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Labour Market, Social Statistics.
Pernille Stender
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Register-Based Labour Force Statistics

The first version of the RAS statistics includes the population resident in Denmark as of the 1 January 1981 and its attachment to the labour market at the end of November 1980. The statistic has been compiled once every year since. New and better data foundations and changes in the labour market have however caused a number of data breaks over time, which have influence on the possibility of comparing data over time. Since RAS is based on administrative registers with national distinctive marks, it is very difficult to compare the statistic in an international level.

Comparability - geographical

RAS follows the international guidelines from the International Labour Organization (ILO) for estimating the population main attachment to the labour market. The ILO guidelines are however pointed towards survey-based statistics (the Labour Force Surveys), where the person itself provides the information about the connection to the labour market. Since RAS on the other hand is based on register data, the ILO guidelines are adjusted for use for RAS. It is therefore recommended that the Labour Force Surveys (LFS) are used for international comparisons, while RAS is mainly used to illustrate national structures.

Comparability over time

RAS was first published in 1981 with data on the populations attachment to the labour market at the end of November 1980. The statistic has been compiled once every year since 1981. Over the years some changes have been done in the statisti, which have influence on the possibility to compare the statistic over time. Particularly the change of data foundation for RAS in 2008 means, that it's difficult to compare data from before and after 2008.

Data break

In 2003 (November 2002) there is a data break in the time series. Changes on the labour market had created a need for different alterations in the statistic. At the same time better data sources made the alterations possible. Therefore Statistics Denmark was able to publish an improved statistic. The alterations in the statistic caused among other things a change in the order of priority for persons in more than one condition. For example the priority for persons who receive early retirement pay and worked at the same time was changed.

Before 2008 the data source for employees was the Salary Information Register (COR). This register was based on reports from employers to the tax authorities. Here the employer had the possibility to report that the employee had been employed during the whole year. If that was not the case the employer should report the starting date and the ending date of the period in which the person had been employed. However, Statistics Denmark supposes that employers have reported that the person has been employed during the whole year in to many cases, which resulted in a employment level that was to high.

From November 2008 the eIncome-register replaced COR as the data source for employment for employees. That causes a larger data break. The eIncome-register is based on monthly information from employers. That implied that the information concerning the period of employment got a higher quality. It also implied that the level of employment got lower due to the transition to the eIncome-register.

When producing RAS November 2008 in 2010 Statistics Denmark’s own version of the eIncome register was not yet ready. Therefore an early version of the eIncome-register based on the monthly reports made by the tax authorities was used for the statistic. When producing RAS November 2009 in 2011 Statistic Denmark’s own monthly eIncome-register was ready. It was realized that there were relatively large differences between the yearly version from the tax authorities and the monthly register which made it necessary to revise the statistics for November 2008.

With the production of RAS concerning the population’s attachment to the labour market November 2011 two changes was made in the statistic. The changes resulted in RAS being revised for the period November 2008 – November 2010. The changes implied that:

1) a number of persons, who are temporarily absent from the labour force and earlier had been classified as outside the labour force, became part of the labour force. The background for this was that a person should be classified as employed even though the person is temporarily absent from work and the employer does not pay wages (if the absence is due to maternity leave or sickness leave with a duration of less than 3 months). Before the change to the eIncome-register, RAS was based on information from the Salary Information Register (COR). By using this data source a person on temporary leave would typically be classified as employed even though the person did not receive wages. This was because information about yearly salary was used and because the information concerning the period of employment had a lower quality. After the change to the eIncome-register the population is classified in accordance with information about whether any wages are paid in November or not, and therefore the person will not be classified as employed, unless supplementary information is used. Therefore Statistics Denmark developed an algorithm, which can decide whether the person is on leave from work or not. According to this 10,000 persons (primary persons on maternity leave) were reclassified from being outside the labour force to being employed.

2) gross unemployment was used instead of net unemployment. This meant that the labour force from there consisted of employed persons and gross unemployed persons. Net unemployment consists of persons receiving unemployment benefits or social assistance who are considered able to work. Gross unemployment consists of net unemployment and activated recipients of unemployment benefit or social assistance who are considered able to work. Taken together these two changes meant that the labour force was increased by roughly 50,000 persons compared to the old method.

New data foundation for RAS in 2015

In April 2015 the data foundation for RAS changed to be the Labour Market Account (LMA). In this context RAS was revised back to November 2008. In the same context the dating of the statistic changed, so that the time of reference from there is the end of November. That meant that the statistic now is called e.g. November 2013 whereas it would earlier have been called 2014. Learn more about LMA here. When publishing RAS (end November 2014) in 2016 the time series November 2008-November 2013 was revised. Hereafter the plan is to do no further revisions of the historical time series.

