The Labour Force Survey (LFS) has been carried out in the UK since 1973. It is a quarterly sample survey of households living at private addresses in Great Britain. Its purpose is to provide information on the UK labour market that can then be used to develop, manage, evaluate and report on labour market policies. It is conducted by the Office for National Statistics.
From 1973 to 1983 the survey was carried out biennially and was increasingly used by UK Government departments to obtain information which would assist in the framing of social and economic policy. From 1984 until 1991 it was conducted annually and consisted of two elements:
(i) a quarterly survey conducted in Great Britain throughout the year
(ii) a 'boost' survey in the quarter March - May.
In 1992 the Quarterly LFS was introduced with a quarterly sample size approximately equivalent to that of the previous annual data. In 2007, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) undertook a reweighting project, whereby LFS data were reweighted using population estimates for 2007-2008. As a result, reweighted editions of LFS back to 1992 were deposited at UKDA during 2008.
The questionnaire comprises a core of questions which are included in every survey, together with non-core questions which vary from quarter to quarter. The questionnaire can be split into two main parts:
(i) questions on information about household, family structure, basic housing information and demographic details of individuals in households.
(ii) questions on economic activity, education, health.
Sample size: 100,000 households, of which 7,800 in Scotland.
The Annual Population Survey (APS) represents a major new survey which comprises key variables from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), all the LFS boosts and the APS boost. It provides survey data that can produce reliable estimates at local authority level. For more information visit the APS web pages.
1975 - latest.
See documentation on ONS web site.
Microdata files from individual surveys. As well as the main survey, several sub-sample and derived datasets are also produced, including longitudinal panel microdata series and a Eurostat version of the dataset.Time series aggregate statistics can be displayed or downloaded from the Nomis - official labour market statistics web site.