Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.BackgroundThe Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a unique source of information using international definitions of employment and unemployment and economic inactivity, together with a wide range of related topics such as occupation, training, hours of work and personal characteristics of household members aged 16 years and over. It is used to inform social, economic and employment policy. The Annual Population Survey, also held at the UK Data Archive, is derived from the LFS.The LFS was first conducted biennially from 1973-1983, then annually between 1984 and 1991, comprising a quarterly survey conducted throughout the year and a 'boost' survey in the spring quarter. From 1992 it moved to a quarterly cycle with a sample size approximately equivalent to that of the previous annual data. Northern Ireland was also included in the survey from December 1994. Further information on the background to the QLFS may be found in the documentation.The UK Data Service also holds a Secure Access version of the QLFS (see below); household datasets; two-quarter and five-quarter longitudinal datasets; LFS datasets compiled for Eurostat; and some additional annual Northern Ireland datasets.LFS DocumentationThe documentation available from the Archive to accompany LFS datasets largely consists of the latest version of each user guide volume alongside the appropriate questionnaire for the year concerned (the latest questionnaire available covers July-September 2022). Volumes are updated periodically, so users are advised to check the latest documents on the ONS Labour Force Survey - User Guidance pages before commencing analysis. This is especially important for users of older QLFS studies, where information and guidance in the user guide documents may have changed over time.LFS response to COVID-19From April 2020 to May 2022, additional non-calendar quarter LFS microdata were made available to cover the pandemic period. The first additional microdata to be released covered February to April 2020 and the final non-calendar dataset covered March-May 2022. Publication then returned to calendar quarters only. Within the additional non-calendar COVID-19 quarters, pseudonymised variables Casenop and Hserialp may contain a significant number of missing cases (set as -9). These variables may not be available in full for the additional COVID-19 datasets until the next standard calendar quarter is produced. The income weight variable, PIWT, is not available in the non-calendar quarters, although the person weight (PWT) is included. Please consult the documentation for full details.Occupation data for 2021 and 2022 data filesThe ONS has identified an issue with the collection of some occupational data in 2021 and 2022 data files in a number of their surveys. While they estimate any impacts will be small overall, this will affect the accuracy of the breakdowns of some detailed (four-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)) occupations, and data derived from them. Further information can be found in the ONS article published on 11 July 2023: Revision of miscoded occupational data in the ONS Labour Force Survey, UK: January 2021 to September 2022.2022 WeightingThe population totals used for the latest LFS estimates use projected growth rates from Real Time Information (RTI) data for UK, EU and non-EU populations based on 2021 patterns. The total population used for the LFS therefore does not take into account any changes in migration, birth rates, death rates, and so on since June 2021, and hence levels estimates may be under- or over-estimating the true values and should be used with caution. Estimates of rates will, however, be robust.End User Licence and Secure Access QLFS dataTwo versions of the QLFS are available from UKDS. One is available under the standard End User Licence (EUL) agreement, and the other is a Secure Access version. The EUL version includes country and Government Office Region geography, 3-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) and 3-digit industry group for main, second and last job (from July-September 2015, 4-digit industry class is available for main job only).The Secure Access version contains more detailed variables relating to: age: single year of age, year and month of birth, age completed full-time education and age obtained highest qualification, age of oldest dependent child and age of youngest dependent child family unit and household: including a number of variables concerning the number of dependent children in the family according to their ages, relationship to head of household and relationship to head of family nationality and country of origin finer detail geography: including county, unitary/local authority, place of work, Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics 2 (NUTS2) and NUTS3 regions, and whether lives and works in same local authority district, and other categories; health: including main health problem, and current and past health problems education and apprenticeship: including numbers and subjects of various qualifications and variables concerning apprenticeships industry: including industry, industry class and industry group for main, second and last job, and industry made redundant from occupation: including 5-digit industry subclass and 4-digit SOC for main, second and last job and job made redundant from system variables: including week number when interview took place and number of households at address other additional detailed variables may also be included. The Secure Access datasets (SNs 6727 and 7674) have more restrictive access conditions than those made available under the standard EUL. Prospective users will need to gain ONS Accredited Researcher status, complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the additional variables. Users are strongly advised to first obtain the standard EUL version of the data to see if they are sufficient for their research requirements. Latest edition informationFor the third edition (July 2023), SOC variables NSECM20, NSECMJ20, SC20LMJ, SC20LMN, SC20MMJ, SC20MMN, SC20SMJ, SC20SMN, SOC20M, SC2010M and the person income weight PIWT22 were replaced with revised versions. Further information can be found in the ONS article published on 11 July 2023: Revision of miscoded occupational data in the ONS Labour Force Survey, UK: January 2021 to September 2022. Main Topics:The QLFS questionnaire comprises a 'core' of questions which are included in every survey, together with some 'non-core' questions which vary from quarter to quarter.The questionnaire can be split into two main parts. The first part contains questions on the respondent's household, family structure, basic housing information and demographic details of household members. The second part contains questions covering economic activity, education and health, and also may include a few questions asked on behalf of other government departments (for example the Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office). Until 1997, the questions on health covered mainly problems which affected the respondent's work. From that quarter onwards, the questions cover all health problems. Detailed questions on income have also been included in each quarter since 1993. The basic questionnaire is revised each year, and a new version published, along with a transitional version that details changes from the previous year's questionnaire. Four sampling frames are used. See documentation for details. Face-to-face interview Telephone interview The first interview is conducted face-to-face, and subsequent interviews by telephone where possible.