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The first Labour Force Survey (LFS) in the United Kingdom was conducted in 1973, under the terms of a Regulation derived from the Treaty of Rome. From 1984 the survey was carried out annually, and since that time the LFS has consisted of two elements: quarterly survey conducted in Great Britain throughout the year, in which each sampled address was called on five times at quarterly intervals, and which yielded about 15,000 responding households in every quarter, and a `boost' survey in the spring quarter (March-May), which produced interviews at over 44,000 households in Great Britain and over 4,000 households in Northern Ireland.

Main Topics/Subject Category
For each usually resident individual member of the household, the relationship to the head of the household, sex, age, marital condition and nationality. For persons above the statutory school-leaving age information was sought about the main economic activity, any secondary economic activity, and economic activity one year previously. For unemployed persons questions were asked about the type of employment sought, duration of unemployment and method of seeking employment, previous employment status and industry and whether or not registered as unemployed at an official employment office.
United Kingdom, absenteeism, age, allergies, apartments, application for employment, appointment to job, apprenticeship, attitudes, bedrooms, cardiovascular diseases, care of dependants, central heating, children, citizenship, commercial buildings, commuting, conditions of employment, cooking facilities, damage, day release courses, degrees, depression, diabetes, digestive system disorders, disabled persons, diseases, dismissal, distance learning, domestic responsibilities, early retirement, economic activity, educational background, educational courses, educational fees, educational finance, educational institutions, elderly, elevators, employees, employer-sponsored training, employment, employment history, employment programmes, employment services, endocrine disorders, epilepsy, ethnic groups, evening schools, examinations, expectation, families, family members, financial support, fire protection equipment, fuels, full-time employment, furnished accommodation, gender, heads of household, hearing impairments, heating systems, higher education, higher education institutions, home buying, home ownership, home selling, home sharing, household head's economic activity, household head's occupation, household head's, place of birth, households, houses, housing, housing age, housing conditions, housing economics, housing finance, housing shortages, housing, tenure, human settlement
Identifier Variables
Standard regions
Economic/Subject Categories
Income, Earnings
Area of Health System
Data Available
Risk behaviours, Socio-economic, Demographic
Data collecting organization (s)
Office of Population Censuses and Surveys
Data Type
Survey (cross-sectional)
Coverage (date of field work)
1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
Unit of Analysis

Approximately 44,000 households in Great Britain and over 4,000 households in Northern Ireland.

ESDS Government, UK Data Archive
Conditions of Access
Free registration access
Lindley JK and Lenton P. The Over-Education of UK Immigrants: Evidence from the Labour Force Survey. University of Sheffield, 2006
.Hasluck, C., People and skills in North East Wales : an analysis of the education, training, qualifications and work experience of the residents of North East Wales (Final Report) (Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick, August 1994).
.Hasluck, C., People and skills in Southern Derbyshire : an analysis of the education, training, qualifications and work experience of the residents of Southern Derbyshire (Final Report) (Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick, February 1994).