strsubcodechain Labour Market Situation - Data and Methods
Sources and Definitions
 
Search OECD Statistics
    Sources, Definitions       & Public Data (Home)
    Business Cycle 
      Analysis Database
    Key Economic
      Indicators
    Real-Time &       Revisions Database
    MEI Home
    Contact Us
      
[Download Public Data][Version française] | [Printable Version]
Subjects > Labour Market Situation

|Australia | Austria | Belgium | Brazil | Canada | Chile | Czech Republic | Denmark | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Japan | Korea | Luxembourg | Mexico | Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Slovak Republic | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey | United Kingdom | United States | Euro Area | European Union |



Subject: Labour Force Survey - quarterly levels


.LF.......
Contact person/organisation
OECD statistics contact: stat.contact@oecd.org



Active population


.LFAC.......
Key statistical concept
The Labour Force, or currently active population, comprises all persons who fulfill the requirements for inclusion among the employed or the unemployed.



Employed population


.LFEM.......
Key statistical concept
Persons in employment include all those employed above a specified age who during a specified brief period, either one week or one day, were in the following categories:

- paid employment;

- employers and self-employed;

- unpaid family workers; unpaid family workers at work should be considered as being self-employed irrespective of the number of hours worked during the reference period.

Students, homemakers and others mainly engaged in non-economic activities during the reference period, who at the same time were in paid employment or self-employment should be considered as employed on the same basis as other categories of employed persons

For operational purposes, the notion of some work may be interpreted as work for at least one hour.

Persons temporarily not at work because of illness or injury, holiday or vacation, strike or lock-out, educational or training leave, maternity or parental leave, reduction in economic activity, temporary disorganisation or suspension of work due to reasons such as bad weather, mechanical or electrical breakdown, or shortage of raw materials or fuels, or other temporary absence with or without leave should be considered as being in paid employment provided they have a formal job attachment.



Subject: Employment - by professional status


.LFES.......
Key statistical concept
Persons in employment can be classified in three main groups according the International Classification by Status in Employment (ICSE): employees, employers and persons working on own account and unpaid family workers. According to the International guidelines, employees are persons who hold a “paid employment job”. Unpaid family workers are usually counted with persons working on own account if they are not presented as a category.



Unemployed population


.LFUN.......
Key statistical concept

6.1 The unemployed comprise all persons above a specified age, who during the reference period were:
- 6.1.1 without work, i.e. were not in paid employment or self-employment during the reference period.
- 6.1.2 Currently available for work, i.e. were available for paid employment or self-employment during the reference period.
- 6.1.3 Seeking work, i.e. had taken specific steps in a specified recent period to seek paid employment or self-employment. The specific steps may include registration at a public or private employment exchange; application to employers; checking at worksites, farms, factory gates, market or other assembly places; placing or answering newspaper advertisements; seeking assistance of friends or relatives; looking for land, building, machinery or equipment to establish own enterprise; arranging for financial resources; applying for permits and licences, etc.

6.2 In situations where the conventional means of seeking work are of limited relevance, where the labour market is largely unorganised or of limited scope, where labour absorption is, at the time, inadequate, or where the labour force is largely self-employed, the standard definition of unemployment given in subparagraph (6.1) above may be applied by relaxing the criterion of seeking work.

6.3 In the application of the criterion of current availability for work, especially in situations covered by subparagraph (6.2) above, appropriate tests should be developed to suit national circumstances. Such tests may be based on notions such as present desire for work and previous work experience, willingness to take up work for wage or salary on locally prevailing terms, or readiness to undertake self-employment activity given the necessary resources and facilities.

6.4 Notwithstanding the criterion of seeking work embodied in the standard definition of unemployment, persons without work and currently available for work who had made arrangements to take up paid employment or undertake self-employment activity at a date subsequent to the reference period should be considered as unemployed.

6.5 Persons temporarily absent from their jobs with no formal job attachment who were currently available for work and seeking work should be regarded as unemployed in accordance with the standard definition of unemployment. Countries may, however, depending on national circumstances and policies, prefer to relax the seeking work criterion in the case of persons temporarily laid off. In such cases, persons temporarily laid off who were not seeking work but classified as unemployed should be identified as a separate subcategory.

