Statistics Explained

EU labour force survey

This online publication describes the European Union (EU) Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), a large sample survey among private households in Europe and an important source for European statistics about the situation and trends in the EU labour market. It provides information on the main features, the legal basis, the methodology, the data and the publications as well as on the historical development of the EU-LFS.

The EU-LFS is based on European legislation since 1973. From 1 January 2021, new regulations impacting the labour market domain entered into force. Please note that the current version of this online publication refers to these new regulations only in its first section. The other sections will be updated at short notice.

Table of contents

1. Main features and legal basis

1.1 Main features
1.2 Legal basis

2. New methodology from 2021 onwards

2.1 Labour force status
2.2 Other concepts and definitions
2.3 Main indicators being expressed as a rate
2.4 Main changes introduced in 2021

3. Methodology until 2020

3.1 Concept of labour force status
3.2 Other concepts and definitions

4. Correction for breaks in time series

4.1 Comparability over time - correction of breaks in time series
4.2 Background
4.3 Input for break correction
4.4 Data dissemination
4.5 Data interpretation

5. Documentation

5.1 Classifications
5.2 Explanatory notes and user guide for the core variables
5.3 Coding lists, explanatory notes and classifications used over time
5.4 Core questionnaires

6. Modules

6.1 Overview of the modules
6.2 Modules by topic
6.3 Description of the modules

7. Data and publications

7.1 Structure of EU-LFS dissemination
7.2 Eurobase tables and datasets
7.3 Statistical publications
7.4 Policy making indicators
7.5 Publication guidelines and thresholds
7.6 Comparability over time and across countries
7.7 Data for researchers

8. Development and history

8.1 Development of the EU-LFS
8.2 Milestones in the EU-LFS