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Updated: 07.10.2022
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Labour force
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The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a modern method for the statistical survey of the labour market having as a main objective the measurement of the labour force (active population) – employed and unemployed – and of population outside the labour force (inactive population). 

Labour force

Labour force (old. active population from the economic point of view) covers all the persons aged 15 years and over, who provide the labour force available for production of goods and services during the period of reference, including employed and unemployed population.

Population breakdown in categories by participation in labour force is done according to the principle of employment priority against unemployment and of unemployment against inactivity.
Labour force participation rate of the population aged 15 years and over represents the share of the labour force aged 15 years and over in total population aged 15 years and over (%).


Employed population covers all the persons aged 15 years and over who have carried out an economic or social activity to provide goods or services for at least one hour during the period of reference (one week), in order to obtain incomes in forms of salary, payment in kind, and other benefits.

Employment rate: the share of employed population aged 15 years and over in the total population of the same age group, expressed in percentage.

Time-related underemployment: employed persons who meet the following criteria:

  • willing to work additional hours;
  • are available to work additional hours;
  • worked less than a threshold relating to working time in all jobs during the reference period; the threshold set according to the labour legislation in force accounts for 40 hours per week.

Underemployment rate represents the share of underemployed population in the total employed population.

Working programme of employed persons is defined as being full-time or part-time, according to the respondents’ statements. Generally, a full-time programme for employees is considered to be the programme related to a full-time schedule, as provided in the collective employment contract (normal duration); and a part-time programme is the programme the duration of which is significantly shorter than the normal duration, as provided in the individual employment contract.

Status in employment: persons are classified by their professional status in line with the international classification ICSE-93. Status in employment represents the situation of a person, depending on the way he/she obtains incomes from the carried-out activity, and namely: employees; non-employees; employers; own account workers; contributing family workers; member of a cooperative.

  • Employee – is the person carrying out an activity under a working contract within an economic or social unit – irrespective of its ownership type – or for private persons (under a contract or agreement), receiving remuneration in form of salary, in cash or in kind.
  • Employer – is the person carrying out the activity (craft) within his/her own unit (individual enterprise, shop, office, farm, etc.) having one or several permanent employees.
  • Own account worker – is the person carrying out an activity within his/her own enterprise or business, without hiring any permanent employee, being helped or not by unpaid family workers. This status covers as well the independent entrepreneurs (private tutors, private taxi drivers, etc.), freelance professionals (strolling players, artists, lawyers), occasional workers, and individual farmers. Own account worker can have temporary employees.
  • Contributing family worker – is the person carrying out the activity within a family economic unit, headed by a family member or by a relative, for which he/she does not receive remuneration in form of salary or payment in kind. The agricultural farm is considered as such unit. If several persons from a household are working within their farm, one of them – generally the household head – is considered as own account worker and the others are considered as contributing family workers.
  • Member of a co-operative – is the person who worked as member of a co-operative, where every member has equal rights in decision-making process, solution of problems on production/sale, etc.

Employees may be employed based on:

  • individual working contract (written);
  • agreement (verbal)

Type of production units is defined in line with the National Accounts System:

  • Formal sector enterprises;
  • Informal sector enterprises;
  • Households.

Employment in formal sector is defined as employment in:

  • incorporated enterprises, organization, and institutions (economic units with status of legal entities) or
  • unincorporated enterprises (with status of natural person), which are registered in the way established by the legislation in force.

Employment in informal sector includes all persons that, irrespectively of their status in employment, were employed during the reference period in informal sector enterprises, either in their main activity or in a secondary activity. Informal sector enterprises are defined as non-registered unincorporated private enterprises (without legal person status).

Employment in households includes the paid domestic workers employed by the household.

Type (nature) of the job may be formal or informal.

Formal employment includes:

  • own account workers working in formal sector enterprises;
  • employers working in formal sector enterprises;
  • employees for whom the employer pays social contributions, who benefit from annual paid leave and paid sick leave in case of illness or trauma;
  • members of formal production cooperatives (who are not employees in these cooperatives).

Informal employment includes:

  • own account workers working in informal sector enterprises;
  • employers who work in informal sector enterprises;
  • members of informal production cooperatives;
  • contributing family workers, employed in formal or informal sector enterprises;
  • employees in formal or informal sector enterprises, or in households, and meet at least one of the below criteria:
    • the employer does not pay social contributions for them;
    • do not benefit from paid annual leave;
    • in case of illness or trauma, do not benefit from paid sick leave.


