Overview:

  • sample is made up of approximately 40,000 responding UK households and 100,000 individuals per quarter

  • each quarter’s sample is made up of 5 waves

  • output has been quarterly since 1992

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) measures all aspects of people's work, including the education and training needed to equip them for work, the jobs themselves, job search for those out of work, and income from work and benefits.

The primary purpose of the LFS is to provide good quality point in time and change estimates for various labour market outputs and related topics (National Statistics Quality Review (NSQR) of Labour Force Survey 2014).

The sample consists of approximately 40,000 responding UK households and 100,000 individuals per quarter. Respondents are interviewed for 5 successive waves at 3 monthly intervals with 20% of the sample being replaced every quarter. The LFS is intended to be representative of the entire UK population.

The main definitions used in the LFS for the 3 economic groups (employed, unemployed and economically inactive), are taken from standard International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.

Users often combine LFS data with related data from other sources to provide an overall view of the labour market. One of the most important users of this sort of assessment is the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. Other users of this data include the HM Treasury (HMT) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

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