Labour market policy (source: DG EMPL) (lmp)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: European Commission, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

European Commission, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

1.2. Contact organisation unit

EMPL.A.4: Thematic Analysis

1.5. Contact mail address

Rue de la Loi 27, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 18/01/2018
2.2. Metadata last posted 18/01/2018
2.3. Metadata last update 18/01/2018

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The labour market policy (LMP) database was developed and maintained by Eurostat till 2013. From 2014, the LMP database is developed and maintained by European Commission's Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and LMP data are disseminated by Eurostat.

European Commission's LMP database provides information on labour market interventions, which are government actions to help and support the unemployed and other disadvantaged groups in the transition from unemployment or inactivity to work.

The scope of the LMP database is limited to interventions that are explicitly targeted at groups of persons with difficulties in the labour market: the unemployed, persons employed but at risk of involuntary job loss and persons currently considered as inactive persons but who would like to enter the labour market.

LMP statistics are one of the data sources for monitoring the Employment Guidelines (part II of the Europe 2020 Integrated Guidelines) through the Europe 2020 Joint Assessment Framework (JAF). The guidelines specifically refer to the provision of active labour market policies, which cover LMP measures and LMP services, and adequate social security systems, which include LMP supports.

The unit of observation in the LMP database is the labour market intervention and data on the expenditure and participants for each intervention are collected annually from administrative sources in each country. The database also collects extensive qualitative information that describes each intervention, how it works, the main target groups, etc.

LMP interventions are classified by type of action into three broad types – services, measures and supports – and into 9 detailed categories (see 3.2 Classification system).

The LMP database covers all EU Member States and Norway. Data for the EU-15 countries and Norway are available from 1998 whilst the more recently acceded EU countries started providing data at different times from 2003 onwards. The following data and metadata are available:

  • Summary tables of expenditure and participants by type of action
  • For each country: detailed tables of expenditure and participants by intervention
  • LMP based indicators for monitoring the Employment Guidelines (for definitions see annexes below)
  • Reference data on persons registered with Public Employment Services (PES)
  • Qualitative reports describing the interventions in each country
3.2. Classification system

LMP interventions are grouped into three main types of LMP services, LMP measures and LMP supports and then further classified into eight detailed categories according to the type of action.

  • LMP services cover all services and activities of the Public Employment Services (PES) together with any other publicly funded services for jobseekers.
         1. Labour market services
  • LMP measures cover interventions that provide temporary support for groups that are disadvantaged in the labour market and which aim at activating the unemployed, helping people move from involuntary inactivity into employment, or maintaining the jobs of persons threatened by unemployment.
         2. Training
         3. Job rotation and job sharing (Not used anymore – included in category 4)
         4. Employment incentives
         5. Supported employment and rehabilitation
         6. Direct job creation
         7. Start-up incentives
  • LMP supports cover financial assistance that aims to compensate individuals for loss of wage or salary and support them during job-search (i.e. mostly unemployment benefits) or which facilitates early retirement.
         8. Out-of-work income maintenance and support
         9. Early retirement

LMP expenditure is broken down as follows:

(i) Direct recipient of the transfers, i.e. individuals, employers and service providers; and (ii) Type of expenditure, namely periodic cash payments, lump-sum payments, reimbursements, reduced social contributions and reduced taxes.

A full description of the classifications used can be found in the Labour market policy statistics - Methodology 2013.

3.3. Coverage - sector

Not applicable.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The LMP database covers all labour market interventions which can be described as "Public interventions in the labour market aimed at reaching its efficient functioning and correcting disequilibria and which can be distinguished from other general employment policy interventions in that they act selectively to favour particular groups in the labour market".

Public interventions refer to actions taken by general government in this respect, which involve expenditure, either in the form of actual disbursements or of foregone revenue (reductions in taxes, social contributions or other charges normally payable).

