Dataset: Labour Force Survey 2015, 4th quarter


Labour Force Survey 2015, 4th quarter.

As of the 1st quarter of 1972, SSB has conducted official quarterly labour force surveys (AKU). These surveys aim to give the labour force authorities (and other people interested) knowledge of the occupational structure of the population and how it develops over time. The surveys are meant to give a foundation and statistical material for occupational prognoses and labour research. The samples in AKU are from 1992 representative at county level. In the period 1972-1991 they were representative on county pair level.  

As from January 2006 some major changes were introduced to AKU  in order to enhance its comparability to similar surveys in other countries. The changes consist of minor definitional adjustments of unemployment, some adjustments and enlargement of the questionnaire and a change in age definition (age at reference point instead of at the end of the year). Simultaneously the lower age limit to be included in AKU was lowered from 16 to 15 years. This led to some breaks in the time series in the aforementioned areas.

As of the 1st quarter of 2009 the new classification of  economic activities: SN2007/ISIC rev 5 replaces SN2002/ISIC Rev 4.

As of the 1st quarter of 2011 the new classification of occupants STYRK-08/ISCO-08 replaces STYRK/ISCO-88.

From 2011 the new standard classification of occupations STYRK-08 replaces the previously used STYRK. From 1st quarter of 2011 professions are coded for both old and new occupational standards. On the basis of this double coding transition keys between old and new standards is calculated. The occupational figures for 2011, will because of this, not be comparable with previous years.

Originally, AKU respondents were interviewed in two consecutive quarters of a year, followed by a pause of two quarters, and then another two quarters of interviews. The sample was approximately 10-11.000 respondents in each quarter up until 1988. Originally, AKU was intended to be an analytical supplement to the monthly occupational statistics that was based on the social security membership index file. However, the social security-based statistics disappeared when the sickness benefit was included in the National Insurance as of 1st of January 1971, and AKU has after gradually developed into the most significant source of knowledge of the state of the labour market and its development.  

In 1975, Statistics Norway changed the sampling frame of survey research, see article 37: "Om bruk av stikkprøver ved kontoret for intervjuundersøkelser", SSB (About the Use of Random Samples at the Office for Survey Research, Statistics Norway) by Steinar Tamsfoss, and SØS 33: "Prinsipper og metoder for Statistisk sentralbyrås utvalgsundersøkelse (Principles and Methods for Statistics Norway's sample research) by Ib Thomsen. Simultaneously, the method for estimation of inflation to national numbers was changed, so that reasonable numbers for regions do exist from 1975 and onwards. The change in 1975 led to a different way of interviewing in groups. This caused amongst other things a break with the AKU panel systematics.  

In the AKU survey of 1976, a slightly changed questionnaire was introduced. Also, there was a return to the original 6-quarter rotation scheme. The new questionnaire implied a better identification of family workers and persons that are temporarily without paid work. Thus, 30-35 000 more people were defined as employed. The group of "job-seekers  without income" were also extended to include persons that were on an involuntary leave of absence. The questions concerning underemployment and "over employment" in the original questionnaire were abandoned.  

From the 1st quarter of 1987, the estimation method (inflation to national numbers) was slightly changed. There was also a minor adjustment in the definition of employment. In order to ensure that the numbers were to be comparable to earlier surveys, new versions of the 1980-1986 AKU-files were drawn up. Consequently two versions of the 1980-1987 files - respectively with the old and new methods of estimation - exist. The "old" means that the data are comparable to the original numbers published in the period of 1972 - 1987, whilst the "new" implies that the data are comparable to numbers published after 1987.  
Between the 1st and 2nd quarter of 1988, the AKU file description was changed. The variable "Labour-market status" was given a different coding. In addition, adjustments in the data collections were made - from interviewing a specific week every quarter to carry out continuous weekly interviews. In addition, an escalation scheme to increase the sample size was started. This affected the weights, and from the 2nd quarter of 1988, these were recalculated monthly. To balance out the quarterly or yearly files to total national numbers, the monthly weights therefore had to be divided in three or twelve to give the correct total number.  

In 1996, AKU was significantly revised: The questionnaire, the file description and the standard for coding of industry and occupation. The data collection also changed to CATI - Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing. A new classification of industry was put into use (NOS C 182, based on the EU standard NACE, Rev.1). This standard was updated in 2002 and 2007. Also, the new Norwegian standard classification of occupations (STYRK) based on ISCO 88 was used from 1996 and onwards. The variable indicating socio-economic status was omitted, as a similar variable was not developed in the new occupational classification.  

