Overview:

  • the sample size is approximately 320,000 respondents

  • has the largest coverage of any household survey and allows the generation of statistics for small geographical areas

  • uses data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS)
  • the data sets consist of 12 months of survey data and are broken down on a quarterly basis

  • the first APS data set was published for the period January to December 2004

The Annual Population Survey (APS) is a continuous household survey, covering the UK. The topics covered include employment and unemployment, as well as housing, ethnicity, religion, health and education.

The purpose of the APS is to provide information on important social and socio-economic variables at local levels. The published statistics enable monitoring of estimates between censuses for a range of policy purposes and provide local area information for labour market estimates.

The LFS (and the APS) are the sources recommended for employment-related statistics, such as estimates of the number of people in employment or unemployed. They are also a unique source of comprehensive, coherent information about economic inactivity, as it separates information about people who want a job and those who do not.

The APS is not a stand-alone survey; it uses data combined from 2 waves of the main Labour Force Survey (LFS), collected on a local sample boost. These boosts are sponsored by the Department for Pensions (DWP), Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government. There are also many other central and local government users of the APS data.

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