Guide to OECD Employment and Labour Market Statistics

Introduction

The OECD Employment and Labour Market Statistics provide detailed annual information for the employment and labour market for the period 1950/60 onwards for all OECD countries (where data is available). 

Main Topics

The OECD Employment and Labour Market Statistics includes a range of annual labour market statistics and indicators from 1960 broken down by sex and age as well as information about part-time and short-time workers, job tenure, hours worked, unemployment duration, trade union, employment protection legislation, minimum wages, labour market programmes for OECD countries and non-member economies.

The OECD Employment and Labour Market Statistics are presented in the following datasets (some tables will include missing data):

Labour Force Statistics

This dataset includes labour statistics broken down by sex such as: civilian employment, employees, unemployment etc. Data are collected from sample household surveys on a monthly or quarterly basis. Data are expressed in levels, rates, quantities or indexes.

  • Summary tables

This dataset includes annual labour force statistics and broad population series. Data are presented in thousands of persons, in percentage or as indices. The data covers the years starting from 2000 onwards. 

  • Population and vital statistics

The Population and Vital Statistics dataset presents components of change in the population during one year and mid-year population data for the 34 OECD member countries. Population statistics comprise estimates per gender, and vital statistics include ratios such as net migration rates, natural increase rates, and crude death rates. Data are expressed in thousands of persons and as rates in per 1000 ("%") and are presented from 1950 onwards. 

  • Population and labour force

The Population and Labour Force dataset is a subset of the Annual Labour Force Statistics (ALFS) database which contains annual labour force statistics and population series for the 34 OECD Member countries plus Brazil. Series are presented in three subsets: population, duration of unemployment and labour force statistics. Within the main components of the labour force namely, total and civilian employment and unemployment, indicators on part-time work and unemployment duration are presented. When available, the data are further broken down by gender. Data are available from 1950. 

  • Population projections

This table comprises statistics on annual population projections by gender and five-year age groups as well as age dependency ratios. Age-dependency ratios are a measure of the age structure of the population referring to the number of persons that are likely to be dependent on the support of others for their daily living to the number of those who are capable of providing such support. Historical data are presented from 1950 onwards and projections extend to 2050. 

  • Employment by activities and status

This dataset includes civilian employment and the number of employees, broken down into employment and employees in broad economic activities (employees in agriculture, industry, services) and employment by professional status (civil employment, unpaid family workers, and employees in all activities). Data are defined according to the major divisions of the International Standard Industrial Classification Revision 2 and 3. Data are presented in number of persons, in percentage or as indices . Annual data refer to monthly or quarterly averages or to a specific month of each year. Data are available from 1955. 

Earnings

This database includes data on gross earnings, nominal and minimum wages and minimum wages relative to median wages:

  • Gross earnings: decile ratios

This subset of the OECD Employment and Labour Market Statistics Database contains three earnings-dispersion measures broken down by gender - ratio of 9th-to-1st, 9th-to-5th and 5th-to-1st - where ninth, fifth (or median) and first deciles are upper-earnings decile limits, unless otherwise indicated, of gross earnings of full-time dependent employees. The dataset also includes a series on the incidence of low-paid workers defined as the share in total dependent employment of workers earning less than two-thirds of median earnings. Data are expressed in ratios and presented from 1950. 

  • Minimum wages relative to median wages

This dataset contains annual data on minimum wages relative to median wages of full-time workers. For cross-country comparisons, data on minimum wage levels are further supplemented with another measure of minimum wages relative to average wages, that is, the ratio of minimum wages to median earnings of full-time employees. Median rather than mean earnings provide a better basis for international comparisons as it accounts for differences in earnings dispersion across countries. Data coverage begins in 1960 and ends in 2009. 

  • Nominal minimum wages

This dataset contains annual data on minimum wages in national currency at current prices. Cross-country comparisons are based upon national currency units, pay periods (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly), and time and frequency. Statistics are available from 1960.

  • Real minimum wages

This dataset contains annual and hourly data on real minimum wages in US dollars, at current exchange rates and at current PPPs. Real hourly and annual minimum wages are statutory minimum wages converted into a common hourly and annual pay period for the 26 countries for which they are available. The resulting estimates are deflated by national Consumer Price Indices (CPI). The data are then converted into a common currency unit using either US $ current exchange rates or US $ Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for private consumption expenditures. Data are presented from 1960 onwards. 

Hours Worked

This database includes data on average and incidence annual hours actually worked and usual weekly hours worked:

  • Average annual hours actually worked

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics based on the total number of hours worked over the year divided by the average number of people in employment. The data are intended for comparisons of trends over time; they are unsuitable for comparisons of the level of average annual hours of work for a given year, because of differences in their sources. Part-time workers are covered as well as full-time. Data are expressed in number of hours worked per year per person in employment and are presented from 1950. 

