Employment and unemployment (LFS) – Overview

Introduction

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What is the EU Labour Force Survey?

The EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) is the largest European household sample survey. Its main statistical objective is to classify the population of working age (15 years and over) into three mutually exclusive and exhaustive groups: employed persons, unemployed persons (both together make up the so-called ‘labour force’) and economically inactive persons (the population 'outside the labour force'), for example students, pensioners and housewives or –men.

Eurostat currently publishes EU-LFS results for 35 participating countries. These countries are the 28 Member States of the European Union, three EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), and four EU candidate countries (Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey). The EU-LFS provides quarterly and annual data; depending on the labour status of the people (employed, unemployed, economically inactive) different variables are collected.

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Highlights

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Find out about your country's labour market

Do you know how many persons in your country are employed, unemployed or economically inactive? How does this compare to other European countries? Find out using our interactive visualisation.

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Compare unemployment rates

How has the unemployment rate in your country developed over the last months? Is it below or above the EU or euro area average?

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Dig into statistics for your region & city

The visualisation tool 'Regions and cities illustrated' lets you easily explore labour market statistics for your region or city using maps, graphs and bar charts.

Labour market flows

Illustrating labour market flows

With the help of our infographics in this Statistics Explained article, you can see movements of people between employment, unemployment and economic inactivity from quarter to quarter.

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Explore Further

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Release calendar

Find out when our newest quarterly LFS data will be published.

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More labour market statistics

Looking for other labour market data such as earnings or labour cost? Then check out our complete range of labour market statistics.