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Annual Labour Force Statistics

Purpose

To provide relevant, reliable annual labour force statistics covering long time series for internal OECD users (in particular, the Economics Department), member country government agencies and other external users in academic institutions and private enterprise.

Objectives and outputs

The main objective is to provide long time series for key annual statistics on population, labour force, employment and unemployment. This database contains annual statistics for OECD member countries comprising: population, total employment, unemployment, civilian employment by sectors, part-time employment, duration of unemployment. Published output also includes participation and unemployment rates by gender and detailed age groups as well as comparative tables for the main components of the labour force.

Data are available for all OECD member countries and for OECD-Total, Euro area and European Union. Time series cover 20 years for most countries. The long time-series for the data presented facilitate identification of structural changes in labour force over time.

Published output are also accompanied by target OECD and ILO international statistical standards (definitions, etc) and summary methodological information (national definitions, coverage, collection, calculation, series breaks, sources) used by individual OECD member countries in the compilation of the statistics published in the ALFS.

Databases

Annual Labour Force Statistics

Main Developments for 2012

Data collection:

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Infra-annual Labour Force Statistics

Purpose

To provide relevant, reliable key infra-annual labour force statistics such as employment and unemployment (levels, rates) for internal OECD users, member country government agencies and other external users in academic institutions and private enterprise.

Objectives and outputs

The main objective is to provide long time series for key infra-annual labour statistics as well as timely short-term indicators on the labour force such as employment and unemployment. Data are disseminated in the OECD Main Economic Indicators (MEI) database, a monthly press release on harmonised unemployment and on OECD.Stat.

The MEI database contains monthly, quarterly and annual indicators on employment, unemployment, labour compensation and for some countries indicators on vacancies, hours worked, labour disputes, etc.

Data are available for all OECD member countries and for key series (employment, unemployment, hourly earnings) aggregates for OECD-Total, Major seven, OECD-Europe, EU27 and Euro area and for selected non-member countries.

In the MEI series are accompanied by summary metadata outlining key concepts, coverage, etc. Published output are also accompanied by target OECD and ILO international statistical standards (definitions, etc) and summary methodological information (national definitions, coverage, collection, calculation, series breaks, sources) used by individual OECD member countries in data compilation.

Non-member countries involved in the activity:

Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Slovenia, South Africa.

Databases

ALFS_POP_VITAL ALFS_POP_LABOUR ALFS_EMP ALFS_SUMTAB

Main Developments for 2012

General aspects:

Quarterly News Release on Employment.

Data collection:

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Labour Market Statistics

Purpose

To produce a comprehensive set of statistics to monitor labour market developments in OECD countries, while enhancing their international comparability.

To monitor the current jobs crisis and subsequent jobs recovery.

To provide statistical information to undertake labour market analyses and policy formulation to be discussed at international meetings on labour policies.

To provide background information for preparatory work for international statistical guidelines.

Objectives and outputs

Regular collection, production and dissemination of labour statistics on labour market outcomes and performance (i.e. earnings levels, earnings distribution, etc.) and institutional variables (i.e. minimum wages, stock of participants and expenditure on labour market programmes - LMP data, EPL index, trade union membership, collective bargaining coverage, etc.) to serve as an analytical basis for labour market analysis.

Data are used to produce the statistical annex of the Employment Outlook and the internal and external on-line Labour Force Statistics database stored on OECD.Stat (Key Employment Statistics and www.oecd.org/els/employment/data).

Some of the data series are reported in the OECD Main Economic Indicators database (http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx) and in the OECD Annual Labour Force Statistics publication.

Non-member countries involved in the activity:

Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russian Federation, South Africa.

Databases

Labour Market Statistics

Main Developments for 2012

General aspects:

The expansion of the LFS database will gain momentum to improve country coverage and comparibility regarding job tenure, hours worked, minimum wages and wage earnings data and to compile data in the area of youth and workforce ageing, broader measures of unemployment, etc.

Time permitting a closer look at statistics to characterise informal employment will be attempted based on existing international guidelines on this subject.

Work underway to consolidate earnings related statistics and to improve their comparability.

Continuation of the assessment of annual working time statistics to improve their international comparability with the aim of publishing of comparable estimates on annual hours actually worked per employed person in the statistical annex of the Employment Outlook.

Continuous migration of data and metadata that are relevant for labour market statistics to OECD.Stat for internal and external web based dissemination.

Data collection:

Given the analytical capacity of working with indiivual records for policy formulation, it is felt important, where possible, to develop the capability for direct access to labour force survey (public use) microdatasets in OECD Member States with a particular focus on non-EU countries.

So far, we have been able to access to labour force survey public use files of 9 OECD countries.

Besides, in the two-year period of 2009-2010, public use files of household survey microdatasets were collected for Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa as well as for Mexico and Turkey.

Further exploration on the availability of labour force and income surveys will be pursued in 2011 to include micro-datasets for Chile, the Russian Federation, and other OECD countries.

In 2011, micro-datasets stored currently are expected to be updated.

Data management:

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Unit Labour Costs

Purpose

To maintain and expand the OECD System of Unit Labour Cost and Related Indicators, which brings together a wide range of data sources for all OECD member countries. A set of internationally comparable quarterly unit labour cost (ULC) indexes for eight economic activities (ULC) indexes are produced together with annual series for ULC, Labour productivity, Labour Compensation (including PPP adjusted), Labour Income shares and Exchange rate adjusted ULC.

In addition, early estimates of quarterly ULCs are produced at t+75 (as a target) and disseminated via a media releease.

At the same time, labour compensation statistics are updated an on-going basis every month, as an input to the MEI publications.

The quarterly ULCs provide the inputs to the Economics Department for production of their real effective exchange rates competitiveness indicators.

Objectives and outputs

The key objectives of 2011 were to review the quality and comparability of established production system. Early estimates of quarterly (EEQ) ULCs were developed which improve the timeliness, comparability with those produced by ECB, and analytical capacity of the existing ULCs. The EEQ ULCs are compiled indirect method which means that seasonally adjusted (SA) ULCs are compiled from SA compenent series collected from NSOs as much as possible. At the same time, ULC media release is revised. In addition, annual data was prepared for publication in the OECD Factbook. Joint ULC project between STD and ECB was continued.

Non-member countries involved in the activity:

Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Russian Federation, South Africa.

Main Developments for 2012

General aspects:

Major tasks in 2012 will be integrate estimates of ULC within the Productivity database. Early ULC estimates for Total economy will continue being updated with continued co-operation from ECB. At the same time, compilation of new ULCs for G20 countries will be pursued.

Data collection:

Major task will be the incorporation of the very large number of new series into the on-going MEI data collection processes.