Target groups: the scope of LMP statistics is limited to public interventions which are explicitly targeted at groups of persons with difficulties in the labour market (for details see 3.6 Statistical population).

Three different types of interventions are recognised:

Services refer to labour market interventions where the main activity of participants is job-search related and where participation usually does not result in a change of labour market status.

Measures refer to labour market interventions where the main activity of participants is other than job-search related and where participation usually results in a change in labour market status. An activity that does not result in a change of labour market status may still be considered as a measure if the intervention fulfils the following criteria:

  • the activities undertaken are not job-search related, are supervised and constitute a full-time or significant part-time activity of participants during a significant period of time, and 
  • the aim is to improve the vocational qualifications of participants, or
  • the intervention provides incentives to take-up or to provide employment (including self-employment).

Supports refer to interventions that provide financial assistance, directly or indirectly, to individuals for labour market reasons or which compensate individuals for disadvantage caused by labour market circumstances.

The LMP database collects data on public expenditure associated with each labour market intervention broken down as described in 3.2 Classification. Expenditure data are collected in national currency but for dissemination are expressed in EUR, national currency and as percentage of GDP.

Three main observations of the number of participants in LMP interventions are collected:

  • Stock: refers to the number of persons participating in an intervention at a given moment. The data required is the annual average stock figure, which is usually calculated as an average of the stock at the end of each month.
  • Entrants: refers to the number of participants that join or start on the intervention during the year - i.e. the inflow or new starts.
  • Exits: refers to the number of participants that leave the intervention during the year - i.e. the outflow, including completions and drop-outs.

All data on participants are broken down by gender, age and duration of unemployment before participation. Further breakdowns of entrants by previous status and exits by destination are collected. At present only breakdowns by age and gender are disseminated, though the breakdown by duration of unemployment is used for calculation of indicators.

The LMP database also collects reference data describing the main target populations of LMP interventions as recorded by the Public Employment Services (PES) in each country. Data on the total number of jobseekers registered with the PES are broken down into those considered as registered unemployed according to national definitions (by duration of unemployment) and other registered jobseekers. Reference data are collected with the same observations and breakdowns as the participant data described above.

Examples of intervention codes:

  • 1_DE27 = classified type of action 1 for Germany current intervention n° 27
  • 21_FR16 = classified type of action 2.1 for France current measure n° 16

The full methodology used as reference is the following: Labour market policy statistics - Methodology 2013.

3.5. Statistical unit

The statistical unit in this data collection is the labour market intervention, as defined in 3.4 above.

3.6. Statistical population

The scope of the LMP database is limited primarily to interventions which are explicitly targeted in some way at groups of persons with difficulties in the labour market - referred to here as target groups. Three main target groups are recognised:

Unemployed - persons usually without work, available for work and actively seeking work. Persons considered as registered unemployed according to national definitions are always included here even if they do not fulfil all three of these criteria.

Employed at risk - persons currently in work but at risk of involuntary job loss, due to the economic circumstances of the employer, restructuring, or similar.

Inactive - persons currently not part of the labour force (in the sense that they are not employed or unemployed according to the definition above) but who would like to enter the labour market and are disadvantaged in some way.

3.7. Reference area

The database aims to cover information on the whole territory of each EU-28 country and Norway.

3.8. Coverage - Time

LMP data are available from 1998 onwards; for some countries only shorter time series are available.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

LMP expenditure: EUR, EUR at constant prices, national currency, as percentage of GDP.

LMP participants, persons registered with the Public Employment Services: annual average stock, entrants, exits.

5. Reference Period Top

Data on expenditure, on participants and on registered jobseekers are normally collected with reference to a calendar year, except for the UK where they refer to the financial year (April to March).

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

No legal acts are applicable. Data provision is based on a gentlemen's agreement between the European Commission and Member States.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Data on LMP expenditure and participants published by the OECD for EU countries and Norway are based on the data collected and validated by the European Commission (with a divergence only for category 1 - labour market services where OECD prefers to maintain a different coverage).

