Regional labour market statistics (reg_lmk)

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

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Unit E4: Regional statistics and geographical information

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 25/03/2019
2.2. Metadata last posted 10/11/2015
2.3. Metadata last update 25/03/2019


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The source for the regional labour market information down to NUTS level 2 is the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS). This is a quarterly household sample survey conducted in all Member States of the EU and in EFTA and Candidate countries. 

The EU-LFS survey follows the definitions and recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). To achieve further harmonisation, the Member States also adhere to common principles when formulating questionnaires. The LFS' target population is made up of all persons in private households aged 15 and over. For more information see the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage.

The EU-LFS is designed to give accurate quarterly information at national level as well as annual information at NUTS 2 regional level and the compilation of these figures is well specified in the regulation. Microdata including the NUTS 2 level codes are provided by all the participating countries with a good degree of geographical comparability, which allows the production and dissemination of a complete set of comparable indicators for this territorial level.

At present the transmission of the regional labour market data at NUTS 3 level has no legal basis. However, many countries transmit NUTS 3 figures to Eurostat on a voluntary basis, under the understanding that they are not for publication with such detail, but for aggregation by territorial typologies, i.e. urban-rural, metropolitan, coastal, mountain, borders and island typology. Most of the NUTS 3 data are based on the LFS while some countries transmit data based on registers, administrative data, small area estimation and other reliable sources.

3.2. Classification system

The regional breakdown of the countries in the regional labour market tables is based on the:

1. NUTS classification (Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics). For more details, please consult NUTS - Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics,

2. Agreements between Eurostat and Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries as well as between Eurostat and EFTA countries, for which statistical regions have been coded in a way that resembles NUTS. For more details, please consult Statistical regions for EU Candidate and EFTA countries.

EU-LFS also uses the Degree of Urbanisation classification (DEGURBA). This classification classifies Local Administrative Units (LAU or communes) into three types of area: Cities (densely populated areas), Towns and suburbs (intermediate density areas) and Rural areas (thinly populated areas). For more details, please consult Degree of urbanisation (DEGURBA).

The EU-LFS results are produced in accordance with the relevant international classification systems. The main classifications used are NACE (Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community) to code the economic activity and ISCED (International standard classification of education) to measure the level and the field of completed and current education. Actual coding in the EU-LFS may deviate to some extent from those general standards; for more details on classifications (including the comparability between the revised classifications), levels of aggregation and transition rules, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Methodology >> classifications.

3.3. Coverage - sector

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

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

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

3.5. Statistical unit

Persons

3.6. Statistical population

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

3.7. Reference area

European Union, Euro area, EU-Member States, Candidate Countries (Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey) and EFTA Countries (except for Liechtenstein). Data for Cyprus refer only to the areas of Cyprus controlled by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. Since 2014 data for France include the French overseas departments: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, La Réunion. Regional tables include also Mayotte.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Time series are available from 1999 onwards

3.9. Base period

Not applicable


4. Unit of measure Top

Most results measure number of persons (thousands). Some indicators are reported as rates (employment and unemployment rates). Some variables are reported in other units (working time in hours, etc.).


5. Reference Period Top

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


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

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

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable


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

EU-LFS microdata as received by Eurostat from the national statistical institutes do not contain any administrative information such as names or addresses that would allow direct identification. Access to this microdata is nevertheless strictly controlled and limited to specified Eurostat staff.

After data treatment, records are aggregated for further use. Each dataset is complemented by the transmission of metadata, in particular confidentiality/reliability thresholds. These thresholds provide the size of the population group below which data shall either not be published, or be published with a flag. Aggregated data published in Eurobase follow these confidentiality rules: data are blanked or flagged if they are below these reliability limits.

Under specific conditions (see Council Regulation (EEC) No. 577/98 of 9 March 1998), researchers may access specific microdatasets. To avoid disclosure of confidential data, these data are "anonymised", on the basis of a list of anonymisation criteria agreed with the National Statistical Institutes. Please refer to access to microdata.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The release dates are disseminated on the Eurostat's website.

8.2. Release calendar access

The precise data of data release is disseminated in the EU LFS dedicated section found in the Eurostat's website.

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

Annual. From March 2014 onwards, regional labour market data at NUTS 2 level are continuously updated on the Eurostat website to take revisions into account.


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

News release online

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Eurostat regional yearbook, chapter on regional labour market (including Statistical Atlas)

Statistics Explained

Regions and Cities Illustrated (RCI)

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line

Eurostat also produces tailor-made tables not available online at the request of users (please refer to http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/help/support).

