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Labour Force Survey (LFS)

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Labour and Income, Social Statistics
Daniel F. Gustafsson
+45 39 17 35 89

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Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2023 Quarter 4

The purpose of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is giving a description of the labour market status of the population. The LFS gives insight into how many people are employed, unemployed or outside the labour force (economically inactive). The LFS also manages to measure information like how many people are working part time; how many hours men in their 30s or 40s usually work; or how many elderly people outside the labour market would like to have a job. The LFS has been conducted yearly since 1984, and from 1994 the survey has been conducted continuously throughout the year.

Statistical presentation

The Labor Force Survey is a quarterly sample-based interview survey on the Danish population between 15 and 89 years. The survey sheds light on how many are employed, unemployed (LFS unemployed) or outside the labor force. The survey provides detailed data on e.g. hours worked, conditions of employment, job search, education by regions, age and sex. Consequently the survey can, among other things, estimate the number of employed people who work at home regularly; how many self-employed people who work during weekends; or how many people have have a part-time job.

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Statistical processing

The Labour Force Survey is the most comprehensive continuous survey in Denmark based on approx. 72,000 participants on an annual basis. The interviews are conducted by online interview or telephone. The survey is based on a stratified sample of the population. In drawing the sample administrative resources are used to obtain various background information on the people interviewed. The sample is weighted to measure the entire population in Denmark.

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The Danish Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the contribution to the European LFS and data are delivered quarterly to the European Statistical office.

Labour Force Surveys are carried out in every European country as well as in many other countries around the world following common concepts and guidelines. This makes the Labour Force Survey the best Danish survey for international comparisons on labour market statistics.

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Accuracy and reliability

The Labor Force Survey (LFS) has a relatively large sample and there are continuous improvements in enumeration methods. This provides reliable statistics for the population's connection to the labor market, although there is uncertainty linked to the selection of the sample and the structure of the non-response.

In Q1 2016, the response rate was exceptionally low, creating greater uncertainty about the figures. Furthermore, web interview (CAWI) has been introduced as a new data collection method. The two factors created breaks in the time series. The breaks are corrected on the main series.

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Timeliness and punctuality

The Labour Force Survey is published quarterly in the series Quarterly, Theme, Europe and Year.

Quarterly data are published 1.5 months after a quarter has ended. Theme is published two months after the end of the quarter and European is published about 3.5 months after the quarter has ended. Year is published 1.5 months after the end of Q4.

The statistics are usually published without delay in relation to the scheduled date.

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The Labor Force Survey (LFS) has been conducted since 1994 and tables can be found at StatBank Denmark from 1996 onwards. A new enumeration method has been introduced, where the sources only go back to 2008. The new series therefore only go back to 2008 in comparable form. LFS is made according to the same guidelines in all EU countries and several other countries and is therefore well suited for international comparisons.

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Accessibility and clarity

The LFS is published in the Danish press release:

Arbejdskraftundersøgelsen (kvt.) Arbejdskraftundersøgelsen (år)

Statistical estimates are available via Statbank.

There are also subject pages connected to the statistics: - Labour force participation - Employment - Unemployment

More detailed LFS data is available for purchase via Tailor-made analyses.

It possible to gain access to Micro-data through Statistics Denmark's registers Research Services.

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