|Concepts and definitions|
The economically active population comprises all persons of either sex
who provide the supply of labour during a specified time reference period, as employed
or as unemployed, for the production of economic goods and services, where the concept
of economic production is established with respect to the System of National
Accounts (SNA)1. Activities are within the economic production boundary defined
by the SNA if they comprise:
(a) Production of goods or services supplied, or intended to be supplied to
units other than their producers, including the production of goods and
services used up in the process of producing such goods or services (intermediate
(b) Production of all goods retained by their producers for their own final use
(own-account production of goods); (c) Production of housing services by owner-occupiers;
(d) Production of domestic and personal services produced by paid domestic
Own-account production of goods includes, for example, production
of agricultural products and their subsequent storage; production of other primary
products such as mining of salt, cutting of peat, supply of water; processing of agricultural
products (the preparation of meals for own consumption is excluded); and
other kinds of processing, such as weaving of cloth, dressmaking and tailoring; production
of footwear, pottery, utensils or durables; making of furniture or furnishings;
and major renovations, extensions to dwellings, replastering of walls or re-roofing by
Domestic or personal services provided by unpaid household members for final consumption within the same household are excluded from the economic production boundary and hence are not considered to be economic activities. (Examples are (a) the cleaning, decoration and maintenance of the dwelling occupied by the household, including small repairs of a kind usually carried out by tenants as well as owners; (b) the cleaning, servicing and repair of household durables or other goods, including vehicles used for household purposes; (c) the preparation and serving of meals; (d) the care, training and instruction of children; (e) the care of sick, infirm or old people; and (f) the transportation of members of the household or their goods.) Persons engaged in such activities may be included among “providers of non-paid social and personal services”.
The usually active population comprises all persons above a specified age whose main activity status, as determined in terms of the total number of weeks or days during a long specified period (such as the preceding 12 months or the preceding calendar year) was employed and/or unemployed, as defined within the labour force (current activity) framework.
The currently active population, or the labour force, comprises all persons (above the stated minimum age) who are either employed or unemployed, as defined below.
A.2.i Employed population
The employed population comprises all persons above the minimum age specified for measurement of the economically active population who, during a short reference period of either one week (preferred option) or one day (a) performed some work for pay, profit or family gain, in cash or in kind; or (b) were temporarily absent from a job in which they had already worked and to which they maintained a formal attachment or from a self-employment activity such as a business enterprise, a farm or a service undertaking.
A.2.i Unemployed population
The unemployed population comprises all persons above the minimum
age specified for measurement of the economically active population who during the
reference period were:
In general, to be classified as unemployed, a person must satisfy all three
of the above criteria. However, in situations where the conventional means of seeking
work are of limited relevance, where the labour market is largely unorganized or
of limited scope, where labour absorption is, at the time, inadequate, or where the
labour force is largely self-employed, the standard definition of unemployment may be
applied by relaxing the criterion of seeking work. Such a relaxation is aimed primarily
at those developing countries where the criterion does not capture the extent of unemployment
in its totality. With this relaxation of the criterion of seeking work, which
permits in extreme cases the criterion’s complete suppression, the two basic criteria
that remain applicable are “without work” and “currently available for work”.
In the application of the criterion of current availability for work, especially in situations where the seeking-work criterion is relaxed, appropriate tests should be developed to suit national circumstances. These tests may be based on notions such as present desire for work, previous work experience, willingness to take up work for wage or salary on locally prevailing terms, and readiness to undertake self-employment activity, given the necessary resources and facilities. These criteria are expected to ensure objectivity in the expression of current availability.
The “not economically active” population comprises all persons, irrespective of age, including those below the age specified for measuring the economically active population, who were not “economically active” as defined above.
The “population not usually active” comprises all persons, irrespective of age and of sex, whose main activity status during the long reference period used to measure usual activity was neither employed nor unemployed. It is recommended that this population be classified into the following four groups:
The population not currently active or, equivalently, persons not in the labour force, comprises all persons who were neither employed nor unemployed during the short reference period used to measure current activity, including persons below the minimum age specified for measurement of the economically active population.
They may be classified, according to reason for not being currently active, in any of the following groups:
Time worked is the total time actually spent producing goods and services, within regular working hours and as overtime, during the reference period adopted for economic activity in the census. It is recommended that if the reference period is short, for example, the week preceding the census, time worked should be measured in hours. In this case, time worked may be measured by requesting separate information for each day of the week. If the reference period is long, for example, the 12 months preceding the census, time worked should be measured in units of weeks, or in days where feasible, or in terms of larger time intervals. Time worked should also include time spent in activities that, while not leading directly to produced goods or services, are still defined as part of the tasks and duties of the job, such as preparing, repairing or maintaining the workplace or work instruments. In practice, it will also include inactive time spent in the course of performing these activities, such as time spent waiting or standing by, and in other short breaks. Longer meal breaks and time spent not working because of vacation, holidays, sickness or industrial disputes should be excluded.
Industry (branch of economic activity) refers to the kind of production or activity of the establishment or similar unit in which the job(s) of the economically active person (whether employed or unemployed) was located during the time-reference period established for data on economic characteristics.
Status in employment refers to the type of explicit or implicit contract of employment with other persons or organizations that the economically active person has in his/her job. The basic criteria used to define the groups of the classification are the type of economic risk, an element of which is the strength of the attachment between the person and the job, and the type of authority over establishments and other workers that the person has or will have in the job. Care should be taken to ensure that an economically active person is classified by status in employment on the basis of the same job(s) as used for classifying the person by “occupation”, “industry” and “sector”.
The International Classification of Status in Employment (ICSC) classifies the economically active population by status in employment as follows:
Income may be defined as:
The preferred reference period for income data should be the preceding 12 months or past year. The income could be classified as income from paid employment, selfemployment, property and other investment, transfers from governments, other households and non-profit institutions.
H. Institutional sector of employment (para. 2.335)
The institutional sector of employment relates to the legal organization and principal functions, behaviour and objectives of the enterprise with which a job is associated. Following the definitions provided in the System of National Accounts (SNA), it is recommended, if the census is to provide information on this topic, that the following institutional sectors be distinguished:
Place of work is the location in which a currently employed person performed his or her main job, and where a usually employed person performed the main job used to determine his/her other economic characteristics such as occupation, industry and status in employment. Type of place of work refers to the nature of the workplace and distinguishes between the home and other workplaces, whether fixed or otherwise.
The following response categories, or a variation thereof necessitated by
national circumstances, are recommended for classifying type of place of work: