About the labour force survey
The labour force includes all occupationally active people such as employees, independent traders and employers, unemployed people looking for work and people who carry out unpaid work in a family business. The inactive population includes full-time students with no income from work, people who due to illness, reduced work capacity or similar reasons are not part of the labour market and people who have left the labour market due to old age or other reasons.
The annual labour force survey is conducted in accordance with the general guidelines of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a tripartite United Nations agency. This allows for direct comparisons between the Faroese figures and those from other nations.
The labour force is determined based on information derived from administrative sources such as the national register, the tax register, the VAT register, the unemployment system and student registers administered by the Ministry of Education.
Spot checks are made through phone interviews with about 1,000 of the individuals who are not included in the administrative sources. The survey and the phone interviews cover permanent residents of the Faroe Islands aged between 15 and 74. Everyone who carried out more than one hour of occupational work during the one-week survey period in November is classified as being in active employment, regardless of whether the work was paid or unpaid. Those who do not have a job are only classified as unemployed if they are actively looking for work and are ready to start work within two weeks. Those who are neither in active employment nor unemployed are classified as occupationally inactive.