Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Labour Force Survey (LFS)
Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Topic
Wellbeing
Social Systems and Welfare
Work and Productivity
Education and Learning
Uses of Technology
Relevance for this Topic
Country United Kingdom
URL
More Topics

Governance

Contact information

Office for National Statistics
Customer Contact Centre
Government Buildings, Cardiff Road
NP10 8XG Newport, South Wales
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 1633 455678.
Email: socialsurveys(at)ons.gsi.gov.uk
Url: http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/

Timeliness, transparency

Data are available about 3 months after the end of fieldwork

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Cross-section, regular


The survey is largely used as a cross-section, but households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. Users should note that a panel version of the survey is available via the UK Data Service.

Data gathering method

Telephone interview (CATI)

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview (The first interview is conducted face-to-face, and subsequent interviews by telephone where possible.)

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Cross-section, regular


The survey is largely used as a cross-section, but households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. Users should note that a panel version of the survey is available via the UK Data Service.

Data gathering method

Telephone interview (CATI)

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview (The first interview is conducted face-to-face, and subsequent interviews by telephone where possible.)

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Cross-section, regular


The survey is largely used as a cross-section, but households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. Users should note that a panel version of the survey is available via the UK Data Service.

Data gathering method

Telephone interview (CATI)

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview (The first interview is conducted face-to-face, and subsequent interviews by telephone where possible.)

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Cross-section, regular


The survey is largely used as a cross-section, but households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. Users should note that a panel version of the survey is available via the UK Data Service.

Data gathering method

Telephone interview (CATI)

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview (The first interview is conducted face-to-face, and subsequent interviews by telephone where possible.)

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Cross-section, regular


The survey is largely used as a cross-section, but households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. Users should note that a panel version of the survey is available via the UK Data Service.

Data gathering method

Telephone interview (CATI)

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview (The first interview is conducted face-to-face, and subsequent interviews by telephone where possible.)


Access to data


Data are available from the UK Data Service (previously the Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS): http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/ The website contains detailed information on conditions of access, and it is also possible to contact the UK Data Service by phone: +44 (0)1206 872143, or by email: help@ukdataservice.ac.uk

Conditions of access


Registration is required and standard UK Data Service conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in the End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service. Researchers based at a UK institution of higher or further education (UK HE/FE) can access the UK Data Service through their library. If you are outside the UK you will need to apply for a UK Data Archive username and password, and then register with the UK Data Service. In general, data required for non-commercial purposes can be downloaded at no cost. If data are requested on portable media, e.g. CD, handling and postage and packing fees will apply. See: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../charges.aspx
From the January-March 2003 quarter, a Special Licence (SL) version of the QLFS data is also available in addition to the version made available under the standard End User Licence (EUL). The SL version contains extra variables, and therefore is subject to more restrictive access conditions. Prospective users of the SL version will need to complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the extra variables, in order to get permission to use that version. Typically, the extra non-EUL variables that can be found in the SL data, are: month and year of birth (variables dobm and doby); Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics Level 2 (NUTS2 - county-level); 4-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for occupation in apprenticeship, last job, second job and job made redundant from (soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks); unitary authority/local authority for place of residence and place of work (ua/la); urban/rural indicator (urind). Data for households of size 10 or above, which are excluded from the standard EUL data, can also be found in the SL data. With the introduction of SL data, some variables were correspondingly removed from the EUL datasets for 2003 onwards, including dobm, doby, nuts2, soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks. Users should note that these variables may still be referenced in the user guides without reference to restricted availability. More comprehensive versions of the QLFS datasets are also available via the UK Data Service Secure Access system. These datasets include further additional, detailed variables not included in either the EUL or SL versions. They are subject to further access restrictions. For more information, see: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../conditions.aspx


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


Survey data from the UK Data Service are usually available to download in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited (suitable for use in MS Excel) formats.


English

Access to data


Data are available from the UK Data Service (previously the Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS): http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/ The website contains detailed information on conditions of access, and it is also possible to contact the UK Data Service by phone: +44 (0)1206 872143, or by email: help@ukdataservice.ac.uk

Conditions of access


Registration is required and standard UK Data Service conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in the End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service. Researchers based at a UK institution of higher or further education (UK HE/FE) can access the UK Data Service through their library. If you are outside the UK you will need to apply for a UK Data Archive username and password, and then register with the UK Data Service. In general, data required for non-commercial purposes can be downloaded at no cost. If data are requested on portable media, e.g. CD, handling and postage and packing fees will apply. See: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../charges.aspx
From the January-March 2003 quarter, a Special Licence (SL) version of the QLFS data is also available in addition to the version made available under the standard End User Licence (EUL). The SL version contains extra variables, and therefore is subject to more restrictive access conditions. Prospective users of the SL version will need to complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the extra variables, in order to get permission to use that version. Typically, the extra non-EUL variables that can be found in the SL data, are: month and year of birth (variables dobm and doby); Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics Level 2 (NUTS2 - county-level); 4-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for occupation in apprenticeship, last job, second job and job made redundant from (soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks); unitary authority/local authority for place of residence and place of work (ua/la); urban/rural indicator (urind). Data for households of size 10 or above, which are excluded from the standard EUL data, can also be found in the SL data. With the introduction of SL data, some variables were correspondingly removed from the EUL datasets for 2003 onwards, including dobm, doby, nuts2, soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks. Users should note that these variables may still be referenced in the user guides without reference to restricted availability. More comprehensive versions of the QLFS datasets are also available via the UK Data Service Secure Access system. These datasets include further additional, detailed variables not included in either the EUL or SL versions. They are subject to further access restrictions. For more information, see: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../conditions.aspx


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


Survey data from the UK Data Service are usually available to download in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited (suitable for use in MS Excel) formats.


English

Access to data


Data are available from the UK Data Service (previously the Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS): http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/ The website contains detailed information on conditions of access, and it is also possible to contact the UK Data Service by phone: +44 (0)1206 872143, or by email: help@ukdataservice.ac.uk

Conditions of access


Registration is required and standard UK Data Service conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in the End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service. Researchers based at a UK institution of higher or further education (UK HE/FE) can access the UK Data Service through their library. If you are outside the UK you will need to apply for a UK Data Archive username and password, and then register with the UK Data Service. In general, data required for non-commercial purposes can be downloaded at no cost. If data are requested on portable media, e.g. CD, handling and postage and packing fees will apply. See: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../charges.aspx
From the January-March 2003 quarter, a Special Licence (SL) version of the QLFS data is also available in addition to the version made available under the standard End User Licence (EUL). The SL version contains extra variables, and therefore is subject to more restrictive access conditions. Prospective users of the SL version will need to complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the extra variables, in order to get permission to use that version. Typically, the extra non-EUL variables that can be found in the SL data, are: month and year of birth (variables dobm and doby); Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics Level 2 (NUTS2 - county-level); 4-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for occupation in apprenticeship, last job, second job and job made redundant from (soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks); unitary authority/local authority for place of residence and place of work (ua/la); urban/rural indicator (urind). Data for households of size 10 or above, which are excluded from the standard EUL data, can also be found in the SL data. With the introduction of SL data, some variables were correspondingly removed from the EUL datasets for 2003 onwards, including dobm, doby, nuts2, soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks. Users should note that these variables may still be referenced in the user guides without reference to restricted availability. More comprehensive versions of the QLFS datasets are also available via the UK Data Service Secure Access system. These datasets include further additional, detailed variables not included in either the EUL or SL versions. They are subject to further access restrictions. For more information, see: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../conditions.aspx


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


Survey data from the UK Data Service are usually available to download in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited (suitable for use in MS Excel) formats.


English

Access to data


Data are available from the UK Data Service (previously the Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS): http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/ The website contains detailed information on conditions of access, and it is also possible to contact the UK Data Service by phone: +44 (0)1206 872143, or by email: help@ukdataservice.ac.uk

