Labour Market Transitions

Why labour market transition statistics?    Experimental statistics logo

Labour market transitions show the movements of individuals between the labour market statuses of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity. They help to understand and interpret changes in the levels of labour market indicators based on the EU-Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Breakdowns of labour market transitions (for example by sex, age and duration of unemployment) are important in order to understand the differences in transition probabilities between different groups.

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Labour market transitions are discussed at length in Statistics Explained.

Why are the breakdowns published as experimental statistics?

These statistics rely on regression models; they do thus rely on the assumptions of these models.

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The use of regression analysis on survey data is usually the realm of researchers intending to answer specific questions; methods are selected specifically to answer these questions, and to establish causalities. Results are generally not meant to replace descriptive statistics.

It is important to stress to users the limits of the results: regression model outcomes are used instead of summary statistics; models are chosen for simplicity and, in the context of Eurostat's commitment to EU-wide comparable statistics, cannot be tailor-made for each country.

How are these experimental statistics produced?

Results are derived by matching quarterly data sets for individuals who are interviewed twice in two consecutive quarters.

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Deriving these breakdowns directly from the micro-data is not straightforward, in particular due to the much smaller sample sizes of the matched data sets in combination with the large number of possible breakdowns. For detailed breakdowns, Eurostat has therefore decided to derive these probabilities from simple binary regressions. By including a function of age, and interaction terms of this function with other breakdowns of interest in the regression on the relevant flow, it is possible to calculate the estimated probability of transitioning between two statuses for many breakdowns of interest.

See also ‘Breakdowns of labour market flow statistics’ in Statistics Explained.

Methodological note

Access the statistics



To help us improve these experimental statistics, users and researchers are invited to participate in the dedicated discussion on the European Statistics User Forum, focusing on the following questions:

  • How useful do you consider such detailed breakdowns of labour market transitions?
  • Please let us know which additional breakdowns you would find interesting, and for which transitions (e.g. transition from unemployment to employment, by previous work experience). You can consult the LFS user guide to see which variables might be relevant for you (please note that only quarterly variables can be used).
  • How relevant is the availability of EU aggregates for your analysis, given that there is no data from Germany or Belgium that can be included?