2017. Self-employment (lfso_17)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

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

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

1.2. Contact organisation unit

F3: Labour market and lifelong learning.

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 07/12/2018
2.2. Metadata last posted 07/12/2018
2.3. Metadata last update 07/12/2018

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The main aim of 2017 ad-hoc module is to provide information on the self-employed and on persons in an ambivalent professional status (at the border between employment and self-employment).

The module includes 11 variables, split in 3 sub-modules.

Sub-module 1: Economically dependent self-employed

The first sub-module aims to measure the degree of economic/organisational dependency of the self-employed, in terms of the number of clients and the percentage of income coming from a client as well as in terms of control over working hours.

This sub-module includes 2 variables:

  • MAINCLNT: Economic dependency
  • WORKORG: Organisational dependency

Sub-module 2: Working conditions for self-employed

The aim of the second sub-module is to investigate the working conditions of the self-employed, like working with partners or using employees. It also collects factors that motivated or forced a person to become self-employed, as well as the main difficulty they face working as self-employed.

This sub-module includes 5 variables:

  • REASSE: Main reason for becoming self-employed               
  • SEDIFFIC: Main difficulty as self-employed                         
  • REASNOEM: Main reason for not having employees                        
  • BPARTNER:  Working with business partners                                    
  • PLANEMPL:  Planning hiring of employees or subcontracting           

Sub-module 3: Comparing employees and self-employed

The third sub-module targets the comparison between self-employed, employees and family workers in terms of job satisfaction and autonomy. It also gathers information on the preferred professional status.

This sub-module includes 4 variables:

  • JBSATISFQ:  Job satisfaction                                                
  • AUTONOMY: Job autonomy                                                
  • PREFSTAP: Preferred professional status in the main job      
  • OBSTACSE: Main reason for not becoming self-employed 

Detailed information on the relevant methodology for the ad-hoc module (including the Commission regulation and explanatory notes) as well as documentation from each participating country (national questionnaires and interviewers instructions) can be found on EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

3.2. Classification system

The EU-LFS results are produced in accordance with the relevant international classification systems. The main classifications used are NACE Rev. 2 for economic activity, ISCO 08 for occupation, and ISCED 2011 for level of education. For more details please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Methodology.

3.3. Coverage - sector

As a general rule the EU-LFS covers all economic sectors.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The full technical definitions adopted by the EU-LFS are available in employ_esms

The main concepts used in this module are:

Dominant client

A client/customer of a self-employed is defined as dominant if provided at least 75% of the self-employment income of the respondent in the last 12 months.

Economically dependent self-employed

According to the operational definition adopted by Eurostat, the economically dependent self-employed are defined as self-employed without employees who worked during the last 12 months before the reference week of the survey for only one client or for a dominant client  and this client decides about his/her working hours.

Job Autonomy

Job autonomy is defined by the level of influence that a worker has over content and order of tasks in his/her main job.

3.5. Statistical unit


3.6. Statistical population

For the sub-module on economically dependent self-employed and the submodule on working conditions for self-employed the target population was all persons, aged 15+, living in private households, who were self-employed in their main job.

For the sub-module on comparing employees and self-employed the target population was all persons aged 15+, living in private households, who were in employment.

3.7. Reference area

EU Member States, three EFTA Countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and Turkey.

3.8. Coverage - Time

2017. Differences between countries: either second quarter, or first to fourth quarter, or second and fourth quarter.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure Top

Number of persons, expressed in thousands.
Rates expressed in per cent.

5. Reference Period Top


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

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/8 of 5 January 2016.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

No mandate for international data sharing.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Please refer to the ESMS page on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)' (see link below in section 'related metadata').

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Please refer to the ESMS page on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)' (see link below in section 'related metadata').

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

LFS data for ad-hoc modules are released after the end of the reference period once data processing and validation is terminated. This is not scheduled in a release calendar.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable

8.3. Release policy - user access

Please refer to the ESMS page on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)' (see link below in section 'related metadata').

