Documentation - Retail Pulse Dashboard - Retail Council of Canada
Digital Retail & Technology

Documentation – Retail Pulse Dashboard

May 15, 2023

Starting 2023, the Documentation shows the sources for each dashboard visualization and includes explanatory notes as well as corrections made. A reminder that the Dashboard (and this documentation) is for general information only, that we provide no guarantee of accuracy or completeness and that you should seek expert advice for any material decisions. For more information, see the disclaimer at the bottom of this page and each Dashboard page.


Overview – Sources

Retail Sales

Retail Jobs

Retail GDP

Retail Sales Volume Index

  • Moneris

Foot Traffic

  • Environics

Web Visits

  • Environics

Environics Demographics

  • Environics

Retail Sales – Sources

Top sales metric, Regional Highlights and Regional Subsector Highlights

E-commerce sales

Total retail sales vs. 2019

Restaurant sales

Retail sales volume growth

Retail Jobs – Sources

Retail Jobs

Regional Highlights

Regional Subsector Highlights

Retail jobs % of total

Average hourly earnings

Average weekly earnings

Total compensation for all jobs

Total compensation per job

Total compensation per hour worked

Job vacancy rate

Managerial, Sales and Services Earnings

Managerial, Sales and Services Jobs

Economy – Sources

Retail GDP

Regional Highlights

Regional Subsector Highlights

Retail GDP %

Consumer Price Index

Capital Expenditure

Active Retail Businesses

Restaurant bookings

  • Open Table Reservations

USD Exchange rate

  • Bank of Canada US-Canada Daily Exchange Rate

Retail Trade Business Location Counts

Consumer Spending – Sources

  • Moneris

Consumer Behaviours – Sources

  • Environics

Explanatory Notes

Retail Sales – Notes

Formula for core retail is Retail Trade [44-45] – Motor vehicle and parts dealers [441] – Gasoline stations and fuel vendors [457]

Retail Jobs – Notes

The dashboard jobs data draws mainly from two monthly Statistics Canada surveys that measure employment levels and trends: the Labour Force Survey (LFS), often called the household survey, and the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH), often referred to as the payroll or establishment survey. The top widget, regional highlights and regional subsector highlights use unadjusted retail jobs data from these two releases. Because the LFS has a broader definition of employment than the SEPH, the LFS employment level exceeds the SEPH employment level. For more information on the differences between SEPH and LFS jobs information, view Section 8 of Statistics Canada’s 2020 paper.

The total compensation data is sourced differently. It is consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA) and sourced through Labour Productivity Measures – Provinces and Territories (Annual). In these visualizations, the total compensation for all jobs consists of all payments in cash or in kind made by domestic producers to workers for services rendered. It includes labour income for paid workers and imputed labour income for self-employed workers. The total compensation per job is the ratio between total compensation paid for all jobs, and the total number of jobs. The total compensation per hour worked is the ratio between total compensation for all jobs, and the number of hours worked.

The managerial, sales and services data is via the LFS and pulls NOC codes 60 and 62. Specifically, Middle management occupations in retail and wholesale trade and customer services (60) and Retail sales and service supervisors and specialized occupations in sales and services (62).

Retail Economy – Notes

The Active Retail Businesses visualization counts active retail business establishments. The Retail Trade Business Location Counts visualization counts retail locations. Neither visualization can accurately be described as a count of retail ‘businesses,’ assuming that ‘business’ is said to mean what it generally means in common parlance, i.e., a going concern owned by someone.

In the Active Retail Businesses visualization, the statistical unit of measures used is the business establishment, which represents a unit of production, such as a factory, store, or head office. By comparison, an enterprise may have many establishments that might operate in different regions and industries.

In the Retail Trade Business Location Counts visualization, businesses are counted according to the number of “statistical locations” they have. For example, a retail business with 10 stores and a head office is counted 11 times in the Canadian business counts. The data includes all active Canadian locations with employees. The visualization date references the start period for this dataset, which is usually released semiannually in June and December.

For more information, see Statistics Canada’s guide, which includes Business Register data definitions.



January – March/April retail sales data had some incorrect totals in the Retail Sales visualizations.

April GDP and May Jobs visualizations (Overview and Regional Highlights) incorrectly featured Year to Date totals that summed monthly GDP and Jobs numbers for previous months, a calculation that these metrics do not support.