Statistical information on all aspects of the population is vital for the design, implementation and evaluation of economic and social development plan and policy issues. Labour force surveys are one of the important sources of data for assessing the role of the population of a country in the economic and social development process. These surveys provide data on the main characteristics of the work force engaged or available to be engaged in productive activities during a given period and also its distribution in the various sectors of the economy. They are also useful to indicate the extent of available and unutilized human resource that must be absorbed by the national economy to ensure full employment and economic well being of the population. Furthermore, the information obtained from such surveys is useful for the purpose of macro-economic monitoring and human resource development planning. The other broad objective of statistics on the labour force is for the measurement of the relationship between employment, income and other social and economic characteristics of the economically active population for the purpose of formulating and monitoring employment policies and programs, income-generating and maintenance schemes, vocational training and other similar programs. Seasonal and other variations in the size and characteristics of the labour force can also be monitored using up-to-date information from labour force surveys.
In order to further fill the gap in data requirement for the socio-economic development planning, monitoring and evaluation, the Central Statistical Authority (CSA) has conducted Rural Labour Force Survey (RLFS) as a part of the National Integrated Household Survey Program (NIHSP) at the end of 1980. To maintain the continuity and to update the Rural Labour Force Survey of 1981/82 results, another Rural Labour Force Survey was conducted in 1987/88. Also the CSA has conducted the 1976 Addis Ababa Manpower and Housing Sample Survey and the 1978 Manpower and Housing survey in Seventeen Major Towns. Moreover, some data on the labour force were also collected as a part of other surveys such as the 1990 Family and Fertility Survey, 1996 Urban Informal Sector Sample Survey and in the country wide deccennial Population and Housing Censuses of Ethiopia conducted in 1984 and 1994.
The labour force surveys that were conducted earlier were limited in areal coverage and content of the questionnaires. In this respect, both the 1981/82 and 1987/88 surveys covered only the rural part of the country. Till the current survey was conducted, there hasn't been a comprehensive national labour force survey representing both the urban and the rural areas of the country. Moreover, the information that should have been provided through labour force surveys could be said relatively out-dated, as the sector is dynamic and sensitive to economic and social changes. To fill this data gap, a series of current and comprehensive labour force surveys need to be undertaken.
Recognizing this fact, the Central Statistical Authority (CSA) has conducted a national labour force survey in March 1999. The survey is the first of its kind in that it covers the rural and the urban areas and it contains detailed information on the subject. The results of this survey have been already released to users in a publication entitled "Statistical Report on the 1999 National Labour Force Survey (NLFS)" and this presented the data in a former of detailed statistical tables including the concepts and definitions on the major technical terms used in the survey. The CSA hopes that users have benefited a lot from this publication. To increase the utility of the result of the survey, the CSA taught that it necessary to make further analysis on the data. The analytical presentation of this report will be based on the tables that have been presented in the statistical report (Report on Statistical Tables of the 1999 Labour Force Survey, CSA, 1999) and some additional tables produced and included in this report. This chapter presents an overview to the survey background. The 1999 National Labour Force survey was designed to provide statistical data on the size and characteristics of the employed, unemployed, underemployed and the non-active population of the country. In general, the data obtained from the survey is useful for policy makers, planners, researchers and other institutions and individuals engaged in the design and implementation of human resource development projects and programs.
The specific objectives of the 1999 National Labour Force Survey are to :-
- collect statistical data on the potential manpower who are available to take part in various socio-economic activities
- determine the size and distribution of the labour force; and the status and rates of economic activity and also to study the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of these groups
- identify those who contributed to economic development and those who are partially employed, without work and economically inactive
- to estimate and assess the levels and characteristics of the unemployed population
- generate data on the status and type of professional and vocational training
- assess the size and characteristics of children aged between 5 - 14 years that were engaged in economic activities
- assess the situation of women's employment or the participation of women in the labour force
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
- Household member
- Household members aged 10 years and over
Version 1.1: Edited and non anonymized dataset.
