Seminar on ‘Employment and unemployment: Revisiting the relevance and conceptual basis of the statistics’

This seminar has been organized because 26 years after the adoption of the Resolution concerning statistics of the economically active population, employment, unemployment and underemployment by the 13th ICLS (1982), time may have come to start reflecting upon a possible revision or update of the Resolution.


This seminar has been organized because 26 years after the adoption of the Resolution concerning statistics of the economically active population, employment, unemployment and underemployment by the 13th ICLS (1982), time may have come to start reflecting upon a possible revision or update of the Resolution. The parts of the 13th Resolution dealing with underemployment have already been substituted by the Resolution concerning the measurement of underemployment and inadequate employment situations adopted by the 16th ICLS (1998). Other parts of the 13th Resolution have been supplemented with Guidelines on the implications of employment promotion schemes on the measurement of employment and unemployment endorsed by the 14th ICLS (1987) and Guidelines concerning the treatment in employment and unemployment statistics of persons on extended absences from work endorsed by the 16th ICLS. (1998).

Papers prepared for the seminar should:

  • on the basis of the experience made by the author’s country or region, discuss the usefulness and limitations of the key elements of the international standards on employment and unemployment statistics adopted by the 13th ICLS:

- the labour force framework,
- the link between the concept of work and the SNA production boundary,
- the one-hour criterion,
- the criteria of active search and current availability for work,
- relaxation of the seeking work criterion (expanded definition of unemployment);

  • examine the conceptual basis of statistics on employment and unemployment, as defined by the 13th ICLS Resolution, in the light of current thinking on their relevance for economic and social policies and the description of labour markets.

Two types of papers for the seminar are distinguished:

1. A limited number of authors covering the world’s major regions have been asked to prepare invited papers for the seminar. Invited papers may be prepared in English, French or Spanish. They will be translated to the other two languages. Invited papers should be submitted in Word format. They should be 8-10 pages long (font size 12, single space), including any annexes attached to them. During the seminar, authors of invited papers will have an opportunity to make an oral presentation (maximum 20 minutes) of their paper.

2. All producers or users of employment and unemployment are welcome to submit additional papers for the seminar. Additional papers may be submitted in English, French or Spanish. They should be prepared in Word format and should not be longer than 4-5 pages (font size 12, single space), including any annexes attached to them. Due to time constraints, it will not be possible for authors of additional papers to present their papers to the seminar. The ILO Secretariat will however present a summary highlighting the main points addressed by the additional papers.

Deadline for the submission of papers:

Invited papers and additional papers should be sent by 7 November 2008 at the latest to Ralf Hussmanns, Head, Methodology and Analysis Unit, Bureau of Statistics, ILO; e-mail: hussmanns@ilo.org