Standards and guidelines on labour statistics

International standards on labour statistics are of two types: Conventions and Recommendations, adopted by the International Labour Conference (ILC), and Resolutions and Guidelines adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

Two Conventions have been adopted in the field of labour statistics, which form part of the International Labour Code:

Each of the countries which have ratified the Conventions is required to report to the ILO on their application. The Department of Statistics then makes a technical evaluation of the situation, on the basis of which the Governing Body's Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations follows up on problems or queries with the countries concerned. Currently, 34 countries have ratified C063 and 50 countries have ratified C160.

The ILC also adopted R170 - Labour Statistics Recommendation, 1985. It is a non-binding instrument, which provides further guidance regarding frequency of data collection, recommended disaggregations of the statistics, as well as on national statistical infrastructures.

Resolutions are non-binding instruments, which provide detailed guidance on conceptual frameworks, operational definitions and measurement methodologies to produce and disseminate the various labour statistics. Their purpose is to provide necessary guidance to countries wishing to develop or revise their national labour statistics programmes as well as to enhance international comparability. Guidelines provide more general guidance relating to particular areas of interest.