Since 2009, the annual employment estimates are calculated using the Estel system (Localised employment estimates), which are based upon the administrative sources which cover the relevant level.
For employees, the relevant source is the Annual Declaration of Employment Data (DADS, broad format) containing, in addition to the Declaration itself, data from the wage files of government employees and data from certain employers.
For self-employed agricultural workers, the sources used are the files of the Mutualité Sociale Agricole (MSA), and for self-employed workers in other sectors, the files of the Central Agency of Social Security Organisations (ACOSS), which is the National Fund of the Unions de Recouvrement des Cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d'Allocations Familiales (URSSAF).
The idea at the heart of the Estel initiative is to provide a bottom-up synthesis of the administrative sources used, taking into account the potential for multiple activities. Estel measures employment using an "ILO indexed" system: employment is measured in the last week of the year and all declared work is accounted for.
The transition to the Estel system allows for the production of annual employment estimates at the geographical and sectoral levels which are more accurate than those produced by the old system (which involved considering the zone of employment and the A38 level of the new activities classification, instead of doing this at the departmental level); moreover, every year we will now have a double location for employees – their place of residence and place of work – as well as information on the sex and five-year age group of salaried and self-employed workers.