Labour Force Surveys are statistical surveys conducted in a number of countries designed to capture data about the labour market. All European Union member states are required to conduct a Labour Force Survey annually. Labour Force Surveys are also carried out in some non-EU countries. They are used to calculate the International Labour Organization (ILO)-defined unemployment rate. The ILO agrees the definitions and concepts employed in Labour Force Surveys.
Prior to 1998, EU member states were required to conduct an LFS in one quarter per year, but as a result of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 577/98 of 9 March 1998 they are now expected to submit LFS results for every quarter to Eurostat. Responsibility for sample selection, questionnaire design and fieldwork lies with member states' national statistical offices, who then forward the results to Eurostat, employing a common coding scheme.
The EU LFS, as it is known, covers not only the EU member states but also three of the four European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and candidate countries.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) conducted the United Kingdom's first Labour Force Survey in 1973...