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Not applicable

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

Ad hoc results are presented by a press release, together with a Statistics Explained article providing main results and metadata. Additionally, a series of tables is uploaded on Eurostat Database.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

The evaluation report summarizes the main definitions and findings of the 2017 Labour Force Survey ad hoc module. To access the report, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - ad-hoc modules.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line or contact ESTAT-LFS-USER-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Please refer to the ESMS page on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)' (see link below in section 'related metadata').

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable

10.6. Documentation on methodology

For information on the 2017 Labour Force Survey ad hoc module, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Please consult the evaluation report at EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Please refer to the ESMS page on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)' (see link below in section 'related metadata').

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Please refer to the ESMS page on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)' (see link below in section 'related metadata').

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

A multiannual ad hoc module programme is agreed between Eurostat, the National Statistical Institutes and the main policy users (basically Commission services).

EU-LFS results are used mainly by the DG Employment and a number of other Directorates of the Commission for measurement and monitoring of policy agendas purposes. Key users include National Statistics Institutes (NSIs), international organisations, news agencies and researchers, which use of various aspects of EU-LFS data for international or intra EU comparisons. Finally, LFS data are used by Eurostat for compiling detailed regional indicators, for estimates on current education and education levels, higher education and research, and for accurate estimates of labour input of national accounts.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Please refer to the ESMS page on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)' (see link below in section 'related metadata').

12.3. Completeness

Even if otherwise adhering to the EU-regulations on the EU-LFS, countries do not always provide data for all the variables. This can be for various reasons, such as assessment that the variable in question is irrelevant to the labour market situation in the country or (temporary) inability to implement the variable in the national questionnaire.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Please refer to the ESMS page on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)' (see link below in section 'related metadata').

13.2. Sampling error

For the sample size per country see evaluation report at EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

13.3. Non-sampling error

For non-sampling indicators per country see evaluation report at EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The deadline for data transmissions to Eurostat was 31 March 2018. The release of EU-LFS data is not bound by an advance calendar of publication.

14.2. Punctuality

Two countries did not deliver data on time. Initial validation of the data sets was finished in May 2018, with the subsequent revision round finishing in October 2018.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

For details on comparability see evaluation report at EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Not applicable.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The 2000 and 2009 LFS ad hoc modules also covered this topic.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Published estimates stemming from the LFS are considered fully internally coherent, since arithmetic and accounting identities in the production of LFS datasets are observed.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Information on average interview lengths is available in the evaluation report - see LFS ad hoc modules.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

LFS data for ad-hoc modules, once released, are not usually revised, unless major errors are identified in the data delivered or in their processing. Exceptional revisions may happen e.g. after new estimates of population from a population census.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Not applicable.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The source of the data is the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS). The EU LFS is a rotating random sample survey of persons in private households. It is organised in thirteen modules, covering their demographic background, labour status, employment characteristics of the main job, hours worked, employment characteristics of the second job, time-related underemployment, search for employment, education and training, previous work experience of persons not in employment, situation one year before the survey, main labour status, income, and technical items relating to the interview. An additional so-called ad-hoc module can be added to address specific subjects that change from year to year. For details see Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 of 9 March 1998 on the organisation of a labour force sample survey in the Community (OJ No L 77/3).

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Data collection is quarterly or annual.

18.3. Data collection

The data is acquired by interviewing the sampled individuals directly. For the sample design and rotation patterns applied in each country, please consult the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage.

18.4. Data validation

Prior to the dissemination of national data, LFS results are validated by the Member States and checked for plausibility by Eurostat.

18.5. Data compilation

Aggregate figures are calculated by adding up all the national data series.
Rates/Ratios are subsequently calculated from the data expressed in absolute values (i.e. number of persons).

18.6. Adjustment

No adjustments.

19. Comment Top

No notes

Related metadata Top
employ_esms - Employment and unemployment (Labour force survey)

Annexes Top
EU-LFS (Satistics Explained) webpage (additional metadata information)