ILO Unemployed are persons aged 15 years and over, who during the reference period meet simultaneously the following conditions:

  • do not have a job and do not perform any activity to obtain some income;
  • are looking for a job over the last 4 weeks and use different methods: get registered at the National Employment Agency or at private employment agencies, take measures to start up an activity on their own, publish and answer to job announcements, call for help from friends, relatives, colleagues, trade-unions, etc.; 
  • are available to start working in the following 15 days, if they could find immediately a job.

This category of population also includes:

  • persons without job, available to work, waiting to be called back to work or those who found a job and will start working at a date following the reference period;
  • persons who are usually included in inactive population (pupils, students, pensioners), but who stated that they are looking for a job and are available to start working.

Unemployment rate: represents the share of ILO unemployed in total active population, expressed in percentage.

Long-term unemployment: the situation when the unemployed person has no work and is looking for a job for one year and longer.

Population outside the labour force

Population outside the labour force (inactive population from the economic point of view) covers all persons, irrespectively of age, who did not work for at least an hour and were not unemployed during the period of reference.

Economically inactive population includes the following categories of population:

  • pupils or students;
  • pensioners (of all kinds);
  • housewives (carrying out only domestic work within the household);
  • other inactive persons (dependent persons, mainly supported by other persons or by the state or who are supported by other incomes (rents, interests, etc.));

Inactivity rate of population aged 15 years represents the share of inactive population aged 15 and over in the total population aged 15 years and over (%).

Discouraged persons are inactive persons, available to work in the next 15 days, who do not have a job and who stated that they are looking for a job, but did not take any step over the last 4 weeks for this purpose, or they do not look for a job due to the following reasons:

  • thought there are no vacancies or did not know where else to look for;
  • do not feel themselves skilled;
  • think will not find a job because of the age;
  • previously looked for a job and did not find any.

Accidents at work

Accident at work is defined as an event that produced violent damages to the employee’s body (injury, psychological stress, electrocution, burn, freezing wounds, asphyxia, professional acute intoxication, body injuries provoked by insects and animals, natural calamities, etc.), as a result of actions induced by some risk factors (peculiarity, condition, process, phenomenon, behavior) peculiar to a work system element (executor, work tasks, production means, work environment), provoking the temporary or permanent loss of work capacities or death of the employee, occurred:

  • during the carrying out the work tasks or duty obligations;
  • before starting or after ending the work, when the employee moves from the entrance of the premises of the enterprise, institution, organization (hereinafter referred to as unit) to the place of work and backwards, changes his/her personal clothes into individual protection and work equipment and vice-versa, takes over or returns the production means and the place of work;
  • during the set breaks, when the employee stays on the territory of the unit or his/her place of work, as well as when visiting the sanitary-hygienic or auxiliary premises;
  • during the trip from home and backwards with the transportation provided by the unit, in the established way, as well as when getting into and out of this transportation means;
  • during the move from the unit in which the employee works to the place of work organized outside the territory of the unit, or to another unit and backwards, or to another locality and backwards, so as to carry out a work task or a duty obligation, in a useful period for him/her and on the established move route, regardless of the movement way or the used transportation means;
  • during the participation in cultural, sport events and other activities organized by the unit based on the order issued by the employer;
  • during the action undertaken on own initiative for preventing or avoiding a danger or to rescue another employee from the danger within the circumstances specified in letters a), b), c), d) and f) from above;
  • during the production training or professional internship based on the contract concluded between the employer and the educational institution, between the employer, pupils and students.

The indicator “Total victims” represents the number of persons who have suffered accidents and have lost their work capacity for 3 days and more, including those who have died because of the accidents; of whom, the number of women, teenagers (16-18 years old) and the number of fatal accidents.

The indicator “Person-days of work incapacity” represents the total number of absent days from the work program due to lost work capacity (except for the weekends and legal holidays) of injured people, who have lost their work capacity for 3 days and more due to work accidents.
Rate of accidents represents the relation between the number of work accidents in the respective period (total victims) and the total number of employees, expressed in promilles.

Rate of fatal accidents represents the relation between the number of fatal cases during the respective period and the total number of employees, expressed in promilles.

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