Labour force survey

Producer: Statistics Finland
Main topic: Labour Market
Related topics:
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


The Labour Force Survey collects statistical data on the participation in work, employment, unemployment and activity of persons outside the labour force among the population aged between 15 and 89. The Labour Force Survey data collection is based on a random sample drawn twice a year from the Statistics Finland population database. The monthly sample consists of some 12,500 persons and the data are collected with computer-assisted telephone interviews and a web form. The information provided by the respondents is used to produce a picture of the activities of the entire population aged between 15 and 89.

Data content

The Labour Force Survey produces data on e.g. employment, unemployment, different employment relationships, working hours and work input. The activity of the population outside the labour force is also examined. Data are available by gender, level of education, age and area. In addition, the Labour Force Survey contains data reported annually on the employment of households. The majority of the data collected are required by the EU Regulation. The basic data are confidential. Part of the data are produced as monthly and quarterly data. Part of the data are produced as annual data, either every year or every other year. Special topic sections are produced every eight years. Additional inquiries: In connection with the Labour Force Survey in April to June 2021, an inquiry will be carried out which is part of the National Audit Office's audit of the preparation and implementation of the removal of incentive traps. It aims to find out how well-known the incentives built into the taxation system are and whether they have an effect on the supply of labour force. The results of the inquiry will be published as part of the audit report in October 2021.

Classifications used

Standard Industrial Classification (TOL 2008), Classification of Occupations 2001 and Classification of Occupations 2010, Classification of Socio-economic Groups 1989, National Classification of Education 2016. Regional Classification: Major Region (NUTS2). Regional State Administrative Agency (AVI), Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre), Region (NUTS3).

Data collection methods and data sources

The Labour Force Survey data collection is based on a random sample drawn twice a year from the Statistics Finland population database. The size of the sample is approximately 12,500 persons per month. The data are collected with a telephone-assisted telephone interview and a web form. One respondent is interviewed altogether five times.

Data collections

Updating frequency


Time of completion or release

Monthly, quarterly, annually and bi-annually. The data are available approximately three to four weeks from the reference time period. A file complying with the relevant Regulation is also supplied quarterly to the EU, from which the EU compiles comparable statistics concerning its Member States.

Time series

Data are available starting from 1959. Uniform time series of data complying with the definitions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are available as historic data starting from 1989 until 2021. The most recent uniform time series is from 2000 onwards.


active population, activity rate, employed persons, employed rate, employees, employment, employment relationship, fixed-term employment, full-time work, hours worked per week, inactive population, industrial structure, industries, labour market, labour force status, long-term unemployed, occupations, part-time work, private sector, public sector, self-employed persons, socio-economic group, status in employment, temporary lay-off, unemployed persons, unemployment, unemployment rate, weekly working hours, working hours, working life, youth unemployment

Contact information

Last updated 15.04.2021