The Labour Force Survey results are presented for the quarterly period from January to March 2021.
Data for the first quarter of 2021 are not comparable to the the data published so far for previous quarters because, on 1 January 2021, the new Regulation (EU) 2019/17001) of the European and the Council concerning social statistics, as well as the related Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/22402), concerning the labour force domain, have entered into force, by which the previous Regulation (EC) No 577/98 has been repealed.
The new Regulation (EU) is aimed at ensuring that all surveys in the domain of social statistics, based on household sample, are regulated with a joint “umbrella” regulation.
The implementation of the new legal basis has brought some changes in the survey, starting with changes in the questionnaire design, use of strictly prescribed and harmonised sequence of questions, changes in the existing questions, removing of the existing and adding of new questions, to changes in the coverage and definition of employment and unemployment (see the chapter Notes on methodology for details).
The mentioned changes caused breaks in time series of data. A plan is being developed to compile the revised series of basic indicators of employment and unemployment for the period from the first quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2020 in order to ensure the data comparability. The national release of these indicators is planned for the first half of 2022, i.e., at the time when Eurostat also plans a release of these indicators for all EU Member States.
The more detailed results of the Labour Force Survey results can be downloaded at the link Statistics in Line – Active Population as well as on Eurostat’s web pages at the link https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/main/data/database.
G-1 WORKING-AGE POPULATION (15-89), BY ACTIVITY AND REGIONS, FIRST QUARTER OF 2021
1 WORKING-AGE POPULATION, BY ACTIVITY, REGION AND SEX1)
1) The sum total may not equal the sum of individual categories due to the rounding.
2 COMPARISON BETWEEN REGISTERED AND ILO UNEMPLOYMENT, BY SEX
1) Rates are calculated from temporary administrative data
The comparison between the unemployment data obtained by the Labour Force Survey and those according to the Croatian Employment Service (CES) and those obtained from other administrative data records shows that in the first quarter of 2021, the unemployment rate obtained from the administrative records (9.6%) was lower than the ILO unemployment rate (9.9%). In the same period, the average number of unemployed persons according to the Survey was higher by 18 thousand persons than according to the Croatian Employment Service data. Since the interviewed persons provided information on their registration with the Croatian Employment Service, the data comparison shows that 127 thousand, or 71.1% out of the total of 179 thousand unemployed persons, were registered. Furthermore, 28.8% of persons who were classified as unemployed in the Survey were not interested in registering with the Croatian Employment Service, while the remaining 0.1% did not respond to the question on registration with it. At the same time, 34 thousand, or 21.2%, of the total of 161 thousand persons who were registered with the Croatian Employment Service, did not fulfill the international criteria of unemployment.
Data presented in this First Release have been calculated from the data collected in the Labour Force Survey (LFS).
The Labour Force Survey is the most comprehensive official survey on the labour market characteristics in the Republic of Croatia that is conducted on the sample of randomly selected private households.
Data collected by the Survey are related to socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of households, with the special emphasis on the status in activity according to the methodological standards of the International Labour Organisation (employed persons, unemployed persons and persons outside the labour force), activity and occupation characteristics on the current, second and previous job, hours of work and working time, unemployment characteristics and educational attainment characteristics.
The Survey is harmonised with the EU regulations and Eurostat’s methodology prescribed for the EU-Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS). The Survey is binding at the EU level and it is a reference data source that provides observing and comparability of labour market statistics at the international level.
The Labour Force Survey was introduced in the statistical system of the Republic of Croatia in November 1996 as an annual survey. It was carried out in the same manner in June 1997. From 1998 to 2006 it was carried out by interviewing sampled households every month and data were published for each half-year period.
Starting from 2007, the Labour Force Survey has been carried out continuously on a weekly basis, that is, households are interviewed throughout the year. This means that every week is both a reference and an interviewing, i.e. implementation, week. The Croatian Bureau of Statistics processes and publishes results in quarterly dynamics.
Since the beginning of 2016, the earlier method of data collection on printed questionnaires was replaced by interviewing methods using laptops and phone.
Since the beginning of 2021, the new Regulation (EU) 2019/1700 has entered into force, which repealed the Regulation (EC) No. 577/98, which was, until now, the basic legal framework for conducting the Survey.
The Labour Force Survey is a panel survey conducted on a weekly basis. Every sampled household is interviewed for times over a year-and-a-half period following the 2- (2) -2 rotation scheme. In other words, households are interviewed in two subsequent quarters, omitted from the sample for the next two quarters and then in the next two subsequent quarters they are interviewed again. This allows for timely monitoring of flows of persons at the labour market, in quarterly and annual dynamics. Every household selected into the sample receives an announcement letter from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics.
Interviews are carried out by applying the CAPI and CATI data collection methods.
The CAPI method (Computer-Assisted Personal Interview) includes interviewing on laptops “face to face”. All households selected into sample for the first time and households that either do not have a telephone/cell phone or do not want, for whatever reason, be interviewed by telephone are interviewed in this way.
The CATI method (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview) includes interviewing by phone from the CATI Center. All households that accepted in the first interviewing to be interviewed by phone are interviewed in this way.
Accordingly, interviewers visit sampled addresses every week and conduct interviews on private households living at these addresses. The interview lasts approximately 20 minutes. On the basis of the Act on Official Statistics (NN, No. 25/20), all information given by interviewed persons are confidential. The data collected are used for statistical purposes only.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, since 2020, the Labour Force Survey has been facing difficulties in the collection and processing of data.
Since the second quarter of 2020, the data collection has been adjusted to the new circumstances and “face-to-face” interviewing using laptops was partly replaced by telephone interviewing.
In announcement letters sent to the selected addresses, when a phone number was not available in the phone book, households were asked to provide their phone number for the purpose of establishing contact and conducting the survey.
Basic concepts and definitions
The Labour Force Survey measures the economic activity of the population in a short survey period of one week.
Reference period is every week in the whole year.
Target population includes all persons residing in private households who make usual population of the Republic of Croatia.
A household is a small economic group of persons that is usually, although not always, a group of relatives. There are one-person and multi-person households, providing that the multi-person households consist of two or more persons who jointly reside in a housing unit or a part of it and share costs for food and basic household needs, or jointly contribute to the household income and/or mutually share all or a major part of household costs.
Working-age population is comprised of all persons aged 15 years and over.
Employed persons comprise persons aged 15 to 89 who, during the reference week, were in one of the following categories:
a) persons who during the reference week worked for at least one hour for pay in cash or kind, including unpaid family workers
b) persons having a job or their own business who were temporarily not at work due to annual leave, working time arrangements, sick leave, maternity or paternity leave, or persons in job-related training.
Accordingly, a pensioner, a housewife, a student or a person not in formal employment can also be classified as employed persons.
Employed persons are also:
– persons on parental leave, either receiving and/or being entitled to job-related income or benefits, or whose parental leave is expected to be three months or less
– seasonal workers during the off-season, where they continue to regularly perform tasks and duties for the job or business, excluding fulfilment of legal or administrative obligations
– persons temporarily not at work for other reasons where the expected duration of the absence is three months or less
– persons that produce agricultural goods whose main part is intended for sale or barter.
Regarding the status in employment, employed persons are classified either as persons in paid employment (employees), as self-employed persons or as unpaid family workers.
Persons in paid employment are those who work for an employer in the state or private sector and are paid for their work in cash or kind.
Self-employed persons are employers who run an enterprise and employ one or more employees, as well as own-account workers who have no employees.
Unpaid family workers are those who are not in paid employment or self-employment, but work in an enterprise owned by a family member and do not receive a payment for their work. They can also be relatives who do not reside in the same household where the owner of the family business resides.
Unemployed persons are those between 15 and 74 years old, who meet the following three criteria:
a) not employed during the reference week
b) currently available for work, i.e. were available for paid employment or self-employment before the end of the two weeks following the reference week
c) actively seeking work, i.e. had either carried out activities in the four -week period ending with the reference week to seek paid employment or self-employment or found a job to start within a period of at most three months from the end of the reference week.
Active population (labour force) comprises employed and unemployed persons.
Inactive population (persons outside the labour force) comprise persons who are in one of the following categories:
a) aged below 15
b) aged 15 to 89 and neither employed nor unemployed during the reference week
c) aged above 89.
Activity rate represents the labour force as a percentage of the working-age population.
Employment rate represents employed persons as a percentage of working-age population.
Unemployment rate represents unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force.
In certain tables, the sum total may not equal the sum of individual figures due to the rounding to thousands.
Changes in the Labour Force Survey since 2021
Definition of employment
Until 2020, employed persons included persons who turned 15 years of age and over, while since 2021 and onwards, they have included persons aged from 15 to 89 years.
Persons temporarily not at work but have a job to return to after the reason for their absence seize to exist have been classified since 2021 as employed only if the total expected duration of their absence is three months or less, i.e., if during their absence they continue to receive income or benefit for their work. Until 2020, all persons temporarily absent from work who had a job to return to after the reason for their absence seized to exist (irrespective of the reason for absence) were classified as employed persons.
Persons on parental leave have been classified since 2021 as employed only if they either receive and/or are entitled to job-related income or benefits, or if their parental leave is expected to be three months or less. Until 2020, all persons on parental leave were classified as employed persons.
Seasonal workers who did not work in the reference week (off-season period) have been classified since 2021 as employed persons if they continue to regularly perform tasks and duties for the job or business, excluding fulfilment of legal or administrative obligations. Until 2020, seasonal workers were classified as employed persons if they signed a contract/agreement with an employer to return to the same job at the beginning of the new season and/or if they continued to receive at least 50% or more of income or benefits during the off-season.
Persons that produce agricultural goods whose main part is intended for consumption in own household were, until 2020, classified as employed persons, while they have been excluded from employment since 2021. Only if the main part of their agricultural production is intended for sale or barter are such persons classified as employed.
Unpaid family workers who perform work for members of their families have been classified since 2021 as employed persons, even if they do not reside in the same household with their relatives who own the trade/enterprise/agricultural holding, while, until 2020, they were classified as employed only if they resided in a joint household with them.
Definition of unemployment
Until 2020, unemployed persons included persons who turned 15 years and over, while, since 2021 and onwards, they include persons aged from 15 to 74 years. Changes in the definition of unemployment and inactivity derived from the explained definitions of employment.
In order to improve the comparability of data across countries, a unique, strictly prescribed and harmonised sequence of questions has been applied for defining of major survey categories (employed persons, unemployed persons, persons outside of the labour force).
Further on, new questions have been introduced (e.g., questions related to migrations, economic and organisational dependence of self-employed persons, etc.). Some questions have been removed, e.g., questions related to the situation of the respondent a year prior to the interview and certain questions concerning informal education characteristics). Particular questions and answers offered to respondents have been changed in order to achieve standardisation of questions in the Survey with those in other surveys in the social statistics domain.
In addition, certain blocks of questions have been modified more substantially, e.g. the block of questions related to working hours (contracted working hours have been monitored since 2021 along with usual and actually worked ones, etc.). Moreover, the location of certain blocks of questions in the questionnaire has also been changed.
Since the beginning of 2021, the sample size has been gradually enlarged by adding of 325 new households in each panel, i.e., a part of the sample interviewed for the first time. It is planned that for the enlargement to last for a year and a half.
Survey and administrative sources
Besides survey data on employment and unemployment, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics also publishes data on employment and unemployment according to administrative sources in the Republic of Croatia (including registered unemployment rate).
The following text provides methodological characteristics that cause mutual differences between data on employed persons.
Source and coverage: until 2016, data from administrative sources were based on monthly and annual statistical surveys (RAD-1 and RAD-1G forms) covering employed persons in legal entities of all types of ownership, government bodies and bodies of local and regional self-government units on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. The monthly survey covers 70% of all employed persons in each NKD 2007. division. Since 2016, data on employed persons in legal entities have been gathered by processing data from the “Report on Income, Income Tax and Surtax as well as Contributions for Mandatory Insurances” (JOPPD form) in effect since 1 January 2014 and are not comparable to previously published monthly data. Data on employed persons in crafts and trades and free-lances as well as on employed insured persons – private farmers are taken over from the records on active pension insurance beneficiaries kept by the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance. The Labour Force Survey results are estimated on the basis of a representative statistical sample of private households in the Republic of Croatia.
Reference period: administrative data on employed persons refer to the last day of the previous month, while the Labour Force Survey data are related to a reference week.
Observation period: administrative data are processed and published in monthly dynamics, while the Labour Force Survey results are related to a quarterly period.
Definition of employed persons: administrative sources apply the formal definition of employment (persons who have signed the work contract with the employer for a fixed or unspecified period of time, irrespective of type of ownership and of whether they work full time or less than full time), while the Labour Force Survey shows employed persons as all persons who were, in the reference week for at least one hour, engaged in any work for payment in cash or kind, as well as those who were absent from work during the reference week, but had a job to return to with the same employer after the reason for absence no longer existed.
Released data: administrative data on employed persons are published monthly in the First Release “Persons in Paid Employment, by Activities” and in the Statistics in Line on the web site of the Croatian Bureau of Statistics.
The First Release “Active Population in the Republic of Croatia” is the publications in which survey results on employed persons are published in the quarterly dynamics. The RAD-1G annual survey data are also published at lower territorial levels, while the Survey results are available at HR_NUTS 2021 classification levels – HR_NUTS 2.
The Croatian Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Croatia publishes data on unemployed persons taken over from administrative sources as well as those obtained through the Labour Force Survey. These data differ due to the following methodological characteristics.
Source and coverage: data on registered unemployment are obtained from the Register of Unemployed Persons kept by the Croatian Employment Service, while the Labour Force Survey results are collected by interviewing private households. Register contains data on all unemployed persons in the Republic of Croatia, while the Labour Force Survey results are estimated on the basis of the representative statistical sample.
Reference period: the Register data refer to the last day of each month, while the Labour Force Survey data are collected for each reference week.
Observation period: the Register data are taken over in monthly dynamics, while the Labour Force Survey results are processed and published for a quarterly period.
Definitions of unemployed persons: a registered unemployed person is a person who is registered with the Croatian Employment Service, that is, each person who meets criteria defined by the Act on Job Placement and Unemployment Insurance and the Croatian Employment Service. According to the Labour Force Survey, an unemployed person is either a person who did not perform any work for payment in cash or kind in the reference week, and was actively seeking job in the course of four weeks before the interview and is prepared to start performing an offered job in the following two weeks or a person who has found a job and will start working in the next three months.
Released data: data on registered unemployment and registered unemployment rate are published monthly in the First Release “Persons in Employment, by Activities” and in the Statistics in Line on the web site of the Croatian Bureau of Statistics. The First Release “Active Population in the Republic of Croatia” is a publication in which the comparison of unemployment rate obtained from the Survey results and the one from administrative sources are published. At the same time, the Croatian Employment Service publishes administrative data on unemployment at lower territorial levels, while the Survey data are available at HR_NUTS 2021 classification levels – HR_NUTS 2.
The data show that the unemployment rate based on the administrative data sources is higher than the Labour Force Survey rate. This is, on one hand, due to the fact that some categories of population formally classified as unemployed or inactive are nevertheless active, and on the other, administrative sources, besides actually unemployed persons, include a significant share of persons who are not classified as unemployed according to the definition of the Survey, but are through this status entitled to some social or economic rights and benefits.
a) The National Classification of Activities, 2007 version, comparable to the international Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community, NACE Rev. 2, was used in the coding of economic activities.
b) The National Classification of Occupations 2010, NKZ 10., comparable to the International Standard Classification of Occupations, ISCO-08, was used in the coding of occupations.
Coverage and comparability
Data from the 1991 Census on Population, Households and Dwellings were used as a sample frame in the period from 1996 to 1999. In this period, the parts of Croatian territory with still ongoing war operations at the time when survey was prepared could not be included in the sample frame.
The database of the Croatian Electrical Utility containing data on households spread on the whole Croatian territory was used as a sample frame for 2000 and 2001. Hence, for the first time, the sample and the Survey results, since 2000, have related to the whole Republic of Croatia.
Starting from the first half-year of 2002, the sample frame based on the Census 2001 data had been used for the Labour Force Survey, while, since the beginning of 2014, the new sample frame based on the data from the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in 2011 has been in use.
The Survey methodology determines that the population residing in institutions (such as homes, convents, hospitals for long-term treatments, etc.) is not included in the sample frame.
In order to achieve consistency and comparability of data for 2014 and onwards with already published data for previous years, the weighting revision has been done on the data for the period from 2007 to 2013, i.e., the data have been weighted according to the Census 2011 results by using the calibration method. The data are published in the First Release “Active Population in the Republic of Croatia, 2007 – 2013” of 23 December 2014.
Due to the availability of new and more updated estimates of the total population of the Republic of Croatia, the Labour Force Survey data from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016 have been revised in order to make them in line with the demographic data on the Republic of Croatia. These data are published in the First Release of 11 April 2017, while the data for the remaining three quarters of 2015 are available in the Statistics in Line.
The Labour Force Survey is based on the random sample of private households. In the period from 1996 to 2006, the sample was separately defined for each period, that is, the interviews were not repeated, which means that the sample did not have a panel component. Since 2007, the panel component has been introduced in the sample design and households have been repeatedly interviewed four times. However, since the beginning of 2014, the repeated interviewing of previously selected households has been abandoned due to changes in the methodology of processing and implementation of the Survey. Having in mind that the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011 has been used as a new sample frame, all households in the first quarter of 2014 were selected for the first time, but the interviewing dynamics remained the same.
Since 2014 the new sample design has been determined. The sample consists of four separately selected subsamples, rotation groups (panels). The sample design is two-stage and stratified. The sample frame is stratified in seven strata at HR_NUTS 2021 classification levels – HR_NUTS 2 and further separated into urban and rural parts. The random sample of inhabited dwellings is selected in two stages and the sample design used is a two-stage cluster sampling. Before selecting the sample, the so-called segments are formed. Segments are territorial units formed by grouping of one or several neighbouring enumeration districts, which were established for the purpose of carrying out the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011.
In the first stage, the random sample of segments is chosen from each stratum and in the second one, the random sample of inhabited dwellings within the selected segments.
In the first quarter of 2021, there were 7 605 dwellings selected in the sample. All members of private households permanently living in these dwellings and accepting to participate in the Survey, were interviewed. In the first quarter of 2021, there were 8 353 persons aged 15 years and over interviewed in 3 887 households.
The weighting procedure is carried out in order to calculate the estimate for the whole household population. This procedure provides for the compensation of the design and sample size impact as well as the impact of the non-response of households to the Survey.
Since the beginning of 2014, the new process of weighting the collected data has been determined. In the first phase of the process, the calculation included the weights of the selection of units into the sample taken over from both sampling stages (segments and dwellings) and, in the second one, the weights due to the adjustment to the non-response of units included in the sample. In the last phase of weighting, the final weights calculated in the first two phases were calibrated at the population distribution estimates by age groups, sex and statistical spatial units at the NKPJS 2nd level according to the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011, which was updated with data on live births and deaths as well as on population migrations in the Republic of Croatia.
The calibration can be described as a process of reweighting aimed at balancing the population estimates by age groups, sex and at HR_NUTS 2021 classification levels – HR_NUTS 2 from the Survey, in other words, the distribution of the population of the Republic of Croatia by age groups, sex and statistical spatial units at NKPJS 2nd level from the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011.
The overall non-response rate in the first quarter of 2021 was 41.6% and the refusal rate was 23.3%.
The following table shows estimates, standard errors of estimates, 95% confidence intervals and the variation coefficients for the activity rate, employment rate and unemployment rate.
Estimates and precision measures for the most important indicators of economic activity of population, first quarter of 2021.
|COVID-19||COrona VIrus Disease-19|
|HR_NUTS 2021||National Classification of Statistical Regions 2021|
|ILO||International Labour Organisation|
|ISCO||International Standard Classification of Occupations|
|NACE||Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community|
|NKD 2007.||National Classification of Activities, 2007 version|
|NKPJS||Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics|
|NKZ 10.||National Classification of Occupations, 2010 version|
|NN||Narodne novine, official gazette of the Republic of Croatia|
|NUTS||common classification of territorial units for statistics|
|PAPI||Paper-Assisted Personal Interview|
|.||not zero, but extremely inaccurate estimation|
|(( ))||inaccurate estimation|
|( )||less accurate estimation|
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