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Date Last Updated: 20-12-2021

Survey Name:

Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Survey purpose:

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) from Q3 2017. Similar to the QNHS, it is a large-scale, nationwide survey of households in Ireland. It is designed to produce quarterly labour force estimates that include the official measure of employment and unemployment in the state (International Labour Organisation classification).

Legislative Basis National:

Not applicable

Legislative Basis European:

Council Regulation 577/98 on the organisation of a labour force sample survey



Statistical Population:

All individuals living in private households

Sampling Frame:

All private households

Reference Area:

The State

Time Coverage:

The original QNHS (re-labelled LFS) series from Q1 1998 to Q2 2017 has been adjusted to enable comparability with the new LFS for a number of headline indicators. The complete series is available from Q1 1998 to 2021.

Base Period:

Not Applicable

Sector Coverage:

NACE Rev 2 - classified by divisions

Survey Size:

The original quarterly sample 26,000 households has been increased incrementally by 1,300 households from Q3 2017 to account for the additional attrition as a result of the introduction of mixed mode data collection. This has resulted in a total sample of 32,500 from Q3 2018 onwards.

Principal Variables:

ILO status (employed, unemployed etc.), industry of employment, occupation of employment, status of employment, duration of unemployment etc. Indicators are published by a range of classifications including sex, age, nationality, region of residence and highest level of education attained

Principal External Users:

Eurostat, Government departments, SOLAS, research centres and universities, media and general public

Contact Organisation:

Central Statistics Office

Business Area:

Social & Demographic Statistics

Contact Person:

Jim Dalton

Contact Person Function:


Other Business Area Specialists:

Martina O'Callaghan

Contact email:

Contact phone number:

(+353) 21 453 5000