The scope of the 1999-2000 Labour Force Survey includes:-
- Area identification: This section collected information regarding area identification of respondents such as Region, Zone, Wereda (District), Town and household identification number.
- Particulars of household members: This section consisted of the general socio-demographic characteristics of the population such as age, sex, educational level, migration status, types and source training and marital status.
- Economic activity during the last twelve months and last seven days: This section covered the usual and current economic activities, number of hours worked as well as reasons for not working during the last twelve months and last seven days.
- Characteristics of persons engaged in productive activities during the last seven days: This section dealt with the characteristics of employed persons such as occupation, industry, terms of employment, employment status, sector of economic engaged in, status of change of employment and underemployment conditions.
- Unemployment and characteristics of unemployed persons: This section focused on the size and characteristics of the unemployed population.
- Economic activity of children aged 5 - 14 years in economic activities, such as, school enrollment status, whether worked in the last seven days, etc.
The survey covered both urban and rural parts of the country, except six zones in Somali Region and two zones in Affar Region
The survey covered all households in selected sample areas except residents of collective quarters, homeless persons and foreigners.
Producers and sponsors
Central Statistical Agency (CSA)
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
Government of Ethiopia
The 1999 National Labor Force Survey covered both urban and rural parts of the country, except six zones in Somali Region and two zones in Affar Region. In addition the residents of collective quarters, homeless persons and foreigners were not covered in the survey. For the purpose of the survey, the survey population in the country was divided into urban and rural categories.
Urban parts of 26 zones, that is 4 zones in Tigray, 10 zones in Amhara, and 12 zones in Oromiya regions; and 9 zones and 5 special weredas in SNNP Region; and urban parts of Affar, Somali, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambela and Harari regions and Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa Administration were grouped in this category. Each of the above mentioned urban parts of the zones, except the 5 special weredas in SNNP Region were the survey domains (reporting levels). All in all 47 basic urban domains (Reporting levels) including total urban (regional and country level) were defined for the survey.
Rural parts of 26 Zones that is 4 zones in Tigray, 10 zones in Amhara, 12 zones in Oromiya regions and 9 zones and 5 special weredas in SNNP regions; and rural parts of Affar, Somali, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambela and Harari regions, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa Administration were grouped in this category. Each of the above mentioned rural parts of zones and special weredas, except Addis Ababa rural, were the survey domains (reporting levels). All in all 51 basic rural domains (reporting levels) including total rural (regional and country level) were defined for the survey. In addition to the above urban and rural domains, survey results can be reported at regional and country levels by aggregating the survey results for the corresponding urban and rural areas. Definition of the survey domains was based on both technical and resource considerations. More specifically, sample sizes for the domains were determined to enable provision of major indicators with reasonable precision subject to the resources that were available for the survey.
Selection Scheme and Sample Size:
In both categories stratified two-stage sample design was used to select the sample in which the Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) were enumeration areas (EAs). Sample EAs from each domain were selected using systematic probability proportional to size; size being number of households obtained from the 1994 Population and Housing Census. From category I, a total of 913 EAs and from category II, a total of 1428 EAs were selected. Within each sample EA, fresh list of households was prepared at the beginning of the survey's fieldwork for urban sites and at the beginning of the 1991 E.C. Agricultural Sample Survey's fieldwork for rural sites. The survey questionnaire was administered to 35 systematically selected households within each of the sampled EAs.
Note: Distributions of sample units by domain (reporting levels) and category are presented in Table 2.1 and Table 2.2 of the 1999 National Labour Force Survey report which is provided in this documentation.
Coverage rate of sample EAs was 99.7 percent and response rate of sample households was 99.44 percent
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Training of Staff:
All the Branch Statistical Offices of the CSA participated in the survey undertaking, that is, in organizing the second stage training, in deploying the field staff to their respective sites of assignment, and retrieving completed questionnaires and submitting them to the head office for data processing. They were also responsible in administering the financial and logistic aspect of the survey as well as field supervision within the areas of their assignment.
