Statisticians will use laptops in the implementation of the Labour Force Survey
The Central Statistical Bureau has been conducting a labour force survey of Latvia for already the 11th successive year striving to obtain information by interviewing households about the economic activity of the population of Latvia, that is, employment and unemployment, gender, age, education qualification of the population and the breakdown of the labour force by kind of economic activity and occupation.
Implementing an European Union financed twinning project in cooperation with Statistics Finland the interviewers for the conduct of the survey in the middle of January 2006 will start using laptops that are provided with a state-of-the-art software for computerised interviewing (BLAISE) that was created specifically for the survey questionnaire, data collection and logical control.
By means of this software it will be possible to reduce time for interviewing population and to alleviate work of the interviewers because the respondents` answers will immediately be entered into the computer and by means of the system GPRS they will be operatively directed through the Internet to the common database. This software will already at the time of the interview detect illogical or incorrect responses, allowing verifying them on the spot thus improving the quality of the data obtained. This, in turn, will provide an opportunity to start the processing of data sooner since there will be no necessity to spend time for identifying the possible mistakes.
Before the implementation of the survey the households are sent an informative letter indicating the potential date and time when the interview might take place. Upon their arrival, the interviewers will produce their identity card with a photograph.
The data obtained by means of the survey are the source of information for the government, other state institutions and researchers about the situation in the labour market. The results will be published in the data collection “Labour Force Survey: Main Indicators”, the database of the CSB home page, the Statistical Yearbook of Latvia and in the data collections devoted to Riga, the regions and the situation of children in Latvia, etc. The statistical data characterising labour force are available in the database of Eurostat, the database and yearbook of the International Labour Organisation, the database of UNESCO and in the publications prepared by other countries.
The CSP urges the households to be responsive and obliging and to co-operate with the interviewers as every response of the people is important for the acquisition of qualitative data.
According to the Law on State Statistics the protection of individual data on each person and household is guaranteed. The interviewers are forbidden to disclose any information that has come to their knowledge while fulfilling their official duties.
Prepared by the Social Statistics Department