  • Average usual weekly hours worked – averages

This dataset contains labour market statistics on hours worked both for full-time and part-time employment with a specific focus on average usual hours weekly worked averages. Data are broken down by employment status, sex and standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed in number of hours worked per year per person in employment and are available from 1976. 

  • Usual weekly hours worked – incidence

This table contains data on the cross-country distribution of employment by hour bands for declared hour bands ranging from 1 to 40 hours or more per week, broken down by professional status - employees, total employment - gender and detailed age groups. Data are expressed as percentages and available starting from 1976. 

  • Usual hours worked by weekly hour bands

This table contains data on employment by hour bands for usual weekly hours worked in the main job. Standard hour bands are reported for most countries. Actual hours of work instead of usual hours of work are only available in some countries (Japan and Korea). Data are broken down by professional status - employees, total employment - by gender and standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed in thousands of persons and are presented from 1976. 

Labour Market Statistics

This database includes indicators and indices on labour market by sex and proportion of age group, full-time and part-time employment, employment by permanency of the job, economic short time workers and involuntary part time workers:

  • Discouraged workers

This table contains data on discouraged workers who are persons not in the labour force who believe that there is no work available due to various reasons and who desire to work. Data are broken down by sex and standardised age groups (15-24, 15-64, 25-54, 55-64, 65+, total) and are available starting from 1976.

  • Discouraged workers – incidence

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on discouraged jobseekers as a percentage of the labour force and as a percentage of the population by sex and standardised age groups (15-24, 15-64, 25-54, 55-64, 65+, total). Data are expressed as percentages and are available starting from 1976 to 2010.

  • Economic short time workers

This table contains data on economic short-time workers by professional status (employees or total employment). Economic short-time workers comprise workers who are working less than usual due to business slack, plant stoppage, or technical reasons. However, the definitions are not harmonised which hampers the comparison across countries. Data are broken down professional status - employees, total employment - by sex and by standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are available starting from 1976.

  • Economic short time workers – incidence

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on shares of economic short-time workers among total employment, the ratio of economic short-time workers and labour force, and the gender composition of economic short-time workers. Data are broken down by professional status - employees, total employment - by sex and standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed as percentages. Data are available starting from 1976.

  • Employment by job tenure intervals: average tenure

This comparative table comprises statistics on employment by job tenure intervals which is measured by the length of time workers have been in their current or main job or with their current employer. This information is valuable for estimating the degree of fluidity in the labour market and in identifying the areas of economic activity where the turnover ratio of labour is rapid or otherwise. Data are broken down by professional status - employees, self-employed, total employment – sex, five-year and broad age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55-64, 15-64, total, etc.). Data are expressed in thousands of persons and are available from 1970.

  • Employment by job tenure intervals: persons

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics with a distribution of workers by job tenure intervals which is measured by the length of time workers have been in their current or main job or with their current employer. These statistics enable the assessment of the degree of fluidity in the labour market as well as identifying the areas of economic activity where the turnover of labour is rapid. Data are broken down by professional status - employees, self-employed, total employment - sex, five-year and broad age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55-64, 15-64, total, etc.). Data are expressed in thousands of persons and presented from 1976.

  • Employment by permanency of the job

This comparative table comprises annual labour market statistics on permanent and temporary workers based on the type of work contract of their main job. Data are further broken down by professional status - employees, total employment - by sex and by standardised age groups (15-19, 15-24, 20-24, 25-54, 55-64, 65+, total). Data are expressed in thousands of persons and available from 1980.

  • Employment by permanency of the job – incidence

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on temporary employment based on incidences and gender composition with standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55-64, 65+, total). Data are further broken down by professional status - employees, total employment. However, data are available for employees only in most countries. Data are expressed as percentages. Data are available starting from 1980.

  • Full-time part-time employment – common definition

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on full-time and part-time employment based on a common definition of 30-usual weekly hours of work in the main job. Data are broken down by professional status - employees, total employment - sex and standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed in thousands of persons and available starting from 1976.

  • Full-time part-time employment – common definition - incidence

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on part-time employment with incidences and gender composition and with standardised (15-24, 25-54, 55-64, 65+, total) and detailed age groups. Data are further broken down by professional status - employees, total employment. Part-time employment is based on a common 30-usual-hour cut-off in the main job. Data are expressed as percentages. Data are available starting from 1976.

  • Full-time part-time employment – national definitions

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on full-time and part-time employment based on national definition. Data are broken down by professional status - employees, total employment - sex and standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed in thousands of persons. Data are available starting from 1960.

  • Full-time part-time employment – national definition - incidence

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics with gender composition of part-time employment and standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55-64, 65+, total). Part-time employment is based on national definitions. Data are expressed as percentages and are presented from 1960.

  • Involuntary part-time workers

This table comprises statistics on involuntary part-time workers by professional status which are defined as workers working less than 30-usual hours per week because they could not find a full-time job.Data are broken down by professional status - employees, total employment - by sex and standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are presented from 1976.

