Legislation - Employment and unemployment (LFS)


An important element in assuring the quality of the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) is  the regulations on how the EU-LFS is organised. They stipulate the rules and guidelines to assure the comparability of the results by regulating the survey designs, the survey characteristics, methods and the decision-making processes.

The EU-LFS has been based on European legislation since 1973.

The principal legal act is Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 of 9 March 1998 on the on the organisation of a continuous, quarterly sample survey in the Community. The main regulation lays down the provisions on design, survey characteristics and decision-making processes.

The principal legal act was amended by several general regulations in 2002, 2003 and 2007.

In addition, implementing regulations specify further detail, in particular on coding and classifications. The latest of these (Commission Regulation (EC) No 377/2008) provides the 2009 codification, including the compulsory survey characteristic 'income' and the general definition of reference quarters.  

Further legal bases for the LFS are included in regulations on ad-hoc modules, that fix special topics and detailed variables that are to be collected only once or at intervals of more than one year, and in regulations on statistical confidentiality that stipulate the detailed rules used for receiving, processing and disseminating confidential data.

For a complete list of regulations for the EU-LFS, please see: EU Labour Force Survey – main features and legal basis (Statistics Explained).