Conditions of access


Registration is required and standard UK Data Service conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in the End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service. Researchers based at a UK institution of higher or further education (UK HE/FE) can access the UK Data Service through their library. If you are outside the UK you will need to apply for a UK Data Archive username and password, and then register with the UK Data Service. In general, data required for non-commercial purposes can be downloaded at no cost. If data are requested on portable media, e.g. CD, handling and postage and packing fees will apply. See: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../charges.aspx
From the January-March 2003 quarter, a Special Licence (SL) version of the QLFS data is also available in addition to the version made available under the standard End User Licence (EUL). The SL version contains extra variables, and therefore is subject to more restrictive access conditions. Prospective users of the SL version will need to complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the extra variables, in order to get permission to use that version. Typically, the extra non-EUL variables that can be found in the SL data, are: month and year of birth (variables dobm and doby); Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics Level 2 (NUTS2 - county-level); 4-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for occupation in apprenticeship, last job, second job and job made redundant from (soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks); unitary authority/local authority for place of residence and place of work (ua/la); urban/rural indicator (urind). Data for households of size 10 or above, which are excluded from the standard EUL data, can also be found in the SL data. With the introduction of SL data, some variables were correspondingly removed from the EUL datasets for 2003 onwards, including dobm, doby, nuts2, soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks. Users should note that these variables may still be referenced in the user guides without reference to restricted availability. More comprehensive versions of the QLFS datasets are also available via the UK Data Service Secure Access system. These datasets include further additional, detailed variables not included in either the EUL or SL versions. They are subject to further access restrictions. For more information, see: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../conditions.aspx


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


Survey data from the UK Data Service are usually available to download in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited (suitable for use in MS Excel) formats.


English

Access to data


Data are available from the UK Data Service (previously the Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS): http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/ The website contains detailed information on conditions of access, and it is also possible to contact the UK Data Service by phone: +44 (0)1206 872143, or by email: help@ukdataservice.ac.uk

Conditions of access


Registration is required and standard UK Data Service conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in the End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service. Researchers based at a UK institution of higher or further education (UK HE/FE) can access the UK Data Service through their library. If you are outside the UK you will need to apply for a UK Data Archive username and password, and then register with the UK Data Service. In general, data required for non-commercial purposes can be downloaded at no cost. If data are requested on portable media, e.g. CD, handling and postage and packing fees will apply. See: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../charges.aspx
From the January-March 2003 quarter, a Special Licence (SL) version of the QLFS data is also available in addition to the version made available under the standard End User Licence (EUL). The SL version contains extra variables, and therefore is subject to more restrictive access conditions. Prospective users of the SL version will need to complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the extra variables, in order to get permission to use that version. Typically, the extra non-EUL variables that can be found in the SL data, are: month and year of birth (variables dobm and doby); Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics Level 2 (NUTS2 - county-level); 4-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for occupation in apprenticeship, last job, second job and job made redundant from (soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks); unitary authority/local authority for place of residence and place of work (ua/la); urban/rural indicator (urind). Data for households of size 10 or above, which are excluded from the standard EUL data, can also be found in the SL data. With the introduction of SL data, some variables were correspondingly removed from the EUL datasets for 2003 onwards, including dobm, doby, nuts2, soc2kap, soc2kl, soc2kr and soc2ks. Users should note that these variables may still be referenced in the user guides without reference to restricted availability. More comprehensive versions of the QLFS datasets are also available via the UK Data Service Secure Access system. These datasets include further additional, detailed variables not included in either the EUL or SL versions. They are subject to further access restrictions. For more information, see: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../conditions.aspx


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


Survey data from the UK Data Service are usually available to download in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited (suitable for use in MS Excel) formats.


English


Coverage


The LFS was first conducted biennially from 1973-1983. Between 1984 and 1991 the survey was carried out annually and consisted of a quarterly survey conducted throughout the year and a 'boost' survey in the spring quarter (data were then collected seasonally). From 1992 quarterly data were made available, with a quarterly sample size approximately equivalent to that of the previous annual data. The survey then became known as the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). From December 1994, data gathering for Northern Ireland moved to a full quarterly cycle to match the rest of the country, so the QLFS then covered the whole of the UK (though some additional annual Northern Ireland LFS datasets are also held at the UK Data Archive). The sample size is approximately 100,000 cases per quarter [Note: Older people are represented in this data source (approximately) according to their proportion in the population. In 2011, over one third of the total UK population (and approximately 40 per cent of the adult population 16+) was aged 50 and over.]


1997 (or 1973 using a different design)


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is stratified.


Simple random sample (implicitly stratified by design) Four sampling frames are used. For Great Britain, south of the Caledonian Canal, the Post Office Address File is used, whilst north of the Caledonian Canal, a random sample is drawn from the published telephone directory. The sample of residents in NHS accommodation is also drawn, unclustered, for the whole of Great Britain using a specially-prepared frame. In Northern Ireland, the source of the sample is the Valuation List used for rating purposes, excluding commercial units and known institutions. Households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. For further details see documentation (available on UK Data Service website).


Countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data are available under Special License.


All ages


Representative of all persons normally resident in (private) households in Great Britain and Northern Ireland From winter 1994-1995, Northern Ireland is included in each quarter. Prior to this, data were only collected there in the March-May quarter each year. When the LFS moved to a quarterly cycle, two new groups of people were included in the survey to improve the coverage of young people: residents in National Health Service (NHS) hospital accommodation (formerly called nurses' homes), and students living in halls of residence or boarding schools. The data include weighting variables


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a unique source of information using international definitions of employment and unemployment and economic inactivity, together with a wide range of related topics such as occupation, training, hours of work and personal characteristics of household members aged 16 years and over. It is used to inform social, economic and employment policy. The LFS questionnaire comprises a 'core' of questions which are included in every survey, together with some 'non-core' questions which vary from quarter to quarter. The questionnaire can be split into two main parts. The first part contains questions on the respondent's household, family structure, basic housing information and demographic details of household members. The second part contains questions covering economic activity, education and health, and also may include a few questions asked on behalf of other government departments. Until 1997, the questions on health covered mainly problems which affected the respondent's work. From that quarter onwards, the questions cover all health problems. Detailed questions on income have also been included in each quarter since 1993.


• Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly.” November 1995-March 1996. • Department for Education and Employment and Central Statistical Office. “Employment Gazette, monthly.” August-October 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Employment Gazette.” HMSO, London, July 1995. • Madouros, V. “Impact of the switch from seasonal to calendar quarters in the Labour Force Survey.” ONS, London, 2006. Available at: www.statistics.gov.uk/.../CQ_article.pdf
• Office for National Statistics . “What exactly is the Labour Force Survey?” ONS, London, 1999. • Office for National Statistics (April 1996- ) Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly. From 2001 onwards, this publication can be accessed online via the ONS Labour Market Trends Archive.

Coverage


The LFS was first conducted biennially from 1973-1983. Between 1984 and 1991 the survey was carried out annually and consisted of a quarterly survey conducted throughout the year and a 'boost' survey in the spring quarter (data were then collected seasonally). From 1992 quarterly data were made available, with a quarterly sample size approximately equivalent to that of the previous annual data. The survey then became known as the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). From December 1994, data gathering for Northern Ireland moved to a full quarterly cycle to match the rest of the country, so the QLFS then covered the whole of the UK (though some additional annual Northern Ireland LFS datasets are also held at the UK Data Archive). The sample size is approximately 100,000 cases per quarter [Note: Older people are represented in this data source (approximately) according to their proportion in the population. In 2011, over one third of the total UK population (and approximately 40 per cent of the adult population 16+) was aged 50 and over.]


1997 (or 1973 using a different design)


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is stratified.


Simple random sample (implicitly stratified by design) Four sampling frames are used. For Great Britain, south of the Caledonian Canal, the Post Office Address File is used, whilst north of the Caledonian Canal, a random sample is drawn from the published telephone directory. The sample of residents in NHS accommodation is also drawn, unclustered, for the whole of Great Britain using a specially-prepared frame. In Northern Ireland, the source of the sample is the Valuation List used for rating purposes, excluding commercial units and known institutions. Households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. For further details see documentation (available on UK Data Service website).


Countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data are available under Special License.


All ages


Representative of all persons normally resident in (private) households in Great Britain and Northern Ireland From winter 1994-1995, Northern Ireland is included in each quarter. Prior to this, data were only collected there in the March-May quarter each year. When the LFS moved to a quarterly cycle, two new groups of people were included in the survey to improve the coverage of young people: residents in National Health Service (NHS) hospital accommodation (formerly called nurses' homes), and students living in halls of residence or boarding schools. The data include weighting variables


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a unique source of information using international definitions of employment and unemployment and economic inactivity, together with a wide range of related topics such as occupation, training, hours of work and personal characteristics of household members aged 16 years and over. It is used to inform social, economic and employment policy. The LFS questionnaire comprises a 'core' of questions which are included in every survey, together with some 'non-core' questions which vary from quarter to quarter. The questionnaire can be split into two main parts. The first part contains questions on the respondent's household, family structure, basic housing information and demographic details of household members. The second part contains questions covering economic activity, education and health, and also may include a few questions asked on behalf of other government departments. Until 1997, the questions on health covered mainly problems which affected the respondent's work. From that quarter onwards, the questions cover all health problems. Detailed questions on income have also been included in each quarter since 1993.


• Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly.” November 1995-March 1996. • Department for Education and Employment and Central Statistical Office. “Employment Gazette, monthly.” August-October 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Employment Gazette.” HMSO, London, July 1995. • Madouros, V. “Impact of the switch from seasonal to calendar quarters in the Labour Force Survey.” ONS, London, 2006. Available at: www.statistics.gov.uk/.../CQ_article.pdf
• Office for National Statistics . “What exactly is the Labour Force Survey?” ONS, London, 1999. • Office for National Statistics (April 1996- ) Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly. From 2001 onwards, this publication can be accessed online via the ONS Labour Market Trends Archive.

Coverage


The LFS was first conducted biennially from 1973-1983. Between 1984 and 1991 the survey was carried out annually and consisted of a quarterly survey conducted throughout the year and a 'boost' survey in the spring quarter (data were then collected seasonally). From 1992 quarterly data were made available, with a quarterly sample size approximately equivalent to that of the previous annual data. The survey then became known as the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). From December 1994, data gathering for Northern Ireland moved to a full quarterly cycle to match the rest of the country, so the QLFS then covered the whole of the UK (though some additional annual Northern Ireland LFS datasets are also held at the UK Data Archive). The sample size is approximately 100,000 cases per quarter [Note: Older people are represented in this data source (approximately) according to their proportion in the population. In 2011, over one third of the total UK population (and approximately 40 per cent of the adult population 16+) was aged 50 and over.]


1997 (or 1973 using a different design)


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is stratified.


Simple random sample (implicitly stratified by design) Four sampling frames are used. For Great Britain, south of the Caledonian Canal, the Post Office Address File is used, whilst north of the Caledonian Canal, a random sample is drawn from the published telephone directory. The sample of residents in NHS accommodation is also drawn, unclustered, for the whole of Great Britain using a specially-prepared frame. In Northern Ireland, the source of the sample is the Valuation List used for rating purposes, excluding commercial units and known institutions. Households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. For further details see documentation (available on UK Data Service website).


Countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data are available under Special License.


All ages


Representative of all persons normally resident in (private) households in Great Britain and Northern Ireland From winter 1994-1995, Northern Ireland is included in each quarter. Prior to this, data were only collected there in the March-May quarter each year. When the LFS moved to a quarterly cycle, two new groups of people were included in the survey to improve the coverage of young people: residents in National Health Service (NHS) hospital accommodation (formerly called nurses' homes), and students living in halls of residence or boarding schools. The data include weighting variables


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a unique source of information using international definitions of employment and unemployment and economic inactivity, together with a wide range of related topics such as occupation, training, hours of work and personal characteristics of household members aged 16 years and over. It is used to inform social, economic and employment policy. The LFS questionnaire comprises a 'core' of questions which are included in every survey, together with some 'non-core' questions which vary from quarter to quarter. The questionnaire can be split into two main parts. The first part contains questions on the respondent's household, family structure, basic housing information and demographic details of household members. The second part contains questions covering economic activity, education and health, and also may include a few questions asked on behalf of other government departments. Until 1997, the questions on health covered mainly problems which affected the respondent's work. From that quarter onwards, the questions cover all health problems. Detailed questions on income have also been included in each quarter since 1993.


• Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly.” November 1995-March 1996. • Department for Education and Employment and Central Statistical Office. “Employment Gazette, monthly.” August-October 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Employment Gazette.” HMSO, London, July 1995. • Madouros, V. “Impact of the switch from seasonal to calendar quarters in the Labour Force Survey.” ONS, London, 2006. Available at: www.statistics.gov.uk/.../CQ_article.pdf
• Office for National Statistics . “What exactly is the Labour Force Survey?” ONS, London, 1999. • Office for National Statistics (April 1996- ) Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly. From 2001 onwards, this publication can be accessed online via the ONS Labour Market Trends Archive.

