FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Data collected from the Labour Force Survey enable the compilation of reliable national manpower statistics, including key indicators on unemployment and employment which are among the most closely monitored measures of the Singapore labour market and economy. These statistics help in shaping national manpower policies and programmes affecting many of us.  

For example, measures to promote employment of older workers and women returning to work as well as the Workfare Income Supplement scheme for low-wage workers were formulated using data compiled from the survey. The survey data also facilitates workers, job seekers and employers in making informed decisions on career and human resource matters.

A stratified random sampling design is used to yield data that is representative of the population being studied. In stratified random sampling, the population is divided into groups, called strata, by various characteristics. A sample is drawn from each stratum and combined to form the final sample. 

Households are randomly selected by computer based on geographical area and housing type. This is called a two-stage stratified sampling design. During the first stage selection, the sampling divisions are stratified into three predominant housing types, namely, ‘Public Flats’, ‘Private Houses and Flats’ and ‘Others’. In the second-stage, housing units within each selected sampling division are stratified by housing types: (i) HDB flats and other public flats; (ii) Condominiums and private flats; (iii) Landed properties; and (iv) Others which include shophouses and attap/zinc-roofed houses. From these strata, a fixed number of housing units for a survey is selected.

The households are selected in such a way that they are representative of the population. If we interview households that are not selected, the sample will not be representative of the population and the survey results will not be reliable.

The survey seeks to gather information on the current labour market situation. The findings will help the Government in shaping manpower policies and programmes and facilitate employers, workers and job seekers in making informed decisions on human resource and career matters. As such, your household’s participation is important for us to compile reliable national statistics. It is also for this reason that the survey is conducted under the Statistics Act (Chapter 317), which requires selected households to provide us with the necessary information.

Other government departments do not have all the data we require, such as whether a person is looking for work or why a person is not working. Furthermore, due to differences in the reference period and definitions used, the time lag involved, and that the database of other government agencies may not reflect up-to-date changes, it may not always be feasible to use information from other sources. For example, income reported to IRAS is for the previous year and we do not know whether the individual is working on a full or part-time basis.

Also, the law may not allow other agencies to disclose personal information. This survey is one such example: it is conducted under the Statistics Act, which states that personal information cannot be disclosed to anyone, not even to other government departments.

Our objective is to obtain aggregated (combined) data. We are not interested in collecting personal information of individuals, but every individual's information is vital to forming an accurate picture of Singapore’s labour market. Each question is necessary for the production of the required statistics.​

The survey seeks to collect information of every individual living in the household selected. If your landlord is also staying in this address, we will need to obtain his/her information too.

The survey covers every person in Singapore, including foreigners living, working or studying here. We would require information of yourself and your family members if they are residing in this household.

You may find them in the Results section of this site. The aggregated data are published in the Labour Force in Singapore and the Singapore Yearbook of Manpower St​atistics
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