Monitoring labour markets amid lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 virus: Essential labour force survey content and treatment of special groups

This note provides guidance for National Statistical Offices (NSOs) currently able to maintain labour force survey (LFS) operations on how to apply the latest international standards to maintain a core set of labour force statistics for monitoring in a context of government lockdowns and widespread uncertainty. 

In particular, it highlights the range of topics to prioritize and provides guidance on the treatment of special cases becoming more prevalent, such as job absences of uncertain duration, business closures, and overall reduced job search activity.

The note underscores the importance of maintaining consistency in how headline indicators, such as employment and unemployment rates, are measured following the established international standards. At the same time, it stresses the need to expand the range of statistics and analysis reported on beyond basic headline labour market indicators, to support wider monitoring and better inform decision-making. 

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Working papers
Methodology of data collection, processing, dissemination and analysis