The 2012 Labour Force Survey is the 9th LFS conducted in Bhutan. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) had been incepted since 1998. From 2003, it has become a regular activity of MoLHR. The Department of Employment will from now on conduct the Labour Force Survey annually to enable the Ministry to assess the current and emerging labour situation in the country.
The stability and growth of the country’s economy depend on the proper execution of planning and decision making. For this purpose, it is necessary to have a clear knowledge and understanding of the size, composition and economic characteristics of the population. Therefore, it is imperative to know and monitor the growth of human resources categorized by its respective demographic features and educational level on a timely basis.
Labour Force Survey is a regular activity of the Labour Market Information Division under the Department of Employment. It is conducted with a fixed reference period owing to which it is expected that there will be a slight variation in the activity. This is the 9th nationwide Labour Force Survey, which has covered a national representative sample of 12,000 households (urban=9000 & rural=3000). The survey covered more sample households in the urban areas because the urban population is more heterogeneous. The data includes demographic characteristics, economic characteristics and child statistics.
Labour Force Survey aims to provide a quantitative framework for the preparation of plans and formulation of policies affecting the labour market.
Specifically, the survey is designed to provide statistics on levels and trends of employment, unemployment, labour force participation, child statistics and various other socio-economic characteristics. Broadly the objective of the survey is to generate the following:
- Percentage of economically active population
- Labour force participation rate
- Status of active population in number (employed + unemployed)
- The labour force available in the country by age group, sex, level of education, nationality, marital status, area of residence, by industrial and occupational classification, hours of work.
- The survey also provides information on main and subsidiary economic activities and women’s participation in the total labour force. It also reveals the labour situation especially the young generation entering labour market and unemployment problem.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
The survey covered all the 20 Dzongkhags and 196 sampled chiwogs in the rural areas and 255 sampled blocks in the urban area.
The foreign nationals and those members who were temporarily absent from the households but living in the institutions like school; hostels, army barracks, hospital and prisons were included. Concurrently, the survey excluded those members who were absent from the household for more than six months.
Producers and sponsors
Labour Market Information Division, Department of Employment
Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR)
National Statistics Bureau
Technical contribution (sampling)
The universe for Labour Force Survey 2011 consists of all the urban and rural areas of Bhutan i.e all the 20 Dzongkhags
i. Sampling Frame:
The sampling frame has been developed by the National Statistics Bureau. Each town in a Dzongkhag has been divided into numerous enumeration blocks. The block for the urban has been demarcated by the Department of Urban and Housing Development, Ministry of Works and Human Settlement. Enumeration blocks for urban and chiwogs for rural have been considered as Primary Sampling Unit (PSUs). The households in both urban and rural were considered as Secondary Sampling Unit (SSUs).
ii. Stratification Plan:
Each Dzongkhag is considered as primary stratum and the stratifying factors used were the geographical demarcation of the administrative boundaries developed by the Department of Survey & Land Records, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. There were two sub-strata namely urban and rural.
iii. Sample Design:
A stratified two-stage sample design has been adopted for the survey.
a. Selection of primary sampling units (PSUs): The blocks and the chiwogs have been taken as the PSUs in urban and rural respectively. In both the urban and rural areas the blocks and chiwogs were selected with the assignment of Probability Proportional to Size (PPS)
b. Selection of secondary sampling units (SSUs): The households in the sampled blocks and chiwogs were considered as SSUs. A fixed number of sample households have been selected from the selected PSU’s by Circular Systematic Sampling (CSS) method after listing the households present in blocks and Chiwogs exhaustively.
iv. Sample size and its allocation: With the resources at our disposal, the nature of population distribution and the variability of characteristics for which the estimates are to be made, a sample of 12000 households have been found appropriate to provide reliable estimate of key labour force characteristics. It is also based on the past experience.
Out of 12,000 sampled households only 11,870 households (questionnaires) were fully completed, accounting for 98.9% completion rate.Of 12,000 households, 130 households did not respond, which comprises 1.1% non response rate.
One major source of non-sampling error is non-response. Non-response is caused due to absence of occupants in the sample house, may be due to total refusal to answer any of the questions and sometimes when the interviewee is incapable to answer etc.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Ministry of Labour and Human Resources is the organization responsible for collection, processing, compilation and dissemination of labour statistics. For maintaining the conformity of survey concepts, definitions and procedure to be used during enumeration, training for duration of 1 week was imparted to the concerned supervisors and enumerators on interviewing techniques and survey procedures. For quality control, supervisors made frequent visits to the field for spotchecking during the data collection. A field coordinator travelled all 20 Dzongkhags to monitor the supervisors.
Method of data collection: Data have been collected by direct interview method. There were 150 enumerators in the field led by 10 supervisors. The information collected pertains to the reference period (one week before the actual date of the interview).
The questionnaire used for 9th Labour Force Survey is the revised form of 2009 and 2010 Labour Force Survey questionnaires. This had been done by the teams from the National Statistics Bureau and Labour Market Information Division of the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources.
The questionnaire has been pre-tested and reviewed number of times to ensure its precision. The questionnaire comprises three parts, namely, the socio-demographic characteristics, economic characteristics and child labour. The economic characteristics is collected only from those persons aged 15 years and above as per the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition of economically active cohort of population. Child labour statistics is collected from those persons aged (10-17) years.
Soon after data collection, the supervisors were held responsible to edit and check the filled in questionnaires for consistency and completeness and sent for revisits wherever necessary. Further coding, manual checking and editing were done at the headquarter. Also during data entry in Census and Survey Processing System (CSPRO), further identified errors were edited by applying computer edit checks, data ranges in numerical values in order to eliminate erroneous data resulted while coding. The survey records were edited and corrected through a series of computer processing stages.