voluntary long-form (now called the National Household Survey).  Nevertheless, economist Stephen Gordon brings the thunder o' disapprobation:

It's entirely reasonable to be skeptical about numbers generated by an untried and untested methodology in the absence of technical documentation. Many people - me included - were prepared to give StatsCan the benefit of the doubt. They no longer deserve it.

Meanwhile, as far as I know, Statscan has still not released data down to the census tract/dissemination area for any of its NHS-based reports, and last time I called had not given any date for so doing.

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