6.6 Students, homemakers and others mainly engaged in non-economic activities during the reference period who satisfy the criteria laid down in subparagraphs (6.1) and (6.2) above should be regarded as unemployed on the same basis as other categories of unemployed persons and be identified separately, where possible. Note: As an amplification of these definitions, the OECD Working Party on Employment and Unemployment Statistics, at its October 1983 meeting recommended that Member countries retain the criterion of job search in a recent period such as the prior month in their labour force surveys and specifically test for it so that unemployment data embodying this criterion are available for international comparisons.


Glossary Terms: Unemployment




Working age population


.LFWA.......
Key statistical concept
The total labour force, or currently active population, comprises all persons who fulfill the requirements for inclusion among the employed (civilian employment plus the armed forces) or the unemployed.
Related Links: Civilian employment, Armed Forces, Unemployed




Subject: Labour Force Survey - quarterly rates


.LR.......
Contact person/organisation
OECD statistics contact: stat.contact@oecd.org



Subject: Activity rate


.LRAC.......
Key statistical concept
The activity rate (by age group) is calculated as the active population (employed plus unemployed) divided by the working age population.



Subject: Employment rate


.LREM.......
Key statistical concept
Employment rates are a measure of the extent of utilisation of available labour resources. In the short term, these rates are sensitive to the economic cycle, but in the longer term they are significantly affected by government policies with regard to higher education and income support and by policies that facilitate employment of women. Labour markets differ in how they allocate employment opportunities among people of different ages. Employment rates for people of different ages are significantly affected by government policies with regard to higher education, pensions and retirement age.

The employment rate for a given age group is measured as the number of employed people of a given age as a ratio of the working age population in that same age group.





Subject: Employment to population rate


.LREP.......
Key statistical concept
The employment to population ratio is calculated as the employed population (aged 15 and over) divided by the total population (on a LFS basis).



Harmonised unemployment


.LRHU.......
Key statistical concept

Harmonised unemployment rates
The harmonised unemployment rates give the numbers of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force. The labour force consists of employees, the self-employed, unpaid family workers and the unemployed. The definitions of employment and unemployment conform with the definitions adopted by the 13th Conference of Labour Statisticians (generally referred to as the ILO guidelines) with the exception that employment and unemployment estimates are based on labour force surveys which cover only private households and exclude all people living in institutions. Under these guidelines the unemployed are persons of working age who, in a specified period, are without work and are both available for and are actively seeking work. The Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) give a more precise definition of unemployment through the Commission Regulation (EC), no.1897/2000 in September 2000. Details about this new definition and its implementation are available on Eurostat Internet site: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu.

Eurostat calculates the harmonised unemployment rates for the European Union (EU) member countries and Iceland, Norway and Turkey. In these countries, the LFS follows the Eurostat recommendations which are a detailed version of the ILO guidelines. In case of Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Switzerland the OECD collects the data directly from the National Statistical Offices. In those countries, the household labour force survey is assessed to follow ILO guidelines and to produce unemployment figures according to the ILO guidelines. The harmonised unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted. The OECD area covers the OECD member countries for which data are available. In order to compile the OECD area, the Secretariat estimates monthly figures for countries which only compile quarterly data. Eurostat calculates the Euro area and the European Union.





Subject: Inactivity rate


.LRIN.......
Key statistical concept
The inactivity rate (by age group) is calculated as those considered inactive in the working age population (in other words those people neither in employment or defined as unemployed) divided by the working age population for that age group.



Unemployment rate


.LRUN.......
Key statistical concept
The unemployment rate is the ratio of number of persons unemployed and the number of persons in the labour force.  The labour force is the sum of the numbers of persons employed and unemployed.  The criteria for a person to be considered as unemployed or employed are defined by the ILO guidelines. Sample surveys (household or individual) are the best way to capture unemployment and employment according to the ILO guidelines. Unemployment rates presented here are compiled from household or individual surveys. For OECD member countries, harmonised unemployment rates (HURs) are also presented in the same database.

For Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and the United States the harmonised rates and the unemployment rates are identical because the OECD does not perform any additional calculation and publishes the rate calculated with the data provided by the countries. For these cases, the methodologies of the survey are assessed as producing ILO employment and unemployment figures. For all European Union countries and Iceland, Norway and Turkey Eurostat estimates a monthly HUR. To produce monthly rates, Eurostat uses the results of the surveys and the monthly number of registered unemployed when the surveys only produce quarterly results. For United Kingdom and Finland, Eurostat does not perform any calculation since the survey produces monthly results.



Subject: Unemployment to population rate


.LRUP.......
Key statistical concept
The unemployment to population ratio is calculated as the unemployed population (aged 15 and over) divided by the total population (on a LFS basis).