Labour Statistics

Labour Statistics


Labor Statistics are essential for policy-making, socio-economic and human resources planning, and the implementation of development processes. Moreover, labour statistics are one of the key planning and regulatory statistical areas that are of great interest to governments, international and regional organizations due to the importance of the human element in the planning and implementation of social and economic development process. This  requires the availability of  accurate and up-to-date statistics that reflect the reality of labour, employment and unemployment issues. Added to that, labour statistics relate education outputs to the labour market, help create new jobs, and support policy and decision makers to develop localization of labour and reduction of foreign labour recruitment policies. Labour statistics also measure the gap in the labour market at GCC bloc, prepare future projections and forecast the trends of future supply and demand in the labour market.

Official authorities and decision-makers need for accurate and reliable statistical information and data reflecting labour market changes in order to develop labour market related future policies and strategies. This requires the creation of a GCC labour market database, consistent with comparable international standards and concepts. Thus, the GCC-Stat adopted the labour statistics development project as one of its priority projects. The project seeks to provide and release harmonized labour statistics on a quarterly basis at country level and at GCC regional level, in addition to promoting the use of administrative records for statistical purposes to collect labour statistics data through coordinating with data sources and adopting the latest international concepts and classifications. 

In order to achieve these objectives, the GCC-Stat has developed a roadmap for the development of labour statistics 2015-2020, as well as an annual work plan based on the current status of labour statistics in the GCC countries, that consists of two phases:

Phase (I): To provide Harmonized Labour Statistics on an annual basis in 2017 based on the new International Labour Organization (ILO) and the latest internationally adopted classification through the implementation of the Annual Harmonized Labour Force Survey.

Phase (II): To provide Harmonized Labour Statistics on a quarterly\ an annual basis in 2018 based on the above-mentioned criteria through the implementation of the Quarterly Harmonized Labour Force Survey.


Methodology and Coverage

Harmonized labour Force Survey

The harmonized labour force survey is a household survey that uses a sample representative of the population (GCC countries) including all community members, citizens and non-citizens. A representative sample is selected to reflect private households, workers’ camps and workplaces, occupied by expatriates. The survey provides data on labour statistics on a regular annual or quarterly basis.  Statistics are provided about the position of household members in the labour market according to their social and economic characteristics. The survey also provides estimates of employment and unemployment.  These are considered as  two key measures of economic performance that can be obtained in a timely manner.

The data are mostly collected on a monthly basis during the year. The survey is harmonized in the sense that it adopts the international standards and concepts of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Thus, the survey will provide labour statistics at GCC level as a regional bloc, in addition to individual country statistics using harmonized international concepts, standards and classification.

The main objective of the survey is to collect data about the labour force and its components (employment, unemployment, potential employment and underemployment), and to obtain basic information about labour force size and characteristics. The data collected at different times help identify labour market changes, and the status of employment over time. The survey also aims to collect data about the economically active population in the region to create a database through which to measure the degree of manpower utilization in the economic production process. The collection of such data provides an opportunity to evaluate the general frame of the policies seeking to develop the standard of employment..

 - Provide detailed data on GCC labour force by social and economic characteristics.

-  Measure economic participation, employment, unemployment and economic dependency rates in the GCC countries.

-  Measure potential employment, underemployment and discouraged workers.

-  Provide detailed data on the employed and the unemployed.

-  Identify the occupational structure and the economic activity of the employed by various variables.

-  Identify the average monthly wage for the employed.

-  Identify the detailed characteristics of the unemployed, especially their majors and qualifications, as well as the job seeking methods used.


The State of Qatar currently conducts a quarterly survey, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducts a semi-annual survey, but will shift to a quarterly survey in 2016, and the Sultanate of Oman implements the survey on a quarterly basis while State of Kuwait implements it on an annual basis.

 (The paragraph above needs to be amended by BATOUL – as it is out of date.)

Concepts and classifications

Provide statistical information and data about the GCC labour market according to comparable international standards and concepts:

- The International Labour Organization (ILO) concepts and standards based on the first resolution of the Nineteenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians in 2013

- International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC Rev. 4)

- The GCC Manual for Occupational Classification and Description 2014

- International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011)


Data dissemination and availability

Most GCC countries release labour statistics on an annual basis, while some of them publish data on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. Some GCC countries have a statistical calendar that is made available to data users. Data is also available from other sources like the Ministry of labour, the labour force and civil service registers. The GCC-Stat provides all the data available on GCC labour statistics through the labour data portal on the GCC-Stat website:


Data Quality

All the GCC countries endeavor to disseminate accurate high-quality data through the adoption of data quality standards; consistency tables are applied to variables, in addition to disseminating the metadata related to methodology, data source, sampling errors, confidence interval and error margin.


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