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Not applicable

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not applicable

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

New data are usually disseminated between January and June each year on the website at 

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. Release policy - user access

Not applicable.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

No news releases.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Labour market policy - expenditure and participants - statistical book was published annually on the Eurostat website by 2013. From 2014, the publication is produced by European Commission's Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

Labour market policy - Qualitative reports (LMP descriptions) are available on CIRCABC.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Several LMP-based indicators are used for monitoring the Employment Guidelines in the context of the European Employment Strategy (EES).

10.6. Documentation on methodology

Labour market policy statistics - Methodology 2013.

10.7. Quality management - documentation


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

LMP data are based on administrative sources, and Member States compile LMP data according to the rules and guidelines established in the LMP methodology; all countries received training on the LMP methodology.

After data submission to the European Commission several validations are performed on the data (see 20.4 below). In addition, detailed quality reviews for each category and also for time series are ongoing in order to further improve the overall quality of the LMP database.

In 2009, a self-assessment of the overall production process was carried out in the framework of the general Eurostat's quality assurance activities.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

At European level, LMP statistics are directly relevant as they are used for monitoring and evaluation of the Employment Guidelines. The completion and overall quality of the LMP database improved substantially since the start of the project in 1996, and the increased use for policy monitoring indicates a certain user satisfaction. Data are fairly complete but further improvements on the coverage (missing interventions at national and regional level) are aimed at. LMP data are based on administrative sources, and LMP policies vary between countries but the consistent application of the LMP methodology should ensure a sufficient level of accuracy. On average, LMP data become available less than 18 months after the end of the reference year which in view of the complexity of the data collection and its voluntary character seems satisfactory. The consistent application of the LMP methodology should also ensure a fair comparability of the data; nevertheless continuous efforts to maintain and improve comparability over time and between countries are made. The internal coherence of the data is ensured through systematic validation of the data.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The main user of LMP statistics is the Employment Committee. LMP statistics are one of the data sources for monitoring the Employment Guidelines (part II of the Europe 2020 Integrated Guidelines).

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

In 2008 the number of LMP-based indicators for monitoring the Employment Guidelines increased to 6, and the LMP database will be exploited further to increase its use for the production of additional indicators.

12.3. Completeness

Data for expenditure are well completed, and the situation for data on participants is relatively satisfactory. However, some of the indicators used for monitoring the Employment Guidelines require data on participants broken down by length of unemployment or by previous status, and the completion of these breakdowns needs to be improved. (These breakdowns are excluded from the online dissemination.)

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

In principle, LMP data are based on a full count of LMP interventions as defined in the LMP methodology. They should include LMP interventions at national and regional level. However, some countries encounter difficulties to include information for regional interventions, and the non-inclusion of national interventions that fall within the scope of the LMP database cannot be fully excluded.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Coverage: countries might fail to include all interventions that fall under the scope of the LMP database; the magnitude of this error cannot be estimated.

Item non-response: not all items of the LMP questionnaire might be completed for all interventions. Data on expenditure are considered to be relatively complete. More gaps can be found in data for participants.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Approximately between 15 and 18 months after the end of the reference year.

14.2. Punctuality

Not applicable (gentlemen's agreement).

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Labour market policies vary between countries, according to national needs and priority setting. The national LMP interventions are classified into a common classification by type of action according to the rules set in the LMP methodology, which should lead to a reasonably harmonised output.

15.2. Comparability - over time

The same classification rules are applied each year, therefore the output should be comparable between years. When the 2006 LMP methodology was introduced (reference year 2005), the existing time-series were systematically reviewed and previous year data were brought in line with the requirements of the new methodology. In addition, in 2008, a review of the expenditure series was launched, and in 2009, the in-depth review of the series on participants commenced. Both exercises led to overall improvements of the time series, and the regular review of time series is now part of the routine validation.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Not applicable.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Internal coherence (e.g. between years, between expenditure and participants data, coherent classification of national interventions) is ensured through the application of the LMP methodology and through the various validations performed on the data before publication.

