Labour Statistics are foundation of policy-making for Decent Work

Inaugural address by Mr Satoshi Sasaki, Deputy Director, ILO South Asia and New Delhi, at Technical Consultation Periodic Labour Force Survey and 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS)

Statement | New Delhi, India | 14 November 2019

Good morning and welcome all.

The International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) is a vehicle for setting standards in labour statistics. ILO hosts the conference every five years. The participants of ICLS include experts from governments, mostly from ministries responsible for labour and national statistical offices, as well as from employer's and worker's organizations. Regional and international organizations, as well as other interest groups also attend as observers.

In the 100 years of its existence, the ICLS has adopted a number of resolutions and guidelines on labour statistics. These include work, employment, labour under-utilization, Child labour, Working time, Employment-related income, Informal sector employment, Informal employment, International Standard Classification of Occupation (ISCO), etc.

The task of standard setting begins with a review by the ILO Statistics Department of the concepts, definitions, classifications, and methods currently used by countries, to identify problems and develop approaches for solution. Many producers and users of the statistics are consulted throughout the process. Then, a meeting of experts is convened, in consultation with governments, employers' organizations, and workers' organizations. This group examines the issues and makes recommendations. Based on the recommendations, the Statistics Department of the ILO prepares proposals for the ICLS for consideration. Once guidelines have been adopted by the ICLS, they are submitted to the ILO Governing Body for approval. Once GB approves, they become part of a whole body of international standards on labour statistics.

The ILO aims at providing guidance on all topics of labour statistics so that new standards are developed to cope with emerging needs. It is also necessary sometimes to review and update existing standards in the light of changes in the world of work, or technical advances concerning statistical tools. As a result, certain topics have returned to the agenda of the ICLS several times.

The two recent conferences, that are the 19th conference in 2013 and the 20th conference in 2018, adopted new resolutions, which replaced the previous resolutions adopted in 1983 and 1993, respectively. Today our primary focus is on the 19th ICLS resolution. This resolution saw a change in the definition of employment.

I thank MoSPI for the opportunity today to start joint consultations on the new standards for possible integration in Periodic Labour Force Survey in India. I hope the result of this consultation will lead up to more accuracy of labour statistics, capturing the essential information that will contribute to the policy-making for promoting Decent Work in India.

Thank you.