Basic data from Labour Force Survey (LFS) seasonally adjusted in years 2010-2022

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Frequency of data release: quarterly

Type of observation period: quarterly data

Available time series: 1.Quarter 2010 - 4. Quarter 2022

Disaggregation: Poland

Statistical concepts and definitions (obligatory in 2021): 

Employed persons are all persons aged 15-89 years who during the reference week:

  • performed for at least one hour any work generating pay or income, i.e. were employed in  a public company/institution or by a private employer, worked on their own (or leased) agricultural farm, or conducted their own economic activity outside agriculture, assisted (without pay) in work on family agricultural farm or in conducting family economic activity outside agriculture,
  • had work but did not perform it:
    • due to sickness, vacation, parenthood related leave (maternity leave, childcare leave, paternity leave or parental leave), working time arrangement (work system or compensation for overtime hours), training related to the performed work;
    • due to a seasonal nature of work if they continue to regularly perform tasks and duties for the job or business off-season (excluding fulfilment of legal or administrative obligations);for other reasons if the expected period of absence from work does not exceed 3 months.
    • for other reasons if the break in employment does not exceed 3 months.

In accordance with the international standards - also include apprentices who entered into occupational training or occupational preparation contract with a  private or public employer, if they received remuneration.

The following persons are not included among the employed: voluntary workers or trainees not receiving any pay, persons employed in private agriculture (on farms owned by natural persons) who produce agricultural products exclusively or mainly for their own use.

Employed persons by the category of status in employment (in accordance with the International Classification of Status in Employment ICSE-93):

  • a self-employed person - a person who conducts his/her own economic activity

      of which

  • employer - a person who conducts his/her own economic activity and employs at least one employee,
  • self-employed person without employees – a person who conducts his/her own economic activity and does not employ any employees,


  • an employee - a person employed in a public entity or by a private employer (on the base of employment contract or civil law contract); among this category there are also included persons performing outwork or apprentices with whom employers or natural persons signed a contract for occupational training or training for a particular job if they receive any pay,
  • a contributing family member - a person who contribute to the conduction of family business  without any contractual pay.

Among self-employed persons are also included agents in all agency systems.

Unemployed persons - persons aged 15-74 years who simultaneously meet the three conditions:

  • in the reference week were not employed (according to the above definition of this population),
  • were actively looking for work, i.e. had carried out activities in the four week period ending with the reference week to seek paid employment,
  • were available to take up work within two weeks from the end of the reference week.

Among unemployed persons were also include persons who did not seek work because they had already found a job and were waiting to start work during the period no longer than 3 months and they were available to take up this work.


Unemployed persons may be classified into one of the four categories:

  • unemployed persons who lost a job, i.e. persons who left their last job not on their own initiative and immediately (i.e. within three months) started seeking a job,
  • unemployed persons who resigned from work, i.e. persons who left work on their own initiative and immediately started seeking a job,
  • unemployed persons who return to work after a break during which they were not seeking a job for at least 3 months,
  • unemployed persons who have never worked and are seeking their first job.


Economically inactive population i.e. the population staying outside the labour force, are all persons aged 15-89 years who were not classified as employed or unemployed persons, i.e. persons who in the reference week:

  • did not work, neither had a job nor were seeking work,
  • did not work, were seeking a job, albeit not in an active way or were actively seeking work but were not ready (available) to start work within the two weeks following the reference week,
  • neither worked nor were seeking work, as they had already found a job and were waiting to  start work during the period:
    • longer than 3 months,
    • up to 3 months, albeit they were not available for this work.

Activity rate total was calculated as the ratio of the economically active to the total number of the population aged 15-89 years.

Employment rate total was calculated as the ratio of the employed to the total number of the population aged 15-89 years.

Unemployment rate (by LFS) total was calculated as the ratio of the unemployed to the economically active population (aged 15-89 years).

Additional methodological notes

Seasonal adjustments consists in  elimination of seasonal effects (repeated and regular deviations from trend observed in the annual cycle) and it is performed through the TRAMO/SEATS procedure with the use of the JDEMETRA+ software.

The data concerning the number of: paid workers (employees), self-employed persons including contributing family members,  contributing family members and the unemployed are  adjusted directly. Other adjusted data result from indirect adjustment, i.e. they were calculated on the basis of the directly adjusted data taking into account arithmetic dependencies between particular  categories and definitions of indicators.

Data for the years 2010-2020 have been recalculated taking into account the definitions in force since 2021.

The introduced changes concern mainly:

  • definition of employed persons (which in consequence has also an impact on the population of non-working persons, i.e. the unemployed and economically inactive persons  and also affects their interrelations described by indicators),
  • methodology of defining particular labour market populations of – the employed, unemployed and economically inactive (mainly adjustment of the contents and order of questions to the requirements of new legal acts and placing them in a questionnaire),
  • subjective range  of the survey – the core part of the survey covers persons aged 15-89 years (until the fourth quarter of 2020 they were persons aged 15 years and more), for other household members, i.e. persons aged below 15 years and over 89 years, there is only collected information concerning the general characteristic of a  household, hence the analysis on the labour market situation was limited to  persons aged 15-89 years,
  • objective range of the survey (partial exchange of variables targeted at better adjustment of obtained information to current needs of the data users).

Definition of employed population was changed, i.a. through:

  • introduction of the upper age threshold for an employed person (15-89 years),
  • taking into account (including into the employed population):
    • unpaid family workers  performing work for family members not belonging to their own households (conducting economic activity outside agriculture or private agricultural farm),
    • persons performing some of their work off-season,
    • simplification of the hitherto criteria of  classification of persons staying on parental leave among the employed (currently all persons on parental leave are included among the employed),
  • excluding from the population of the employed:
    • self-employed persons employed in private agriculture (on farms owned by natural persons) who allocate the effects of their work exclusively or mainly for own consumption and simultaneously do not have any other job.

Data source, datadisposer:  Labour Force Survey, Statistics Poland, Labour Market Department in cooperation with Statistical Office in Łódź

Available data formats: xlsx, csv