Can you use correlation for percentages?


New Member
I have two variables: the number of employees who work from home in the firm and the number of independent contractors in the firm - and I have this data for 70 firms.

I am trying to determine what statistical measure of association I can use to determine whether there is a relationship between these two variables.

I assumed the best way to do this is to convert the two variables to percentages so that my hypothesis would be: there is a positive correlation between the percentage of telecommuters and percentage of independent contractors a firm has. However, I read that you cannot use correlation to compare two percentages.

I am not strong in statistics so I would be very grateful for any insight on whether what I am trying to do here seems logical, if converting to percentages to run the correlation makes sense, and if correlation is an acceptable means of determining association between two %s. If it is not, I would be very grateful for recommendations on statistical tests that would work best to determine the association between these two variables.


Not a robit
Depends on what you are using this for. If it is just for a general in-house analysis (that you are not publishing) - yeah a spearman correlation may give you a general idea of the relationship. I would also strongly recommend creating a scatterplot with these data.

If you want to do something more stringent, perhaps using beta regression may work.