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Labour Force Survey content and data collection have been revised in 2008

Revisions extending the Labour Force Survey's data content have been implemented in the beginning of 2008. The definitions of some concepts have also changed. The revisions are based on EU regulations and their aim is to improve the comparability of the Labour Force Surveys of different EU Member States.

According to the new data collection method, key data are collected from the entire sample throughout the year and can be reported monthly or quarterly. Some of the data are collected from a subsample only, and are reported annually. This has very little effect on the reporting practices of the Labour Force Survey; the monthly and quarterly publications will contain mainly the same data as before.

New and more accurate data

As from 2008 the Labour Force Survey will collect data on i.a. temporary employment agency work and the monthly earnings of wage and salary earners. These new statistics will be reported from the year 2009 onwards. The industry of temporary employment agency workers will be determined on the basis of the job held during the survey week, whereas previously all temporary employment agency workers were classified as belonging to the industry Labour hire activities. This revision enables the examination of the number of temporary employment agency workers by industry.

In addition, more accurate and higher-quality data than before will be obtained on e.g. absences due to illness, different family leaves, the validity of employment relationships during leaves and part-time pensions.

Revisions to the definition of employed

The basic definition of an employed person remains unchanged. A person is still counted as employed if he/she has been gainfully employed for at least one hour during the survey week as a wage or salary earner, self-employed entrepreneur or an unpaid family worker or been temporarily absent from work.

As from 2008, a common EU practice is applied to wage and salary earners who are on long leaves from work. According to this practice, a person is employed if his/her absence has lasted less than three months or he/she is still paid a wage or salary or an earnings-based benefit amounting to at least one-half of his/her basic pay. Thus, e.g. persons on temporary care leave or job alternation leave are no longer automatically classified as being outside the labour force. The work of a family carer is no longer classified as gainful work, but family carer status is asked with a separate question.

Due to the methodological revisions, the number of employed persons absent from work may grow slightly when compared with the year 2007. In the pilot survey carried out in spring 2007 the effects were, however, small. The effects of the revisions are monitored and they are reported during 2008 i.a. on the Labour Force Survey's Internet home page.


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Last updated 19.2.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.4.2024].
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