The European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) is the largest European household sample survey. Its main statistical objective is to classify the population of working age (15 years and over) into three mutually exclusive and exhaustive groups: employed persons, unemployed persons (both together make up the so-called ‘labor force’) and economically inactive persons (the population 'outside the labor force') -- for example, students, pensioners, and housewives or men.
Eurostat currently publishes EU-LFS results for 34 participating countries. These countries are the 28 Member States of the European Union, three European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland), and three EU candidate countries (Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey).
The EU-LFS provides quarterly and annual data; depending on the labor status of the people (employed, unemployed, economically inactive) different variables are collected. Eurostat provides data in a variety of forms, including freely available public microdata (or public use files, PUFs); full microdata sets available by request; a database of EU-LFS variables; by select tables; and statistical publications.