On 2 November 2023, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a development plan to enable the reintroduction of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) following its suspension in October, when falling response rates led to increased data uncertainty. We also promised an update on progress in early December. 

The ONS has been working hard to deliver the plan and there has been good progress, both on increasing response and improving the adjustments for non-response to allow us to publish an LFS dataset, while we wait for the new Transformed Labour Force Survey (TLFS) to become fully operational in the spring. 

We also said that we would update the population estimates used in the LFS estimation. Users have been clear that they would prefer the new population estimates that were published on 23 November 2023 to be used. 

To accommodate this and to deliver all the improvements in a single package, we will now implement all these changes in the January 2024 Labour market publication and now plan to publish a fuller LFS-based dataset from the January Labour market publication onwards. The employment figures in the December 2023 publication will therefore be produced on the same basis as those in October and November.

On 12 December 2023, alongside adjusted employment figures, the ONS will also publish the usual monthly data on wages and vacancies. We will also publish public sector employment (PSE) as well as workforce jobs. The self-employment element of workforce jobs that previously relied on LFS data will be projected forwards using previous LFS trends of changes in self-employment. We will not be publishing the private sector jobs figures as part of the PSE release as these use the employment data from LFS.

Alongside the LFS-based dataset in January 2024, we also plan to publish the full Annual Population Survey (APS) dataset. However, we will not be publishing the workless households, employment flows, and young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS) data in January.

An increased wave 1 sample for the LFS will be introduced from January, bringing further improvements in the spring, if required. 

In addition, we are currently processing results from the improved TLFS questionnaire, which we hope to publish in the new year.