Coverage


The LFS was first conducted biennially from 1973-1983. Between 1984 and 1991 the survey was carried out annually and consisted of a quarterly survey conducted throughout the year and a 'boost' survey in the spring quarter (data were then collected seasonally). From 1992 quarterly data were made available, with a quarterly sample size approximately equivalent to that of the previous annual data. The survey then became known as the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). From December 1994, data gathering for Northern Ireland moved to a full quarterly cycle to match the rest of the country, so the QLFS then covered the whole of the UK (though some additional annual Northern Ireland LFS datasets are also held at the UK Data Archive). The sample size is approximately 100,000 cases per quarter [Note: Older people are represented in this data source (approximately) according to their proportion in the population. In 2011, over one third of the total UK population (and approximately 40 per cent of the adult population 16+) was aged 50 and over.]


1997 (or 1973 using a different design)


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is stratified.


Simple random sample (implicitly stratified by design) Four sampling frames are used. For Great Britain, south of the Caledonian Canal, the Post Office Address File is used, whilst north of the Caledonian Canal, a random sample is drawn from the published telephone directory. The sample of residents in NHS accommodation is also drawn, unclustered, for the whole of Great Britain using a specially-prepared frame. In Northern Ireland, the source of the sample is the Valuation List used for rating purposes, excluding commercial units and known institutions. Households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. For further details see documentation (available on UK Data Service website).


Countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data are available under Special License.


All ages


Representative of all persons normally resident in (private) households in Great Britain and Northern Ireland From winter 1994-1995, Northern Ireland is included in each quarter. Prior to this, data were only collected there in the March-May quarter each year. When the LFS moved to a quarterly cycle, two new groups of people were included in the survey to improve the coverage of young people: residents in National Health Service (NHS) hospital accommodation (formerly called nurses' homes), and students living in halls of residence or boarding schools. The data include weighting variables


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a unique source of information using international definitions of employment and unemployment and economic inactivity, together with a wide range of related topics such as occupation, training, hours of work and personal characteristics of household members aged 16 years and over. It is used to inform social, economic and employment policy. The LFS questionnaire comprises a 'core' of questions which are included in every survey, together with some 'non-core' questions which vary from quarter to quarter. The questionnaire can be split into two main parts. The first part contains questions on the respondent's household, family structure, basic housing information and demographic details of household members. The second part contains questions covering economic activity, education and health, and also may include a few questions asked on behalf of other government departments. Until 1997, the questions on health covered mainly problems which affected the respondent's work. From that quarter onwards, the questions cover all health problems. Detailed questions on income have also been included in each quarter since 1993.


• Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly.” November 1995-March 1996. • Department for Education and Employment and Central Statistical Office. “Employment Gazette, monthly.” August-October 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Employment Gazette.” HMSO, London, July 1995. • Madouros, V. “Impact of the switch from seasonal to calendar quarters in the Labour Force Survey.” ONS, London, 2006. Available at: www.statistics.gov.uk/.../CQ_article.pdf
• Office for National Statistics . “What exactly is the Labour Force Survey?” ONS, London, 1999. • Office for National Statistics (April 1996- ) Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly. From 2001 onwards, this publication can be accessed online via the ONS Labour Market Trends Archive.

Coverage


The LFS was first conducted biennially from 1973-1983. Between 1984 and 1991 the survey was carried out annually and consisted of a quarterly survey conducted throughout the year and a 'boost' survey in the spring quarter (data were then collected seasonally). From 1992 quarterly data were made available, with a quarterly sample size approximately equivalent to that of the previous annual data. The survey then became known as the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). From December 1994, data gathering for Northern Ireland moved to a full quarterly cycle to match the rest of the country, so the QLFS then covered the whole of the UK (though some additional annual Northern Ireland LFS datasets are also held at the UK Data Archive). The sample size is approximately 100,000 cases per quarter [Note: Older people are represented in this data source (approximately) according to their proportion in the population. In 2011, over one third of the total UK population (and approximately 40 per cent of the adult population 16+) was aged 50 and over.]


1997 (or 1973 using a different design)


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is stratified.


Simple random sample (implicitly stratified by design) Four sampling frames are used. For Great Britain, south of the Caledonian Canal, the Post Office Address File is used, whilst north of the Caledonian Canal, a random sample is drawn from the published telephone directory. The sample of residents in NHS accommodation is also drawn, unclustered, for the whole of Great Britain using a specially-prepared frame. In Northern Ireland, the source of the sample is the Valuation List used for rating purposes, excluding commercial units and known institutions. Households are interviewed on five occasions at quarterly intervals, thereby introducing a panel element to the survey. For further details see documentation (available on UK Data Service website).


Countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data are available under Special License.


All ages


Representative of all persons normally resident in (private) households in Great Britain and Northern Ireland From winter 1994-1995, Northern Ireland is included in each quarter. Prior to this, data were only collected there in the March-May quarter each year. When the LFS moved to a quarterly cycle, two new groups of people were included in the survey to improve the coverage of young people: residents in National Health Service (NHS) hospital accommodation (formerly called nurses' homes), and students living in halls of residence or boarding schools. The data include weighting variables


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a unique source of information using international definitions of employment and unemployment and economic inactivity, together with a wide range of related topics such as occupation, training, hours of work and personal characteristics of household members aged 16 years and over. It is used to inform social, economic and employment policy. The LFS questionnaire comprises a 'core' of questions which are included in every survey, together with some 'non-core' questions which vary from quarter to quarter. The questionnaire can be split into two main parts. The first part contains questions on the respondent's household, family structure, basic housing information and demographic details of household members. The second part contains questions covering economic activity, education and health, and also may include a few questions asked on behalf of other government departments. Until 1997, the questions on health covered mainly problems which affected the respondent's work. From that quarter onwards, the questions cover all health problems. Detailed questions on income have also been included in each quarter since 1993.


• Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” July 1995-1996. • Central Statistical Office. “Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly.” November 1995-March 1996. • Department for Education and Employment and Central Statistical Office. “Employment Gazette, monthly.” August-October 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Quarterly Bulletin.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Labour Force Survey Rapid Release, quarterly.” 1992-April 1995. • Employment Department. “Employment Gazette.” HMSO, London, July 1995. • Madouros, V. “Impact of the switch from seasonal to calendar quarters in the Labour Force Survey.” ONS, London, 2006. Available at: www.statistics.gov.uk/.../CQ_article.pdf
• Office for National Statistics . “What exactly is the Labour Force Survey?” ONS, London, 1999. • Office for National Statistics (April 1996- ) Labour Market Trends (incorporating Employment Gazette), monthly. From 2001 onwards, this publication can be accessed online via the ONS Labour Market Trends Archive.


Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html
This survey uses a number of harmonised measures. In addition to using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), the LFS is designed to meet the requirements of Eurostat and the needs of the EU statistical system (e.g. by including ISCO classifications). For more information see: User Guide Vol.9 - Eurostat and Eurostat Derived Variables (available on the UK Data Service website)


Data are anonymised (although users should note that there is a Labour Force Survey Five-Quarter Longitudinal Dataset, which is available via the UK Data Service)

Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html
This survey uses a number of harmonised measures. In addition to using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), the LFS is designed to meet the requirements of Eurostat and the needs of the EU statistical system (e.g. by including ISCO classifications). For more information see: User Guide Vol.9 - Eurostat and Eurostat Derived Variables (available on the UK Data Service website)


Data are anonymised (although users should note that there is a Labour Force Survey Five-Quarter Longitudinal Dataset, which is available via the UK Data Service)

Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html
This survey uses a number of harmonised measures. In addition to using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), the LFS is designed to meet the requirements of Eurostat and the needs of the EU statistical system (e.g. by including ISCO classifications). For more information see: User Guide Vol.9 - Eurostat and Eurostat Derived Variables (available on the UK Data Service website)


Data are anonymised (although users should note that there is a Labour Force Survey Five-Quarter Longitudinal Dataset, which is available via the UK Data Service)

Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html
This survey uses a number of harmonised measures. In addition to using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), the LFS is designed to meet the requirements of Eurostat and the needs of the EU statistical system (e.g. by including ISCO classifications). For more information see: User Guide Vol.9 - Eurostat and Eurostat Derived Variables (available on the UK Data Service website)


Data are anonymised (although users should note that there is a Labour Force Survey Five-Quarter Longitudinal Dataset, which is available via the UK Data Service)

Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html
This survey uses a number of harmonised measures. In addition to using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), the LFS is designed to meet the requirements of Eurostat and the needs of the EU statistical system (e.g. by including ISCO classifications). For more information see: User Guide Vol.9 - Eurostat and Eurostat Derived Variables (available on the UK Data Service website)


Data are anonymised (although users should note that there is a Labour Force Survey Five-Quarter Longitudinal Dataset, which is available via the UK Data Service)


Data quality


In addition to unit non-response, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of surveys and censuses. This data source is used to prepare official statistics, which are required to meet quality standards. These standards are monitored by the UK Statistics Authority, according to the statutory authority provided by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


Apart from the variations in design (see Coverage), there are no major breaks for this data source.


In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.

Data quality


In addition to unit non-response, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of surveys and censuses. This data source is used to prepare official statistics, which are required to meet quality standards. These standards are monitored by the UK Statistics Authority, according to the statutory authority provided by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


Apart from the variations in design (see Coverage), there are no major breaks for this data source.


In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.

Data quality


In addition to unit non-response, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of surveys and censuses. This data source is used to prepare official statistics, which are required to meet quality standards. These standards are monitored by the UK Statistics Authority, according to the statutory authority provided by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


Apart from the variations in design (see Coverage), there are no major breaks for this data source.


In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.

Data quality


In addition to unit non-response, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of surveys and censuses. This data source is used to prepare official statistics, which are required to meet quality standards. These standards are monitored by the UK Statistics Authority, according to the statutory authority provided by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


Apart from the variations in design (see Coverage), there are no major breaks for this data source.


In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.

Data quality


In addition to unit non-response, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of surveys and censuses. This data source is used to prepare official statistics, which are required to meet quality standards. These standards are monitored by the UK Statistics Authority, according to the statutory authority provided by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


Apart from the variations in design (see Coverage), there are no major breaks for this data source.


In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


Applicability


LFS move from seasonal to calendar quarters • In accordance with European Union regulations, the LFS moved from seasonal (spring, summer, autumn, winter) quarters to calendar quarters (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December) in 2006. Subsequently, calendar versions of all datasets in the main LFS series were deposited and the previous seasonal datasets were removed from the Archive's catalogue at the request of ONS. However, some seasonal datasets may still exist for other LFS series, and ONS advise that, because of the method of construction and the weighting factors used in the datasets, comparison cannot be made between datasets of a calendar and seasonal nature. Time series and longitudinal analysis should only be conducted on datasets of the same type.

Applicability


LFS move from seasonal to calendar quarters • In accordance with European Union regulations, the LFS moved from seasonal (spring, summer, autumn, winter) quarters to calendar quarters (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December) in 2006. Subsequently, calendar versions of all datasets in the main LFS series were deposited and the previous seasonal datasets were removed from the Archive's catalogue at the request of ONS. However, some seasonal datasets may still exist for other LFS series, and ONS advise that, because of the method of construction and the weighting factors used in the datasets, comparison cannot be made between datasets of a calendar and seasonal nature. Time series and longitudinal analysis should only be conducted on datasets of the same type.

Applicability


LFS move from seasonal to calendar quarters • In accordance with European Union regulations, the LFS moved from seasonal (spring, summer, autumn, winter) quarters to calendar quarters (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December) in 2006. Subsequently, calendar versions of all datasets in the main LFS series were deposited and the previous seasonal datasets were removed from the Archive's catalogue at the request of ONS. However, some seasonal datasets may still exist for other LFS series, and ONS advise that, because of the method of construction and the weighting factors used in the datasets, comparison cannot be made between datasets of a calendar and seasonal nature. Time series and longitudinal analysis should only be conducted on datasets of the same type.

Applicability


LFS move from seasonal to calendar quarters • In accordance with European Union regulations, the LFS moved from seasonal (spring, summer, autumn, winter) quarters to calendar quarters (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December) in 2006. Subsequently, calendar versions of all datasets in the main LFS series were deposited and the previous seasonal datasets were removed from the Archive's catalogue at the request of ONS. However, some seasonal datasets may still exist for other LFS series, and ONS advise that, because of the method of construction and the weighting factors used in the datasets, comparison cannot be made between datasets of a calendar and seasonal nature. Time series and longitudinal analysis should only be conducted on datasets of the same type.

Applicability


LFS move from seasonal to calendar quarters • In accordance with European Union regulations, the LFS moved from seasonal (spring, summer, autumn, winter) quarters to calendar quarters (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December) in 2006. Subsequently, calendar versions of all datasets in the main LFS series were deposited and the previous seasonal datasets were removed from the Archive's catalogue at the request of ONS. However, some seasonal datasets may still exist for other LFS series, and ONS advise that, because of the method of construction and the weighting factors used in the datasets, comparison cannot be made between datasets of a calendar and seasonal nature. Time series and longitudinal analysis should only be conducted on datasets of the same type.


  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Mike Murphy
  • (see Partners)