Macdonald-Laurier Institute Senior Fellow Philip Cross appeared on CBC and the Business News Network to discuss the implications for Statistics Canada of their Labour Force Survey error.

Cross told The Exchange on CBC that the mistake, which forced Stats Can to last week release revised numbers for job creation in July, is embarrassing but should be treated as an isolated incident.

“People like to think that statistics are made in a very antiseptic, clinical manner – no. They involve human beings, human beings make mistakes and that appears to be what happened this time”, says Cross.

If anything, Cross believes the Labour Force Survey error is causing us to overlook areas where Stats Can should be focusing. He says that tracking business investment and energy exports are just two of the areas where Stats Can should be doing better.

“We shouldn’t be focusing on – frankly – relatively unimportant one-off errors, even in high-profile data like the unemployment numbers. We should be talking about how do we strengthen the overall statistical system.”

Cross also spoke with several newspapers for the story and authored two op-eds on the subject – one for the National Post before the release of the updated numbers and one after for the Globe and Mail.

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