Data protection description 7 August 2023: Labour Force Survey

This data protection description contains information about the processing of your personal data and your rights when taking part in the collection of data for the Labour Force Survey.

Data on participation in work, employment, unemployment and working hours among the population aged between 15 and 89 are collected continuously with the survey.

The Labour Force Survey produces internationally comparable data on participation in the labour market, employment, unemployment, duration of unemployment, working hours, methods of job seeking and participation in education and training among the population aged between 15 and 89 in Finland.


1. Controller and contact persons

Statistics Finland

Postal address: FI-00022 STATISTICS FINLAND

Street address: Työpajankatu 13, Helsinki

Telephone: +358 29 551 1000 (switchboard)

Contact person: Pertti Taskinen, tel. +358 29 551 2690

2. Person responsible for data protection

Person responsible for data protection: Elina Tavast

Telephone: +358 29 551 1000 (switchboard)


3. Purpose and legal basis for the processing of personal data

According to Section 2 of the Statistics Finland Act (48/1992), Statistics Finland's task is to compile statistics describing conditions in society.

Primary purpose: Compile employment statistics for national use and, adapted in accordance with the requirements of the Regulations of the European Council and Parliament as well as of the Commission, as material for the Labour Force Survey of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the EU. The Labour Force Survey is carried out based on the Framework Regulation on social statistics IESS (EU) 2019/1700 and the Delegated Regulation supplementing it by establishing a multiannual rolling planning (EU) 2020/256, as well as on Implementing Regulations (EU) 2019/2180 and (EU) 2019/2181, and on Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/257 and Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2240 specifically concerning the Labour Force Survey.


In addition, the data of the register can be used to compile other statistics within Statistics Finland's field of operation and for this purpose be combined with data from other registers. Furthermore, data may be processed and combined with other data in scientific research or statistical surveys on social conditions. Statistics Finland also uses the data to develop statistics production and may publish data based on the Labour Force Survey in experimental statistics, too.

An accompanying letter containing information about the survey is sent to all target persons in advance. Text messages and email are also sent. Those not having answered with the web form are interviewed by telephone or face-to-face by Statistics Finland's statistical interviewer. Participation in the survey is voluntary.

Personal data are processed based on Article 6, Paragraph 1, point e of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to perform a task in public interest.

Data belonging to special personal data groups (e.g. health data) are processed based on Section 6, Paragraph 7 of the Data Protection Act.

4. Storage period of personal data

The completed statistical data are stored permanently in electronic format in accordance with the decision of the National Archives of Finland. 

The data stored do not include the information enabling direct identification of respondents needed in the implementation stage of the data collection (name, address and other contact information). They are destroyed within three years from the end of the data collection. 

5. Personal data to be processed

The Labour Force Survey is a sample-based interview and online survey, which collects data on the participation in work, employment, unemployment and working hours among the population aged between 15 and 89. Regarding unemployment, such as duration of unemployment, methods of job seeking and data on the previous job of non-employed are examined. The reasons related to immigration and the perceived state of health are examined separately. In addition, data are asked about participation in education.

Sample statistics, number: Sample size around 12,500 persons per month

The Labour Force Survey is a panel survey, in which the same sample person participates in the survey five times over 1.5 years. In one year, around 66,000 different persons are included in the sample. Three-fifths of the sample change annually. In the fifth survey round, data on household structure are added and persons aged 15 to 89 living in the same household as the target person are interviewed. Furthermore, in the fifth survey round a separate sample of households consisting only of persons aged over 89 is combined with the material for the needs of Eurostat. These households are not interviewed.

Selection principles: The Labour Force Survey data collection is based on a random sample drawn from Statistics Finland’s population database. The population comprises people aged 15 to 89 permanently resident in Finland.

Identification data: Personal identity code and target number (i.e. a unique consecutive number): Statistics Finland uses the target number as identification data and, if necessary, also the personal identity code. In the file sent to Eurostat only an identifying order number is used as identification data. Name, telephone and address data as well as email address are used only in the data collection stage.

Sensitive data: Membership in a trade union, data on registered partnership (register data) are processed into more general data describing marital status.

Personal data used for collection of data

Name and contact information (address, telephone number, email address)

Personal data used in forming and supplementing statistical data

Other data or data group: gender, date of birth, marital status, country of birth, age, municipality of residence, native language, nationality, data on education, completed qualification, data describing employment, unemployment and other activity as well as data describing working hours and work arrangements.

Following personal data can also be linked to statistical data for research purposes

In future, income, pension and benefit data, as well as health and cause of death data can also be linked to the data for research purposes.

6. Regular data sources

Register controller and register

Statistics Finland: Statistics Finland's population database, Register of Completed Education and Degrees and employment statistics.

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: Job-seeker register.

Tax Administration: The Incomes Register and membership in a trade union.

Direct data collections

Direct data collection: Labour Force Survey.

Own notification of the data subject: The data have been collected directly from the data subject.

Acquisition of data: Telephone interview, web form or face-to-face interview.

Source for contact information

The contact details of individual respondents are the address, email and telephone number as well as corresponding information in the names of members of the same household. The data derive from the Population Information System and from those authorities from which data are obtained based on the Statistics Act. In addition, contact information is obtained from public sources, such as telephone operators and the respondents themselves or otherwise in connection with the data collection.

7. Disclosure of data

As a rule, personal data are not released in identifiable form to outsiders. A user licence can be granted in individual cases for scientific research or statistical surveys so that data enabling direct identification have been removed.

8. Data transfer outside the EU or EEA countries

As a rule, Statistics Finland does not transfer personal data outside the EU or the EEA area. Personal data may be transferred to such third countries in which the protection of personal data is adequate in accordance with the European Commission’s decision.

With a user licence, data can be processed via the remote access system also in those countries outside the EU, whose level of data protection has been determined to be adequate by the European Commission’s decision. A list of these countries is published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the website of the European Commission.

9. Automatic decision-making

Personal data are not used for automatic decision-making.

10. Rights of data subjects

Information about the rights of data subjects can be found on Statistics Finland's website

11. Right to submit a complaint with the supervisory authority

If you think your personal data are processed unlawfully, you can submit a complaint to the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman.

Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman
Street address Lintulahdenkuja 4, 00530 Helsinki
Postal address P.O.Box 800, 00531 Helsinki
Email tietosuoja(at)
Switchboard +358 29 566 6700
Registrar's Office +358 29 566 6768

Further information about submitting a complaint is available on the website of the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman at

12. Other information