Changes in Danish Industrial Classifications

In 1993 the classification changes from DSE77 to DB93. In 2003 it changes to DB03, and ind 2008 to DB07. Read more about the changes and the classification here.

Changes in sector code

The statistic can be distributed on sector according to ESA (Novembe 1994-November 2012) and ESA2010 (November 2008-November 2013).

Changes in classification of occupation

The level of skills for employees are determined by DISCO-08, which is reported to the wage statistic. From 2010 the classification is changed, which means that the level for 2008-2009 are based on DISCO-88, while it from 2010 is based on DISCO-08. The changes are due to changes in the international classification behind: ISCO. The change causes the number of employees on highest level to increase with about 200,000 persons, while the number of employees on the middle level dropped proportional. The change had impact on among other large groups of employees all pedagogic work, some nursing work and some from the financial sector.

Municipal reform

RAS is published on municipal level in the StatBank. From November 2006 the statistic is published on the new municipals after the structural reform. In the period November 1980-November 2006 the statistic is made up on the municipals before the structural reform. November 2016 is therefore published with data from both before and after the reform.

Coherence - cross domain

The number of people employed and unemployed in RAS deviates from other statistics. You can read more about the differences bellow:

Employment in Businesses (EiB)

The EiB and RAS have a common definition of the stock of employees at the end of November, but there are some jobs that are included in RAS and not in EiB and vice versa. First of all the person's primary connection to the labour market is calculated in RAS, while EiB includes both a person's most important job as well as other jobs the person may have at the end of November. Secondly persons, who are absent from employment (because of childcare leave, maternity leave or sickness benefit) at the end of November are considered to be employed in RAS, but not in EiB. Thirdly EiB only includes self-employed, who are liable to pay VAT or payroll tax or are employers, while RAS also includes employed who have the largest income during the year from self-employment. In the fourth place EiB only includes jobs in businesses with a certain minimum activity. Businesses with activities under a defined threshold are not included in the EiB.

Labour Force Survey (LFS)

LFS is an interview study. LFS uses the same by ILO internationally defined concept of employment as RAS. Since the ILO guidelines is pointed at survey-based statistics as LFS, the guidelines is adjusted to use for RAS. For that reason there are considerable deviations between LFS and RAS. If the socioeconomic status of employed persons is considered, there are relatively more self-employed and assisting spouses in LFS. The reason for this is among other things that people, who are share- or stockholders in the company where they are employed, are classified as an employee in RAS, while they often will describe themselves as self-employed when asked in the LFS. The same goes for assisting spouses with wage agreement, who in RAS are classified as employees. The distribution of the employees by skills also differs significantly between the two statistics.

Public Employment Statistic (PES)

The PES calculates the average number of jobs and the number of full-time employed persons each quarter within the public sector. The number of jobs includes all the jobs that the person has in the public sector at a given time. This means that the number of jobs is substantially higher than the number of persons employed in RAS.

Employment Statistic for Employees (ESE)

The ESE calculates the full-time employment and the number of employees on a quarterly basis. The calculation of full-time employment means that the level of employment in ESE will be lower than the level of employment in RAS. On the other side the number of employees is higher than in RAS. The reason is that some of the employees are classified as self-employed in RAS. That is the case when a person has a job as employee and at the same time is self-employed and the person works the most hours as self-employed.

Unemployment statistic

The average full-time unemployment in the unemployment statistic is generally higher than the unemployment in RAS. There are two reasons for this; firstly unemployment is calculated in full-time equivalents in the unemployment statistic. Secondly, a portion of the gross unemployed are calculated as employed in RAS. The reason for this is that they are activated in a measure, where they are receiving wages. In such cases, they are classified as employed according to the international guidelines for employment statistics. In addition, a portion of the gross unemployed are calculated as employed in RAS. The reason for this is that they are activated in a measure, where they are receiving wages. In such cases, they are classified as employed according to the international guidelines for employment statistics.

Labour Market Account (LMA)

Since April 2015 the LMA has been the data foundation for RAS. In that context RAS was revised back to November 2008.

The Working Time Account (WTA) The estimation of employment in WTA is based on LMA. In WTA the employment is calculated

Coherence - internal

RAS is based on the Labour Market Account (LMA) which is compiled on a number of different sources. RAS is the result of an inventory at the end of November in LMA. Minor differences is however possible between the newest current version of LMA and RAS. That is because LMA is a more "lively" register where different improvements are done after the production of RAS. Improvements that have greater meaning to a longitudinal register (like LMA) than to a inventory (like RAS).