Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Labour force survey
Indagine continua sulle forze di lavoro

Work and Productivity
Relevance for this Topic
Country Italy
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Contact information

Gianlorenzo Bagatta
Via Cesare Balbo 16
00184 Rome
Phone: +39 06 46731
Email: gianlorenzo.bagatta(at)

Timeliness, transparency

Data is collected and released on a quarterly basis.

Type of data

Other, please specify

Type of Study

Social sample study

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)

Access to data

Conditions of access

Access to ISTAT is open and free of charge.

Immediate. Once the desired table is chosen, the system sends it by mail immediately.

Aggregate tables.

Excel, csv.

Data is available in Italian and English.


Sample size: 76,000 people


Municipalities, families. Municipalities are classified by demographic size and divided into 346 self-representatives (municipalities with demographic size higher then a given threshold) and non-self-representatives.

Municipal population office.


Individuals aged 15 and over

Italian population






Data quality





From the labour force survey, ISTAT derives its official estimates of the number of employed persons and job-seekers, as well as information about the main labour supply aggregates, such as occupation, economic activity area, hours worked, contract types and duration and training. Since being introduced at the beginning of the 1950s, the survey has played a primary role in the statistical documentation and analysis of the employment situation in Italy and has proven to be an indispensable instrument of knowledge for public decision-makers, the media and citizens alike. ISTAT collects the information each quarter by interviewing a sample of nearly 77,000 households, representing 175,000 individuals who are resident in Italy, even if they are temporarily abroad. Households usually living abroad and permanent members of communities (religious institutes, military barracks, etc.) are not included. The survey has been updated over the years to take into account continual transformations in the labour market, on the one hand, and the growing information requirements of users regarding the social and economic reality of our nation, on the other. The most recent change was undertaken at the beginning of 2004 in line with European Union regulations. The current sample survey is continuous insofar as information is collected during every week of the year and no longer during a single week per quarter. The results are still disseminated on a quarterly basis, except for provincial data, which are disseminated annually. A significant feature of the survey is the establishment of new criteria for identifying employed and unemployed individuals, as well as a far-reaching reorganisation of the data collection and production process. To make new estimates comparable with estimates referring to previous years, ISTAT has reconstructed the time series since the fourth quarter of 1992.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Stefano Bonassi
  • Patrizio Pasqualetti
  • (see Partners)