The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a household survey designed to be carried out every two years by the Central Statistical Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Since its inception in 1986, the major objective of the LFS has been to measure the size of the labour force and its characteristics (age, sex, industry, sector of employment, education, e.t.c). The first Zambia Labour Force Survey was conducted in 1986 to satisfy a need for reliable and timely data on the labour market. Successive labour force surveys were conducted in 2005, 2008 and 2012. The LFS provides Key Indicators of Labour Market (KILM) namely: labour force participation rate, employment-population ratio, status in employment, employment by sector, employment by occupation, part time work, hours of work, unemployment, youth unemployment, time-related underemployment, informal sector employment, income, inactivity. The main purpose of the 2014 LFS was to measure the size of the labour force and its characteristics with the view to providing guidance in the formulation and implementation of labour market policies and programmes. The specific objectives of the LFS included:
- Measuring the size of the employed population both in the Formal and Informal sectors.
- Assessing levels of unemployment so that job creation efforts could be intensified.
- Measuring income levels among Paid employees, Self employed and Employers.
- Assessing the incidence and prevalence of child labour.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Other Work Activities
The whole country.
Unit of Analysis
The 2014 LFS was a nation-wide survey covering household population in all the ten provinces and in both rural and urban areas. The survey excluded populations in institutions such as prisons, refuge camps, hospitals, or barracks.
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Central Statistical Office
Government of the Republic of Zambia
Ministry of Labour and Social Security
Mobilizing the resources to undertake the survey
International Labour Organization
The total population of Zambia was estimated at 14,983,315 in 2014, of which 49.1 percent were male and 50.9 percent were female. This population was spread across 2,934,096 households. The population shows an increase of 4.2 percent from the population of 14,375,601 recorded in 2012. A larger proportion of the total population accounting for 58.4 percent was in rural areas while 41.6 percent was in urban areas. A representative sample of 11, 520 households was selected at two stages. In the first stage, 576 Enumeration Areas (EAs) were selected from the 2010 Census sampling frame. In the second stage, households in each of the selected EAs were first listed followed by the selection of 20 households for enumeration.
Sample Allocation and Selection:
The total sample of 11,520 households was first allocated between rural, urban and the provincial domains in proportion to the population of each domain according to the 2010 Census frame. The proportional allocation does not however allow for reliable estimates at lower domains like district, constituency or ward. Adjustments to the proportional allocation of the sample were made to allow for reasonable comparison to be achieved between strata or domains. Therefore, disproportionate allocation was adopted, for the purpose of maximizing the precision of survey estimates. The disproportionate allocation is based on the optimal square root allocation method designed by Leslie Kish. The sample was then selected using a stratified two-stage cluster design.
Deviations from the Sample Design
The sample was designed to provide estimates at national (rural and urban) and provincial level. Zambia is administratively divided into ten provinces. Each province is in turn subdivided into districts. For statistical purposes, each district is subdivided into Census Supervisory Areas (CSAs) and these are demarcated into Enumeration Areas (EAs). The Census mapping exercise of 2006-2010 in preparation for the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, demarcated the CSAs within wards, wards within constituencies and constituencies within districts. The 2010 Census produced at least 25,000 EAs stratified as rural and urban. This constituted the sampling frame. Information borne on the list of EAs from the sampling frame includes number of households and the population size. The total number of households in the frame was used to determine the selection of Primary Sampling Units (PSUs).
In 2014, the labour force participation rate was 77.7 percent. The labour force participation rate in rural areas was higher at 80.2 percent relative to 74.7 percent recorded in urban areas. Males had a lower participation rate of 77.1 percent compared to 78.2 percent for females.
Due to the disproportional allocation of the sample to the different strata, sampling weights were required to ensure actual representativeness of the sample at national level. The sampling probabilities of the EAs in the first-stage selection and probabilities of selecting the households in the second stage of selection is obtained to calculate the weights. The weights of the sample are equal to the inverse of the probability of selection.
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Time periods (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
The main LFS is preceded by a pre-test on some selected households drawn from a rural and urban areas. In 2014 LFS, the primary objective of the pre-test was to finalize the survey instruments and to introduce them to trainers of trainers for subsequent series of training. The pre-test experiences formed the basis for finalizing the survey instruments. A total of 96 supervisors and 288 enumerators were trained in data collection practices. A combined training of supervisors and enumerators was conducted in October 2014 in all the provinces and lasted for 12 days. The Master Trainers (MTs) facilitated the training of supervisors and enumerators using the enumerators' manual and survey instruments. Other sessions during training were for classroom role plays in which participants demonstrated how an interview should be conducted. Field work was conducted between November and December in 2014 in all the provinces. Each supervisor was assigned 3 enumerators to work with in order to collect and edit the data. Each enumerator was responsible for two (2) EAs in which he/she listed and enumerated households. The supervisors were also responsible for the coding of industry and occupation textual description.
Type of Research Instrument
The main questionnaire (Form B) had nine sections, namely:
a) Demographic Characteristics
b) Education, Literacy and Skills Training
c) Economic Activity
e) Hours of Work and Underemployment
f) Income - Part A and Part B
g) Unemployment/Potential Labour Force
h) Previous Work Experience
i) Household Chores
Following completion of data collection, completed forms A and B were edited and sent to Head Office for data editing, capture and processing. Data editing took place at a number of stages throughout the processing. These included:
1. Field editing
2. Office editing and coding
3. During data entry
4. Structure checking and completeness
5. Secondary editing
6. Strucural checking of SAS data files
A series of data quality tables and graphs are available to review the quality of the data and in addition to this, external resources such as the 2014 Labour Force Survey report has been attached.
Central Statistical Office
Ministry of Labour and Social Security
The access conditions to the report is that the report is open to public use provided the source of data is indicated.
Central Statistical Office, Labour Fource Survey 2014 (LFS 2014),Version 1.1 of the public use dataset (September 2015), provided by the Central Statistical office. wwww.zamstats.gov.zm/nada
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorised distributor of the data, and the relevent funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.