For the purpose of this survey, the training program of enumerators, supervisors and other field and office staff was conducted in two stages. The first stage training was conducted at the head quarters of the CSA, in Addis Ababa for seven days. The participants were selected from professionals and sub-professionals with long time experiences, branch office heads and their assistants who were to train enumerators and supervisors during the second stage of training conducted at the Branch Statistical Offices. The training was guided by an enumerator and supervisor manual, which consists of detailed explanation of concepts, ideas and instructions on how to fill each entry in the questionnaire.
The training at the head office, which lasted for seven days, consisted of theoretical discussions on concepts, definitions, and techniques of completing the questionnaire, as well as mock and practical field practice interview of households and/or household members. The objectives of mock and practical interviewing of households were twofold. First, it enabled to assess how well the theoretical class discussions were understood by all participants so that they could convey the same message to the enumerators and the supervisors. The second objective was to examine the difficulty, which would likely be encountered during actual fieldwork.
The second stage training was undertaken at the Branch Statistical Offices. The trainers were those who were trained at the head office and they gave similar training for enumerators and field supervisors for 10 days. The training consisted of classroom discussions, mock-interview and one day field practice. In addition, thorough discussions were made after field practice. The discussions were intended to exchange experiences among participants and pinpoint the areas of the survey questions that need more care and attention.
Field Organization and Fieldwork:
In order to carry out this survey with the desired level of quality, there was a need to organize a large staff that performs the various survey activities. The 22 Branch Statistical Offices of the CSA carried out the data collection operation. These offices have permanent enumerators and supervisors stationed in the selected enumeration areas. In the data collection operation of the survey, a total of 1654 enumerators and 351 field supervisors were involved with an average supervisor-enumerator ratio of 1 to 5.
The interviews were made through house to house calls using a structured questionnaire. The data was collected from each sampled household and the respondent from whom the information collected was the head of the household or other responsible household member. Most of the enumerators were assigned to an area in which they could easily converse with the respondent's dialect. In cases where the interview could be conducted only through the use of an interpreter, an interpreter was employed for the purpose.
In some of the sample sites the data collection was carried out in two phases. That is, after the data collection in urban sample sites was completed, the enumerators and supervisors were shifted to rural sample sites to carry out the same exercise. Field supervision was undertaken side by side with the data collection. During the survey data collection operation, close and regular supervision was undertaken at various levels. Immediately after the commencement of the data collection exercise the supervisors made spot checks, close supervision, re-interviewing and a thorough scrutiny of filled-in questionnaires to ensure that the data collection activities are taking place according to the given instruction. In addition to this, the trainers and branch statistical office heads made supervision of the data collection operation.
Senior staff members from the CSA head quarters in Addis Ababa, apart from giving training to the enumerators and supervisors at Branch Statistical Office level, participated in the field supervision activities, which took about one week. Furthermore, during the training and at the beginning of fieldwork, the Management Staff from the CSA head quarters visited all Branch Statistical Offices and some urban and rural enumeration areas. In this instance they have discussed on the objectives and importance of the survey, the expected quality of the data and some other related issues with supervisors and enumerators.
Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
The survey has used a structured questionnaire to solicit the required data. Before taking its final shape, the draft questionnaire was tested by undertaking a Pilot Study. Based on the result of the pilot study the content, layout and presentation of the questionnaire was amended. The content of the questionnaire has been further revised on the basis of the discussion made on the user - producer forum organized by the CSA. The questionnaire used in the field was prepared in Amharic language and most questions have pre-coded answers and column numbers were assigned for each question.
The questionnaire is organized into six sections:
Section-1 Area identification of the selected household: this section has dealt with area identification of respondents such as Region, Zone, Wereda, etc.,
Section-2 Particulars of household members: it consisted of the general socio-demographic characteristics of the population such as age, sex, educational level, migration status, types and sources of training and marital status.
Section-3 Economic activity during the last twelve months and last seven days: this section covered the usual and current economic activities, number of hours worked as well as reasons for not working during the last twelve months and last seven days.
