Labour Force Survey

Labour Force Surveys are statistical surveys conducted in a number of countries designed to capture data about the labour market. All European Union member states are required to conduct a Labour Force Survey annually.[1] Labour Force Surveys are also carried out in some non-EU countries.[2] They are used to calculate the International Labour Organization (ILO)-defined unemployment rate.[3] The ILO agrees the definitions and concepts employed in Labour Force Surveys.[4]


European Union

Prior to 1998, EU member states were required to conduct an LFS in one quarter per year, but as a result of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 577/98 of 9 March 1998 they are now expected to submit LFS results for every quarter to Eurostat.[4][5] Responsibility for sample selection, questionnaire design and fieldwork lies with member states' national statistical offices, who then forward the results to Eurostat, employing a common coding scheme.[5]

The EU LFS, as it is known, covers not only the EU member states but also three of the four European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and candidate countries.[6]

United Kingdom

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) conducted the United Kingdom's first Labour Force Survey in 1973 and repeated it every two years until 1983. It is curated by the UK Data Service and can be accessed for research through them . The European Community then introduced a requirement for all of its member states to conduct an LFS and the ONS introduced a quarterly element to its LFS. The UK switched to a full quarterly survey in 1992, initially with seasonal quarters but moving to calendar quarters in 2006.[4]


The first Australian LFS was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in November 1960. Initially, the LFS was conducted only in state capitals, in February, May, August, and November, but in February 1964 it was rolled out to the whole of Australia. The last quarterly survey was conducted in November 1977. The LFS became monthly in February 1978, when the range of topics covered was increased and the LFS measure became the official measure of unemployment.[7]

New Zealand

New Zealand's quarterly Household Labour Force Survey was established in December 1985. It was revised in 1990 to include new variables including underemployment.[8]


In addition to being used to generate official statistics, data from the LFS are employed by academics and other researchers. In the UK, for example, the LFS has been used as a data source for research projects on topics such as female employment, the economic returns to education, migration and ethnic minority groups.[9][10]


  1. "Labour Force Survey". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 25 June 2002. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  2. "Labour Force Surveys". International Labour Organization. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  3. Lipsey, Richard G; Chrystal, Alec (2007). Economics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 569. ISBN 0199286418.
  4. Browne, Lester; Alstrup, Peter (July 2006). "What Exactly is the Labour Force Survey?" (PDF) (4th ed.). Office for National Statistics. pp. 3–4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2003. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  5. "European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS): Description of dataset". Eurostat. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  6. "European Union Labour Force Survey – Eurostat metadata in SDDS format: Summary methodology". Eurostat. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  7. Trewin, Dennis (2005). "History of the monthly Labour Force Survey". 2005 Year Book Australia. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. pp. 212–214. ISSN 0312-4746.
  8. "New Zealand". Sources and Methods: Labour Statistics – Volume 3: Economically active population, employment, unemployment and hours of work (household surveys). International Labour Organization. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  9. "Usage of the Labour Force Survey". ESDS Government. Universities of Essex and Manchester. 27 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 September 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  10. "How is the Labour Force Survey used?" (PDF). ESDS Government: 2. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2009.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.