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Under specific conditions (see Council Regulation (EEC) No. 577/98 of 9 March 1998), researchers may access specific microdata sets. To avoid disclosure of confidential data, these data are "anonymised", on the basis of a list of anonymisation criteria agreed with the National Statistical Institutes. Please refer to access to microdata.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable

10.6. Documentation on methodology

For a detailed description of methods and concepts used, as well as for other documents related to the EU-LFS, please consult the  EU-LFS (Statistics Explained)  - methodology.

The EU-LFS disseminates also publications on the methodology of the survey. For more information please consult: Quality reports and methodological publications.

For a detailed description of methods and concepts used, as well as for other documents related to the NUTS classification, please consult the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) webpage.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

See section 11.1.


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

For information on quality reporting and annual quality reports including regional data, please consult Quality reports and methodological publications.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

EU-LFS statistics have overall high quality. National LFS surveys are considered as reliable sources applying high standards with regard to the methodology. However, the EU-LFS, like any survey, is based upon a sample of the population. The results are therefore subject to the usual types of errors associated with random sampling. Based on the sample size and design in the various Member States, Eurostat implements basic guidelines intended to avoid publication of figures that are unreliable or to give warning of the unreliability of the figures. Due to these publication guidelines and the reliability thresholds applied to the data, NUTS 2 estimates for some regions and breakdowns cannot be published or can only be published with a warning (e.g. for small regions or where the number of unemployed persons is very low). For a detailed description of the publication thresholds used, please consult the Publication guidelines and thresholds on EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage.

As regards NUTS 3 estimates that are used to publish aggregates by territorial typologies, the compilation methods differ among countries. Regional labour market data at NUTS 3 level are based mainly on the LFS in most countries. NUTS 3 data for some countries are based on registers, administrative data, small area estimation and other reliable sources or on a combination of some of these with the LFS. Due to non-sampling errors and the combined use of LFS data with the information from registers, it is currently difficult to assess the accuracy of this data according to scientific standards.

For comparability across countries, please see the ESMS file “Employment and unemployment (Labour Force Survey)”

For those countries which do not provide the NUTS 3 code in the EU-LFS micro data, Eurostat uses the EU-LFS NUTS 2 results as a benchmark. In order to achieve comparability between the NUTS 3 data and the EU-LFS data at NUTS 2 level, Eurostat uses the relative weight of the NUTS 3 data received from Member States to split the EU-LFS NUTS 2 estimates into estimates at NUTS 3 level before aggregating the data according to the territorial typologies.

EU-LFS estimates for a given reference period have full internal coherence, as they are all based on the same corpus of microdata and they are calculated using the same estimation methods. Arithmetic and accounting identities in the production of LFS datasets are observed.

In order to maintain consistency over time in case of a change of the NUTS classification, back data are either recalculated by National Statistical Institutes using the newest NUTS breakdown, or recoded in case a mapping is possible or deleted from the table when this is not possible. In the latter case, aggregates are not affected.

LFS data based on the old NUTS classifications are available under the request for ad–hoc extractions.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Regional labour market indicators are used by DG Regional and Urban Policy and DG Employment mainly for measuring regional disparities and monitoring cohesion policy as well as progress towards achieving the Europe 2020 strategy. The youth unemployment rate at NUTS 2 level has been selected as the key indicator to establish the list of eligible regions for funds under the Youth Employment Initiative for the period 2014-2020. Other key users include NSI's, the ILO, OECD, news agencies and researchers which use various aspects of regional labour market data for international or intra-EU comparisons.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Eurostat does not carry out satisfaction survey targeted at users of labour markets statistics. The relevance of the regional labour market statistics for the users can thus only be assessed by indirect means. All new requests for regional labour market statistics are subject to scrutiny by the national experts and representatives of the NSIs and in particular for major topics of interest, for social research the instrument of ad hoc modules is used. The main institutional users other than the Commission are also known to the units for Regional Statistics and for Labour Market Statistics. Many of them are frequently consulted on various aspects of development and dissemination of labour force statistics.

12.3. Completeness

Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Iceland, Montenegro and North Macedonia comprise a single NUTS 2 region, i.e. national data represent NUTS 2 results (as well as NUTS 1 results).

Luxembourg, Cyprus and Montenegro comprise a single NUTS 3 region, i.e. national data represent NUTS 3 results (as well as NUTS 1 and NUTS 2 results).

As there is no legal obligation for the transmission of NUTS 3 data, there can be data missing for some countries in the datasets by territorial typologies (i.e. datasets which are based on the aggregations of the NUTS 3 estimates).


