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Accuracy and reliability

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Labour Market, Social Statistics
Pernille Stender
+45 39 17 34 04

psd@dst.dk

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Employment in Businesses

The main input for the EiB is the e-income register and therefore the accuracy and reliability of the EiB dependent on the quality of this register.

E-income is a register based on information, which the employers report to the tax authorities. Since this is information (e.g. about wages), which employees are taxed on the basis of the quality of this information is relatively high.

The statistic is simultaneously a census and hence there is not the same uncertainty as statistics based on random sampling.

Against this background, the statistic is considered to have a relatively high quality. Despite this there are a number of uncertainties associated with the statistic.

Overall accuracy

The main input for the EiB is the e-income register, which is based on information the employers report to the tax authorities. Since this is information (e.g. about wages), which employees are taxed on the basis of the quality of this information is relatively high. The statistic is therefore considered to have a relatively high accuracy. However, there are uncertainties associated with the statistic. See the section "Quality assessment".

Sampling error

Not relevant because the statistic is based on a census.

Non-sampling error

There is uncertainty about parts of the reports.

There is uncertainty about the reporting of working hours and thus the calculation of full-time employees. This uncertainty is partly because some working hours are imputed due to e.g. missing, not valid or plausible reported hours.

There is also uncertainty regarding reporting of establishment and thus the linking of employees to the correct workplace. This can affect the distribution of the figures on the geographical areas and industries and sectors, especially in the public sector.

Quality management

Statistics Denmark follows the recommendations on organisation and management of quality given in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and the implementation guidelines given in the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF). A Working Group on Quality and a central quality assurance function have been established to continuously carry through control of products and processes.

Quality assurance

Statistics Denmark follows the principles in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and uses the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF) for the implementation of the principles. This involves continuous decentralized and central control of products and processes based on documentation following international standards. The central quality assurance function reports to the Working Group on Quality. Reports include suggestions for improvement that are assessed, decided and subsequently implemented.

Quality assessment

The source data, which the statistic is based on, are regarded as being of high quality. The statistic is simultaneously a census and hence there is not the same uncertainty as statistics based on random sampling.

From 2008 monthly data from Statistic Denmark's e-income register is used in the statistic. It means that the quality of the information about whether the employee is working at the end of November is significantly higher than previously.

Against this background, the statistic is considered to have a relatively high quality. Despite this there is a number of uncertainties associated with the statistic:

Reporting of working hours

There may be uncertainty about whether the reported hours are taken supplement and deduction into account compared to the normal number of working hours (e.g. paid overtime or unpaid leave) and whether the hours are properly periodised.

There is used a fixed full-time norm for all employees, namely 37 hours per week (160.33 hours per month). This is equivalent to the full-time norm for most tenured functionaries. However, there may be groups having another full-time norm. This could be hourly-paid employees or newly hired functionaries, who have a full-time norm less than 160.33 hours per month, because these groups typically will not be paid for having e.g. holiday.

This has implications for the levels and the interpretation of the number of full-time employees. However, it is not possible on the basis of e-income register to divide the population in different groups of employees with different full-time norms. One advantage with the fixed full-time norm for all employees is that it is simple to convert the number of full-time employees to hours paid, providing an indicator of trends in employment volume for employees. This enables users to easily develop alternative splits (with varying full-time norms) based on their needs and the groups they want to compare.

Imputation of working hours

When the number of working hours is missing or the number is considered not valid or plausible the working hours are imputed. The total number of imputed working hours can vary over time and between industries and sectors.

Reporting of workplace

Employers with more than one workplace are obliged to report the activity unit of which the employee is linked. However, there are a number of employers, particularly in the public sector, where the reporting of establishment is incomplete or inadequate. Therefore the reported establishment is debugged on the basis of the central business register and a statistical unit for the establishment of the job is imputed. This is done to make it possible to produce figures on geographical areas and detailed level of industries.

Data revision - policy

Statistics Denmark revises published figures in accordance with the Revision Policy for Statistics Denmark. The common procedures and principles of the Revision Policy are for some statistics supplemented by a specific revision practice.

Data revision practice

Normally the published figures are not revised.

However, if errors are detected in the published figures these will be corrected.