Using the government data in employment research Vanessa Higgins CCSR University of Manchester
Why study employment and the labour market? • Important for development of social and economic policies • Monitoring age, gender, ethnicity over decades has helped equal opportunity policies • New ways of working: flexible working hours, temporary contracts • Compare UK to other countries
Harmonisation • Wide range of govt surveys • designed at different times, to meet different needs and commissioned by different departments • Harmonisation 1996 • uses common classifications, definitions and standards for social survey questions • improves comparability between social stats • recommend that where a topic is covered, harmonised questions included wherever possible
Employment-related harmonised questions • economic status: • employed, unemployed, economically inactive • selected job details • hours worked, time in present job, length of time since last did paid work • industry, occupation & socio-economic classifications • industry and occupation, employed/self-employed, supervisory responsibility, size of establishment • others • income, social security benefits, educational attainment, demographic variables such as ethnicity, age.
ILO definition • ILO employment: those in paid work in the last week either as an employee or self-employed and those on a government-supported training scheme (includes those who are temporarily away from a job and those who do unpaid work for a family business). • ILO unemployment: those not in employment but available to start within two weeks, and have either looked for work in the last 4 weeks or waiting to start a new job. • Economically active: ILO employed + unemployed • Economically inactive: neither ILO employed or unemployed e.g. retired
The large-scale government surveys • General Household Survey • Labour Force Survey • Health Survey for England/Wales/Scotland • Family Expenditure Survey • British Crime Survey • Family Resources Survey • National Food Survey/Expenditure and Food Survey • ONS Omnibus Survey • Survey of English Housing • British Social Attitudes • National Travel Survey • Time Use Survey
Choosing a survey • Extent of questions of employment • Other topics • Measurement over time • Geography • When was ILO introduced? • Respondents – whole household, children? • Sample size • Survey methodology – proxies, telephone
Examples • Violence at work – British Crime Survey • Gender differences in income from work, 1993-2003 • Pay: Labour Force Survey General Household Survey, Survey English Housing, Family Resource Survey, Time Use Survey, EFS/FES/NFS. • Time element (1993-2003): • TUS (2000) • EFS/FES/NFS (EFS consistency?).
Examples (continued) • 4 surveys left: GHS, LFS, FRS, SEH • Other factors: • SEH: 1 person. No info about income of other members. Content mainly housing-related. • Could use GHS, LFS or FRS – decide which content most useful • employment, • other income, • other topics: number of children, caring responsibilities, family, education, health etc.
Two surveys widely used for employment and labour market research • Labour Force Survey • General Household Survey
Labour Force Survey (LFS) • UK required by EU regulation to carry out an annual LFS. • Comprehensive source of info about all aspects of the labour market • Assists many govt departments in the framing and monitoring of social and economic policy • Use 1992 onwards – major methodological changes. Quarterly survey, address interviewed five waves at 3 monthly intervals • Panel element allows user to follow employment over the year
LFS (continued) • Changes between quarters and over years • not all topics available each year and within each quarter e.g pay 1992 and only asked in 2 quarters. • Topics in 2000 LFS include: • All harmonised employment questions • Many other employment topics e.g: • govt training schemes • main job – private/public sector, permanent/temp, Shift work, PAYE scheme • redundancy & sickness, • home workers • travel to work • union representation • looking for work • work history • benefits, education, training, health, income
General Household Survey (GHS) • Assists many govt depts in the framing and monitoring of social policy. • Cross-sectional survey, not followed up, so can’t look at employment patterns over the year, just a snapshot. • All harmonised employment questions: • economic status • selected job details – hours worked etc • industry/occupation • Income incl. from work • Benefits • Pensions • Educational attainment • Family information
Resources/events • Introductory user guide – ongoing updates • LFS Teaching Dataset – available shortly • STATA guide – uses LFS teaching dataset • ONS docs • Labour Force Survey User Group Meeting • Tuesday 21st October, RSS, London • JISCmail list: • ARCHIVE-LMSUG@JISCMAIL.AC.UK • Proceedings of LMSUG meeting May: Newsletter http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/esds/join/
Other non-ESDS Government sources • Simply want a figure: ONS website - Labour Market Trends, Social Trends, Workforce Jobs Quarterly Surveys, NOMIS, • NOMIS: New Earnings Survey, Annual Business Enquiry, Claimant Count and Jobcentre Vacancies • Census Aggregate Statistics & SARs - Manchester • Workplace Employee Relations Survey – NatCen, UKDA • ESDS Longitudinal – BHPS etc, UKDA
Summary • Harmonised questions • ILO definition • Most surveys ask employment questions • Differences between surveys • LFS and GHS widely used • Resources/events • Other sources