Data protection description 13 June 2019: Labour Force Survey

1. Controller of the register

Statistics Finland
Postal address: FI-00022 STATISTICS FINLAND
Visiting address: Työpajankatu 13, Helsinki, Finland
Telephone: +358 29 551 1000 (switchboard)

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

Person responsible for data protection: Johanna Rantanen,

2. Name of the register

Labour Force Survey

3. Purpose for the processing of personal data

Compile statistics describing social conditions according to Section 2 of the Statistics Finland Act.

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.

4. Data subjects and data concerning them (group/groups of data subjects and data or data groups relating to them)

The Labour Force Survey is a sample-based interview survey, which collects data on the participation in work, employment, unemployment and working hours among the population aged between 15 and 74. Regarding unemployment, the background and duration of unemployment and methods of job seeking are examined. In addition, data are asked on participation in training.

Sample statistics, number: Sample size around 12,000 persons/month

The Labour Force Survey is a panel survey, in which the same sample person participates in the survey five times in the course of 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 74 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 75 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 74 resident in Finland.

Identification data: Personal identity number 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 number. In the file sent to Eurostat only the target number is used as identification data.

Sensitive data: Membership in an occupational organisation, registered partnership (register data) before the data are edited into more general data describing marital status, of income data social assistance (register data). There are no sensitive data in the material sent to Eurostat.

Other data or data group: Gender, date of birth, marital status, nationality, country of birth, NUTS2 region in which the person lives, age, municipality of residence, native language, citizenship, data on education, completed education, employment, unemployment and other data describing activity and data on working hours.

More information on the Labour Force Survey can be found on Statistics Finland’s web pages at

5. Regular release and transfer of personal data outside the European Union or the European Economic Area

As a rule, personal data are not released in identifiable form to third parties. A licence to use the data can in individual cases be granted for scientific research and statistical surveys so that data enabling direct identification have been removed. However, data on age, gender, occupation, socio-economic group and education may be released for the above-mentioned purposes also with identification data.

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 EU’s official newspaper and on the European Commission’s website.

6. Regular sources of data for the register

Register controller and register:

Statistics Finland: Statistics Finland’s population database
Statistics Finland: Register of Completed Education and Degrees
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: Job-seeker register
Tax Administration, Social Insurance Institution, National Institute for Health and Welfare: Income data are combined with sub-data

Tax Administration: Membership in an occupational organisation

Own notification of the data subject: The majority of data are obtained through interviews with target persons.

Acquisition of data: Telephone interview (98%) or face-to-face interview

7. Principles applied in the protection of the data in the register

Data collected for statistical purposes must be kept confidential by virtue of Section 24, Paragraph 1, Sub-paragraph 16 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities.

All Statistics Finland's employees sign a pledge of secrecy in which the employees pledge not to disclose the confidential data they receive in their work. Data may be handled at Statistics Finland only by persons who need them for their tasks.

The protection of register data is based on passage control, personal user IDs and restricted access rights. The protection against data destruction is based on the use of backup copies.

8. Storage period of personal data

Statistical data are retained in electronic format permanently.