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').

As regards the NUTS 3 data, it is currently difficult to assess the accuracy of this data according to scientific standards because of non-sampling errors and the combined use of EU-LFS data with the information from other sources like registers.

13.2. Sampling error

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

13.3. Non-sampling error

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


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

A common Council regulation (EC) No 577/98 establishes the timeliness of data transmissions from the NSIs in the Member States to Eurostat. This timeliness is 12 weeks after the end of the reference period, i.e. end of March of year T+1 for data of the last quarter of reference year T.

Countries which do not provide the NUTS 3 code in the LFS micro data usually transmit the NUTS 3 aggregates 4-8 months after the end of the reference year.

14.2. Punctuality

From 2014 onwards, annual NUTS 2 data is released within one month after the transmission of the data from NSIs, i.e. in April of the year T+1 following the reference year T.

Data by territorial typologies are published 4-6 weeks after receiving the NUTS 3 estimates from the NSIs.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

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

Regional labour market data at NUTS 3 level are based on the LFS in most countries. NUTS 3 data for some countries are based on registers, administrative data, small area estimation and other reliable sources or on a combination of some of these with the LFS.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Every year, a certain number of changes are introduced in some national LFSs, to take into account changes introduced at European level, to better align the national surveys to the already existing EU regulations or methodological guidelines, or to take into account national needs.

These changes can concern the conceptual level (i.e. concepts and definitions used by the LFS, the survey coverage, i.e. the target population, the legislation, the classifications used, the geographical boundaries) or the measurement level (i.e. the sampling frame, the sample design, the rotation pattern, the questionnaire, the instructions to interviewers, the survey modes, the weighting scheme, the use of auxiliary information). 

Regional labour market data based on pre-2003 methodology (data up to 2001 based on the “spring” quarter only) is no longer published on the Eurostat website but is available on request.

The comparability section in the LFS quality reports, lists the changes to the national labour force surveys introduced each year by the participating countries.

For more details on the comparability over time (break in series), please consult EU - LFS (Statistics Explained) - Data and Publication >>> Comparability over time

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

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

15.4. Coherence - internal

EU-LFS estimates for a given reference period have full internal coherence, as they are all based on the same corpus of microdata and they are calculated using the same estimation methods. Arithmetic and accounting identities in the production of LFS datasets are observed.

In order to maintain consistency over time in case of a change of the NUTS classification, back data are either recalculated by National Statistical Institutes using the newest NUTS breakdown, or recoded in case a mapping is possible or deleted from the table when this is not possible. In the latter case, aggregates are not affected.

LFS data based on the old NUTS classifications are available under the request for ad–hoc extractions.


16. Cost and Burden Top

Not available


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Revisions of previously released data are not expected, 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. EU-LFS results are revised whenever revised quarterly LFS data become available.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Since 2014, EU-LFS results at NUTS 2 level are revised whenever revised quarterly LFS data become available. Previously, the NUTS 2 data was only revised annually.

For information on EU-LFS data revisions, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Data and publication


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

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

Regional labour market data at NUTS 3 level are based on the LFS in most countries. NUTS 3 data for some countries are based on registers, administrative data, small area estimation and other reliable sources or on a combination of some of these with the LFS.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Since the early 2000's, the survey has quarterly periodicity, previously it was an annual survey run in spring. Regional data at NUTS 2 level is published as annual averages of quarterly data. Countries whose NUTS 3 labour market data are based on other sources than the LFS send the annual aggregated data once a year.

18.3. Data collection

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

18.4. Data validation

Eurostat checks the data quality and consistency prior to the dissemination of transmitted NUTS 2 and national data. Eurostat calculates aggregated LFS results which are then validated by the Member States before publication.

NUTS 3 data validation is carried out by running specific programs in the production database.

18.5. Data compilation

EU and Euro area aggregates are calculated aggregating estimated population totals from Member States. For the data expressed in absolute values for each quarter (i.e. number of persons/households) no further Eurostat weighting is used. Rates/ratios are subsequently calculated from the data expressed in absolute values (i.e. number of persons/households). Regional data at NUTS 2 level is published as annual averages of quarterly data.

18.6. Adjustment

No adjustment of the NUTS 2 data is done.

NUTS 3 data not based on the LFS are adjusted to achieve comparability between with the EU-LFS data at NUTS 2 level. The adjustment is made by using the relative weight of the NUTS 3 data received from Member States to split the EU-LFS NUTS 2 estimates into estimates at NUTS 3 level before aggregating the data by territorial typologies.


19. Comment Top

No notes.


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


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