The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a household survey carried out every quarter by the National Statistics Office (NSO). Its main objective is that of dividing the 15+ year old population into three mutually exclusive groups - employed, unemployed and inactive and, provide descriptive information on each of these groups.
Data from the survey provides a rich source of information about the labour force using internationally agreed concepts and definitions.
The survey is designed to be the source for measuring unemployment as it uses harmonised definitions regarding unemployment. Although this information can be extracted from the unemployment register, this can only relate to the administratively unemployed and hence its criteria do not correspond with international conventions for defining employment and unemployment.
The LFS affords the opportunity to define certain labour market characteristics not normally available from other sources. Employment related information includes breakdowns by demographic characteristics, industry and occupation and usual and actual hours worked.
Unemployment estimates are produced by demographic group, duration of unemployment and, activity before searching for work. Information on industry and occupation and reason for leaving the last job is also available. It is also a major source of information on the personal characteristics of the working-age population, including age, marital status, education level and household characteristics.
Labour Force Survey Quality Reports: 2008 | 2009