Économie et Statistique n° 362 - 2003 Measuring the Growth in Mobile Telphone Service Prices - Employment Survey
A History of the Employment Survey
On 1 January 2003, the Employment Survey was made quarterly. Its data are now collected continuously every week of each quarter. It had been annual since 1950, with data generally being collected in the month of March. This important change complies with a European move to harmonise unemployment statistics. European Regulation No. 1991/2002 makes an ongoing quarterly survey compulsory in European Union countries as of 2003 and Regulation No. 1897/ 2000 lays down detailed principles for the identification of unemployed individuals. Compared with the previous surveys, this new Employment Survey cultivates a short-run economic analysis of the labour force. The employment survey was created in France in 1950 to regularly measure employment which could not be done using the population census and to count the number of job seekers. Over the decades, the survey adopted numerous technical innovations in terms of sampling methods, information collection methods and computerised data processing. Improving the quality of the statistics published and reducing publication lead times became constant goals. The history of the Employment Survey is closely linked with the older history of the concept of unemployment. The definition and measurement of unemployment have evolved over time alongside changes to the International Labour Organization's recommendations. The Employment Survey has constantly adapted to the changes, shifting from the spontaneous classification of individuals surveyed in 1950 to a classification based exclusively on a list of factual questions in 2003.