Section-4 Characteristics of persons engaged in productive activities during the last seven days: this section dealt with the characteristics of employed persons such as occupation, industry, terms of employment, employment status, sector of economy engaged in, status of change of employment and underemployment condition.
Section-5 Unemployment and characteristics of unemployed persons: the section focused on the size and characteristics of the unemployed population.
Section-6 Economic activity of children aged 5-14 years: the section contained information on the participation of children aged 5-14 years in economic activities, such as, school enrollment status, whether worked in the last seven days, ...etc. The questionnaire used in the field was prepared in Amharic language. Most questions have pre-coded answers and column numbers were assigned for each question.
Note: A copy of the questionnaire together with its English translation is attached as external resource.
Data Editing, Coding and Verification:
The filled-in questionnaires that were retrieved from the field were first subjected to manual editing and coding. During the fieldwork the enumerator, the field supervisors, statisticians and the heads of branch statistical offices have done some editing. However, the major editing operation was carried out at the head office. All the edited questionnaires were again fully verified and checked for consistency before they were submitted to the data entry.
Data Entry, Cleaning and Tabulation:
Manually edited, coded and verified data was entered into computers, it was again subjected to computer verification. Using the computer edit specification which was prepared by statistician earlier for this purpose, the entered data were checked for consistencies and then computer editing or data cleaning was made by referring back to the filled-in questionnaire. Consistency checks and re-checks were also made based on tabulation results. Computer programs used in data entry, machine editing and tabulation were prepared using the Integrated Microcomputer Processing System (IMPS).
Estimates of Sampling Error
Estimation procedures of totals, ratios and sampling errors are presented ANNEX II of the 1999 National Labour Force Survey report which is provided in this documentation.
The Central Statistical Agency (CSA) is committed to achieving excellence in the provision of timely, reliable and affordable official statistics for informed decision making in order to maximize the welfare of all Ethiopians. This is achieved through the collection and analysis of censuses, surveys and the use of administrative data as well as the dissemination a range of statistical products and providing assistance and services to users.
A microdata dissemination policy is established by CSA to address the conditions and the manner in which anonymized microdata files may be released to users for research purposes. It also strives to identify the different levels of anonymization for different categories of data use. This policy is available at CSA website (http://www.csa.gov.et).
CSA will release microdata files for use by researchers for scientific research purposes when:
The Director General is satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent the identification of individual respondents.
The release of the data will substantially enhance the analytic value of the data that have been collected For all but purely public files, researchers disclose the nature and objectives of their intended research, It can be demonstrated that there are no credible alternative sources for these data, and
The researchers have signed an appropriate undertaking.
Terms and conditions of use of public data files are the following:
The data and other materials provided by CSA will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement of CSA.
The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only. They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
No attempt will be made to re-identify respondents, and no use will be made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered inadvertently. Any such discovery would immediately be reported to the CSA.
No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by CSA, or among data from the CSA and other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or other publications that employ data obtained from CSA will cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation Requirement provided with each dataset.
An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to CSA.
The original collector of the data, CSA, and the relevant funding agencies bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
Cost Recovery Policy:
It is the policy of CSA to encourage broad use of its products by making them affordable for users. Accordingly, CSA attempts to ensure that the costs of creating anonymized microdata files are built-in to the survey budget.
At the same time, CSA attempts to recover costs associated with the provisions of special services that benefit only a specific group. Information on the price of each dataset is available at CSA website http://www.csa.gov.et
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Ethiopia Central Statistical Agency (CSA). Ethiopia Labor Force Survey (LFS) 1999-2000. Dataset downloaded from http://www.csa.gov.et on [date].
Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
(c) 1999, Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia
DDI Document ID
Central Statistical Agency
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
Production and documentation of the study
World Bank, Development Economics Data Group
Documentation of the study
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 1.1: (May 2011) Adopted from DDI-ETH-CSA-LFS-1999-v1.1.xml which was done by Ethiopia Central Statistical Agency.