Lebanon launches its first labour force survey to meet mounting economic and labour market challenges

Under the Patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Central Administration of Statistics launches the Labour Force and Households’ Living Conditions Survey, which will be carried out with technical support from the ILO and funding from the EU.

Press release | 31 January 2018
BEIRUT (ILO News) - Lebanon’s Central Administration of Statistics (CAS) will conduct Lebanon’s first labour force survey and its largest household living conditions survey to date, with the technical support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and funding from the European Union (EU).

The fieldwork phase of the survey was officially launched at a high-level event held under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Grand Serail in Beirut on 31 January. MP Ammar Houri represented the Prime Minister at the event.

The Labour Force and Households’ Living Conditions Survey will cover critical issues relating to increasingly challenging economic and labour market conditions in Lebanon. The influx of large numbers of displaced populations from neighbouring Syria in recent years has added to pre-existing labour market woes such as unemployment, informality, and vulnerability to workplace exploitation.

The survey will also remedy a lack of reliable and up-to-date data and analysis on the work and life conditions of Lebanon’s populations, including refugees, thus enabling policy makers to formulate targeted and effective labour policies and information systems.

“This survey is very important because it will provide a huge amount of useful data on the living conditions of families and the labour force in Lebanon,” said CAS Director-General Maral Tutelian. “The sample size is the largest in CAS’s working history, and this will allow us for the first time to provide information on multiple indicators regarding the labour force and living conditions on the district level, as well as on the seasonality of labour. These indicators are among the most important of those included in the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which Lebanon is committed to implementing,” Tutelian added.

The survey will be Lebanon’s first exercise of its kind to produce estimates at the national, governorate, and sub-national district levels, with an unprecedented sample size of 40,000 households.

“As the pioneering global home of labour statistics, the ILO has taken a lead role in designing and coordinating labour force surveys around the world,” said ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat. “We have great honour to partner with CAS and the EU and to offer our technical expertise across all stages of this ground-breaking initiative, which will enable the country’s policymakers build a future of security, safety and prosperity for all in Lebanon,” Jaradat continued.

Survey data will be collected in accordance with the latest international statistical definitions and standards and will thus carry full credibility and reliability.

"Up-to-date and quality statistics are needed in order to produce better policies, make more efficient decisions and better target support in response to the current crisis," said EU Head of Operations Rein Nieland. "With the active support of the EU, the international community and the continued commitment of the Government of Lebanon, major achievements ensuring the well-being of all people staying in Lebanon should be in reach," Nieland added.

In order to cover the variance and seasonality of the complex labour patterns and living conditions at the national and subnational levels, field work will be carried out over an entire year, and over four quarterly rounds of household visits across the country.

In the absence of a census, preliminary groundwork was required prior to launching the household data-gathering phase, consisting of updating 2,704 sampled geographical areas to represent the whole country. The quarterly data obtained from the survey in the course of 2018 will be analysed and disseminated as soon as it becomes available.

The survey will cover socio-demographic, education and employment characteristics of household residents, as well as living conditions such as health insurance, disability and housing characteristics.

A detailed work plan and further information about the survey will be made available on the CAS website.