Employment and unemployment (LFS)
The EU Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a large sample survey among private households which provides detailed annual and quarterly data on:
The data can be broken down along many dimensions including age, sex, educational attainment, and distinctions between permanent/temporary and full-time/part-time employment. It covers people aged 15 and over in the EU, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – except Liechtenstein – and Candidate Countries.
The LFS sample size is about 1.5 million people every quarter. The sampling rates in each country vary between 0.2 % and 3.3 %. The LFS is now a continuous quarterly survey. Initially, from 1983, its results covered one quarter per year only (usually in spring), but from 1998 to 2005 it underwent a transition to a continuous survey – interviews are distributed across all weeks of the year – designed to give reliable quarterly results.
Use of Data
The LFS is an important source of information about the situation and trends in the EU labour market. Most notably, it forms the basis for the monthly harmonised unemployment rate, one of Eurostat's key short-term indicators.