  • Involuntary part-time workers – incidence

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on shares of involuntary part-time work among part-time workers and ratio of involuntary part-time work and labour force and the gender composition of involuntary part-time workers. Data are broken down by professional status - employees, total employment - sex and standardised age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed as percentages and are presented from 1976.

  • Labour force statistics by sex and age

This database presents statistics on annual labour market statistics on population, labour force, employment and unemployment. All variables are provided by sex and by detailed age groups and standard age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55-64, 65+, total). Data are expressed in thousands of persons and available starting from 1951.

  • Labour force statistics by sex and age: indicators

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on standard labour market indicators - labour force participation rates, employment/population ratios and unemployment rates - by sex and by age groups (detailed and standardised). Data are expressed as percentages and are presented from 1960.

  • Labour force statistics by sex and proportion of age group

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on age composition (as a percentage of all ages) of the population for each labour force status - labour force, employment, unemployment - by sex. Data are expressed as percentages and are presented from 1960.

  • Unemployment by duration

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on the duration of unemployment - <1 month, >= 1 month and <3 months, >= 3 months and <6 months, >= 6 months and <1 year, 1 year and over, total declared and total - by sex and standardised age groups (15-19, 15-24, 20-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed in thousands of persons and presented from 1968.

  • Unemployment by duration: average number of months

This dataset contains data on the average duration of unemployment by sex and standardised age groups (15-19, 15-24, 20-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed in months and presented from 1968.

  • Unemployment by duration: incidence

This dataset contains annual labour market statistics on the share of the five durations - less than 1 month,>1 month and <3 months,>3 months and <6 months,>6 months and <1 year, 1 year and over - of unemployment among total unemployment by sex and by standardised age groups (15-19, 15-24, 20-24, 25-54, 55+, total). Data are expressed as percentages and presented from 1968.

Labour market programmes: expenditure and participants

This dataset contains annual data on public expenditure in national currency units and as a percentage of GDP as well as participant stocks in levels and as a percentage of the labour force. Data are presented from 1960.

Employment Protection Legislation

This database includes data on strictness of employment protection legislation for overall, regular and temporary employment.

  • Strictness of employment protection legislation: collective dismissals

This dataset contains the indicator of strictness of employment protection for collective dismissals (additional provisions). This indicator measures additional costs and procedures involved in dismissing more than one worker at a time (compared with the cost of individual dismissal). As such, it should not be used in isolation from the indicator of strictness of employment protection – individual dismissals (regular contracts). The OECD indicators of employment protection are synthetic indicators of the strictness of regulation on dismissals and the use of temporary contracts. For each year, indicators refer to regulation in force on the 1st of January. Data range from 0 to 6 with higher scores representing stricter regulation. Data are presented from 2002.

  • Strictness of employment protection legislation: individual and collective dismissals

This dataset contains the indicator of strictness of employment protection against individual and collective dismissals for workers with a regular contract. The OECD indicators of employment protection are synthetic indicators of the strictness of regulation on dismissals and the use of temporary contracts. For each year, indicators refer to regulation in force on the 1st of January. Data range from 0 to 6 with higher scores representing stricter regulation. Data are presented from 1990.

  • Strictness of employment protection legislation: regular employment

The dataset contains the indicator of strictness of regulation of individual dismissal of employees on regular/indefinite contracts. The OECD indicators of employment protection are synthetic indicators of the strictness of regulation on dismissals and the use of temporary contracts. For each year, indicators refer to regulation in force on the 1st of January. Data range from 0 to 6 with higher scores representing stricter regulation. Data are presented from 1985.

  • Strictness of employment protection legislation: temporary employment

The dataset contains the indicator for temporary employment that measures the strictness of regulation on the use of fixed-term and temporary work agency contracts. The OECD indicators of employment protection are synthetic indicators of the strictness of regulation on dismissals and the use of temporary contracts. For each year, indicators refer to regulation in force on the 1st of January. Data range from 0 to 6 with higher scores representing stricter regulation. 

Trade Unions

This database includes data on trade union density and union members and employees.

  • Trade union density

Trade union density corresponds to the ratio of wage and salary earners that are trade union members, divided by the total number of wage and salary earners (OECD Labour Force Statistics). Density is calculated using survey data, wherever possible, and administrative data adjusted for non-active and self-employed members otherwise. Data are expressed in percentages and presented from 1960.

  • Union members and employees

This dataset comprises statistics on the number of active trade union members and the number of wage and salary earners. Data on union membership are broken down by source of data (administrative or survey data). Membership corresponds to the number of wage and salary earners that are members of a trade union. Total number of wage and salary earners is taken from OECD Labour Force Statistics. Data are expressed in thousands and are presented from 1960.

Average annual wages

This dataset contains data on average annual wages per full-time and full-year equivalent employee in the total economy. Data are expressed in different units and available starting from 1990.

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