16. Cost and Burden Top

The data collection is based on administrative data so the main burden is on the LMP delegates of the Member States and their collaborators who collect the data from various national sources.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Whenever there is some information on new data or an improvement of provisional data available, these are revised.

17.2. Data revision - practice


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The data collection is based on administrative sources on LMP expenditure and LMP participants. Data usually come from Ministries of Labour, Public Employment Services agencies and in some cases from the national statistical offices of Member States.

For each intervention, the LMP database collects quantitative data on expenditure and participants together with qualitative data, which apply to and describe the intervention.

18.2. Frequency of data collection


18.3. Data collection

Data providers in each country collate administrative data from each of the institutions responsible for implementing LMP interventions. The collated quantitative and qualitative data are then entered by data providers to an electronic version of the LMP questionnaire. The items of the questionnaire are listed in the Labour market policy statistics - Methodology 2013.

18.4. Data validation

Several phases of validation are undertaken before LMP data are released:

  • Validation of input during data entry (automatic coherence checks).
  • Validation module integrated in the LMP software, to be used by Member States once data entry is completed; the validation module runs a series of tests in order to identify errors, inconsistencies, etc.
  • A set of standardised validations applied by the European Commission on the data submitted.
18.5. Data compilation

Expenditure should be recorded on an accrual basis - i.e. measured at the time that the events creating related claims and liabilities occur. This is important in order to maximise the link between expenditure and participants.

An intervention that encompasses more than one of the types of action (see above - 3.2 Classification) is termed a mixed intervention, comprising two or more components. For mixed interventions, data on expenditure and participants are collected for each component separately.

EU-27 totals are compiled only when data are available for all countries or when Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta are the only countries with incomplete data. The same applies to EU-15 totals (missing data for Luxembourg may be ignored).

If data for a country is missing for one year then EU totals may be completed using data from the previous year for that country.

LMP data are flagged at the intervention level. The following flags may be applied:

b          Break in series

e          Estimated data

n          Not significant

p          Provisional data

When data are aggregated (e.g. to category totals or to EU aggregates), the various constituents of the aggregate may have different flags but only one can be applied to the final value. The following rules are applied to determine the flag (if any) to be applied to aggregates. Firstly, the flag most applicable to an aggregate is considered to be the one that applies (at detailed level) to the highest share of the aggregate value. Secondly, a flag is only applied to an aggregate if it affects more than 10% of the total value.

Aggregates of expenditure data are only shown when values are available (or known to be not significant) for all constituent items.

However, participant data are generally less complete and to increase the number of participant aggregates that can be disseminated, the value of a participant aggregate is shown provided that constituent data are complete for at least 80% of the associated expenditure (completion indicator >=80%). All aggregates of participants based on incomplete data are flagged as "u" to alert users that the data are not fully reliable (i.e. may be understated by up to 20%) and this flag always takes precedence over any other flag that might be applicable.

18.6. Adjustment

Adjustments are made to avoid double counting of participants in those cases where the same person (or group of participants) benefits from more than one intervention at the same time. For example: a person participates in a training programme (intervention A) and receives a training allowance which is paid through a separate budget (intervention B), then this person is counted in both interventions which belong to the same category, and an adjustment needs to be made.

Where applicable, tables of participant data by intervention include an extra item by category to quantify the adjustment for double counting. In summary tables of participants by type of action the adjustment is already taken into account in data by category.

19. Comment Top

The following aggregations should not be made for methodological reasons:

  • Participants in category 8 should never be added to those in categories 2-7.
  • Participants in category 1 should never be added with any other category.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
Qualitative information
LMP statistics - Methodology 2013
Footnotes to data on LMP expenditure
Footnotes to data on LMP participants
LMP indicators for monitoring the Employment Guidelines