Labour force surveyLFS

Paru le : 19/02/2019


This survey aims to observe both structural and cyclical situation of the labour market.
It is the only source that provides a measurement of the concepts of activity, unemployment, employment and inactivity according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition.
It is part of the Labour Force Surveys (LFS) defined by the European Union.


The French Labour Force Survey was established in 1950 to provide a regular measure of employment and unemployment.
Over the decades, the survey has incorporated numerous changes of various kinds: changes in questionnaire and concept (in particular to comply with the guidelines of the International Labour Office (ILO) and of Eurostat), but also methodological developments on sampling methods and non-response processing, or technical improvements on collection methods, computerization of data processing, etc.
The main recent developments are as follows:
- From 2003 onwards, the annual French Labour Force Survey in metropolitan France becomes continuous; it is conducted every week of the year;
- In 2009, its sample has been gradually increased by 50%;
- In 2013, the questionnaire has been redesigned to facilitate the handover, particularly over the telephone, improve the coding of occupation and diploma, improve knowledge of the labour market with the introduction of new questions and comply with Eurostat guidelines on some indicators (training, halo around unemployment);
- From 2014, the French overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) have joined the continuous employment survey process.

Documentation par millésimes


Type of operation


Legal owner

  • Department of Demographic and Social Statistics

Frequency of data collection


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