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. Published output also includes 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, Brazil, Russian Federation and South Africa. 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 and available in OECD.stat.

Non-member countries involved in the activity

• South Africa

Databases

• Annual Labour Force Statistics

Main Developments for 2013

General aspects

• Organise the download of data from Eurostat

Data collection

• Targeted countries slow at responding to the annual questionnaire will be requested to speed up their response.

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 Former, South Africa

Databases

• ALFS_POP_VITAL ALFS_POP_LABOUR ALFS_EMP ALFS_SUMTAB

Main Developments for 2013

General aspects

• During 2013 it is intended that the quarterly employment statistical release will be developed to include a greater analytical component.

Data collection

• Small number of countries slow at responding to the annual questionnaire will be requested to speed up their response. The collection of further data and metadata for NMEs, in particular, China and India.

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 2013

General aspects

• The expansion of the LFS database will gain momentum to improve country coverage and comparability 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 characterize 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. A data assessment report has been provided to the EC regarding the comparability of earnings data reported in the OECD Earnings Distribution database.

• 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.

• Revisions of metadata as appropriate on labour market statistics on OECD.Stat for internal and external web based dissemination.

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 release.

• 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 2012 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 component 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 2013 and OECD Compendium of Productivity Indicators 2012.

Non-member countries involved in the activity

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

Main Developments for 2013

General aspects

• Major tasks in 2013 will consist in enhancing the quality of ULCs and harmonise ULCs with other products within and outside the OECD (data, methodology, etc.). Tasks will be:

- Review possibility to harmonise methodologies with other products within the OECD, e.g. productivity database; reflect on changes regarding new member countries, data, classifications into OECD ULCs.

- Investigate possibility to develop new ULC data (results can be summarised in writing if possible): Accession country, i.e. Russian Federation; Enhanced engagement countries and non-OECD G20 countries (i.e. Saudi Arabia and Argentina).

- Draft notes and overview documents on: key issues in the policy debate as concerns competitiveness (with particular view on quarterly ULC press release); areas where and ideas how the methodology of OECD ULC data can be improved (based on review of economic and statistical literature); ideas how to extend the ULC indicators to other competitiveness indicators (based on review of economic and statistical literature).

Data collection

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