|The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a unique source of articulated information using international definitions of employment and unemployment and economic inactivity, together with a wide range of related topics such as occupation, training, hours of work and personal characteristics of household members aged 16 years and over. The first LFS was conducted in 1973, under the terms of a regulation derived from the Treaty of Rome, and the provision of information for the Statistical Office of the European Communities (SOEC), now known as Eurostat, continues to be one of the reasons for carrying out the survey. Eurostat co-ordinates information from labour force surveys in the European Union (EU) member states in order to assist the EU in such matters as the allocation of the Social Fund. Between 1984 and 1991 the survey was carried out annually, and moved to a quarterly cycle, the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) from May 1992. Further information may be found in the main LFS documentation (see link below).
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey Eurostat Datasets form the UK component of the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS), and consist of a subset of core variables from the UK QLFS (held at the UK Data Archive under GN 33246), alongside primary and secondary derived variables computed by Eurostat from the core variables supplied (see documentation for details). Alongside the quarterly EU LFS, the Archive also holds annual EU LFS datasets from 1999 onwards (see under GN 33399) and 'ad hoc' modules (run each year to supplement the information available from the core EU LFS questionnaire) from 2002 onwards (see under GN 33400).
The data comprise seasonal or calendar quarters, depending on the date, and are not directly comparable with the reweighted LFS quarters.
LFS Documentation (main LFS)
Besides the EU LFS documentation (see below), documentation is also available to accompany the main UK LFS datasets available from the Archive. This largely consists of the latest version of each document alongside the appropriate questionnaire for the year concerned. However, LFS documentation volumes are updated periodically by ONS, so users are advised to check the ONS LFS User Guidance pages before commencing analysis.
Topics covered include household and demographic characteristics, country and region of work, employment and self-employment, employment history, working time, occupations and occupational status, job hunting, job changing, education and training, unemployment and economic activity.