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"I don't know what to make of that jump in February. A surge in FIRE employment?"

RRSP season? Would you have data for the previous Jan-Feb?

What are LFS and SEPH?

Sorry - I've added a explanatory note. LFS is the Labour Force Survey, which surveys households. The SEPH is the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, which surveys employers.

Marion: Both series are deseasonalised. To the extent that there's a seasonal surge in hiring during RRSP season (is there? does anyone know?) then that is - in principle, at least - already taken into account.

@Stephen: "We've gotten used to treating the LFS as being definitive. We should revisit that habit."
it is too ingrained in a lazy, incompetent press corps and political class. And the narrative is too useful. See the current state of political discourse in Québec...

Is there some different way in which industries are calculated in the SEPH, as opposed to the LFS? Perhaps something to do with SEPH classifying industry by the company and LFS by the individual. A corporate services position - marketing, HR, receptionist... - at an insurance company would probably show up as FIRE in SEPH, but not LFS. Or am I misunderstanding how the industry breakdowns are established.

RRSP season's effect depends on classification. Front-line sales people for mutual funds have to be licensed and carry liability insurance, this model is not conductive to "surge" employment. Clerks and back-office staff are more susceptible to a swing, so it depends on how the administrators are classified.

You might want to look closely at who is in the FIRE numbers. It might include staff working for real estate firms and those probably go down during the winter.

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