Labour Force Survey
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a continuous household survey. The main purpose of the survey is to provide information on the labour market, including employment, unemployment and economic activity rates. It also covers a range of related topics, such as income, qualifications, training and disability.
The UK is obliged under EC regulations to carry out a Labour Force Survey, using internationally agreed definitions of unemployment, employment and economic activity. Results from the Spring quarter of each year are supplied to Eurostat and can be compared with other EC member states.
The current quarterly LFS has been running in Northern Ireland since December 1994. The survey was first carried out in Northern Ireland in 1973 and was repeated biennially from 1973 to 1983. From 1984 to 1994 an annual survey was conducted and results referred to the spring months of each year.
The LFS is carried out by Central Survey Unit on behalf of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI). DETI are responsible for ensuring that the survey is conducted in Northern Ireland and carry out the analysis and interpretation of the data. Central Survey Unit’s role is to manage the fieldwork. This includes the sampling of addresses, the preparation of a Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI) questionnaire, day-to-day running of fieldwork and database production. The questionnaire is provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on a quarterly basis and amended for Northern Ireland by CSU.
Results from the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey feed into the UK figures, but are also analysed at Northern Ireland level.
The results are available on the websites:
www.statistics.detini.gov.uk (Northern Ireland level data)
www.statistics.gov.uk (UK level data)