Unemployment Rate – An Objective of The Labour Force Survey

A five week Labour Force Survey, which among other things will provide updated estimates of employment and unemployment, is scheduled to begin in Grenada on 23 September 2013.

The Central Statistical Office of the Ministry of Finance and Energy, in collaboration with the OECS Secretariat and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, will be conducting the Survey which is scheduled to conclude by the end of October.

A news release from the Ministry of Finance said that the main objectives of a Labour Force Survey are: (1) to divide the working-age population into three mutually exclusive classifications — employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force; and (2) to provide descriptive and explanatory data on each of these classifications.

According to the Ministry, LFS data are used to produce the well-known unemployment rate as well as other standard labour market indicators such as the employment rate and the participation rate. “The LFS also provides employment estimates by industry, occupation, public and private sector, hours worked and much more. These are all cross-classifiable by a variety of demographic characteristics,” the release said.

The Labour Force Survey is a Household Survey. The data collection will be based on a sample of 1050 households that will represents the entire island and draws from the Listing of Households collected in the Population and Housing Census.

The Ministry said that the data will be collected through face-to- face interviews with members (or a member) of the sampled households. The information provided by these respondents will be used to produce a picture of the activities of the entire population.

The success of the Labour Force Survey in accurately capturing persons’ employment status depends on the full cooperation of the public. Persons are informed that the work of the Statistical department is conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, No. 30 of 1960 and No. 21 of 1961. The public is therefore assured that information provided to the Central Statistical Office is strictly confidential and would only be disseminated at the aggregate level. The Oath of Secrecy which will be administered to each interviewer before commencement of duties also guarantees to the public that information given would not be revealed. Anyone violating this oath can be prosecuted.

According to the Ministry, the information collected is highly critical to the Government as it is key in providing urgent information to address the unemployment situation, which is a concern for all. “The availability of information on the labour market will put Grenada in a better position to source and access funding for projects related to job creation and also will aid in the sustainable development process,” said the release which explained that the employment indicators which will be captured are critical in analysing economic and social progress.

“Without these, no meaningful assessment of development performance is complete. Therefore, it is critical to have timely information for effective planning, implementation and monitoring,” said the release.

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