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Variable Groups

Full Title

Labour Force Survey 2015, 4th quarter

Identification Number


Authoring Entity

Name Affiliation
Statistics Norway SSB


Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
Statistics Norway SSB


Copyright (C) 2015 Statistics Norway

Funding Agency/Sponsor

Name Abbreviation Role Grant
Statistics Norway SSB

Data Distributor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation
NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data NSD

Series Name

Labour Force Surveys

Series Information

As of the 1st quarter of 1972, Statistics Norway (SSB) has conducted official quarterly labour force surveys (AKU). These surveys aim to give the labour force authorities (and other people interested) knowledge of the occupational structure of the population and how it develops over time. AKU significantly changed in 1996. As from 2006 some new changes were also introduced, mainly in order to make AKU more comparable to similar surveys in other countries.


Date: 2016-03-16


Original data from Statistics Norway are documented and prepared, first NSD-version.

Bibliographic Citation

"Labour Force Survey 2015, 4th quarter". Data collected by Statistics Norway. First NSD edition, Bergen 2016.

List of Keywords

Topic Classification

Labour and employment

Time Period Covered

Start End Cycle
2015 2015

Date of Collection

Start End Cycle
2015-10 2015-12


Norway  (NO)

Geographic Coverage


Geographic Unit


Unit of Analysis



Persons from 15 to 74 years of age.

Kind of Data

Survey data

Time Method

Cross-sectional survey

Data Collector

Statistics Norway  (SSB)

Sampling Procedure

From the 1st quarter 1975: Two-step stratified sample. The households are drawn from pools of 1500 (this equals approximately 25% of the sample). A drawn household are also interviewed the next quarter, and then the same to quarters the following year. A household participates thus 4 quarters out of six quarters. The houshold is the sampling unit, in the period 1975-2005 all persons in the age of 16- 74 are interviewed. From the 2nd quarter of 1988 and up to the 2n quarter of 1990, the AKU sample was enlarged: It went from 12 000 to 24 000 interviewees per quarter.As of 1996, the rotational sheme was changed: From now on, every household participates in 8 consecutive quarters. Also, the sample frame was altered, the stratification is now at the level of counties. As of the first quarter of 2006, the population is persons in the ages of 15-74 years.
Net sample: 19.303 respondents

Mode of Data Collection

Telephone interview


The Labour Force Surveys (AKU) are designed to obtain national overviews. The weighting variable is used to inflate the sample to national numbers that are representative on (as of 1996) the level of county. Pay attention: In earlier surveys, the weights have been constructed on a quarterly basis. As of 1988, the interviews are conducted every week and the weights are constructed monthly. The quarterly weights are therefore constructed by taking the monthly weight and divide it by three. Normally, an AKU sample is self-weighting in terms of representativity. When a given year's four AKU samples are merged into a "year sample", the quarter weight has to be divided by 4 to obtain a yearly weight.


Availability Status

Data from "Labour Force Survey 2015, 4th quarter" are made available in Norway for research, teaching and students when ordered.

Extent of Collection

1 data file(s); different formats can be made.


Data from ”Labour Force Survey 2015, 4th quarter” are made available in Norway for research, teaching and students when ordered.

Citation Requirement

Users are obliged to refer to producer and distributor of the data by writing the following in forewords or footnotes in eventual publications:
"(Some of) the data applied in the analysis in this publication are based on "Labour Force Survey 2015, 4th quarter". The data are provided by Statistics Norway, and prepared and made available by NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data. Neither Statistics Norway, nor NSD are responsible for the analysis/interpretation of the data presented here."

Deposit Requirement

Access to data is given on the condition that NSD gets a PDF-file of eventual reports that are written on the basis of the data. This to ensure best possible information of the use of data we distribute.


The order form has to include name, institutional affiliation, project title, information about sources of financing and postal address. A declaration of secrecy has to be signed before delivery of data.


Neither Statistics Norway nor NSD are responsible for the analysis/interpretation of the data presented here.

Related Studies

Labour Force Survey 2015, 3rd quarter

Labour Force Survey 2015, 2nd quarter

Labour Force Survey 2015, 1st quarter

Related Publications

Dokumentasjon av arbeidskraftundersøkelsen (AKU) etter omleggingen i 2006

Bø, Tor Petter and Inger Håland (2015) Dokumentasjon av Arbeidskraftundersøkelsen (AKU) etter omleggingen i 2006 (AKU). NOT 2015/15 Statistics Norway.

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