Message or appointment
You have the possibility of sending us your phone number or making an appointment to participate in the of the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS):
Frequently Asked Questions about the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS)
The Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS) is a cornerstone of the Swiss statistical system. Is provides indispensable indicators (which will be published on a quarterly basis) on the evolution of employment and unemployment. The SLFS makes it possible to collect data on working conditions (working times, night work, on-call work), the consequences of the free movement of persons (cf. report of the Observatory on the Free Movement of Persons). A large proportion of these indicators is internationally comparable and therefore enables Switzerland to position itself in the European context.
The protection of data is guaranteed. Once the survey is concluded, the survey institute supplies the data to the FSO and is then contractually required to destroy them. The data are published by the FSO after having been anonymised (the identifiers do not contain any data).
Data protection is guaranteed by the Federal Statistics Act (RS 431.01), the Ordinance on the Conduct of -Statistical Surveys (RS 431.012.1) and the Data Protection Act (RS 235.1).
Prior to being interviewed, each household selected to participate in the SLFS receives a letter from the FSO. This letter explains the contents of the survey and how it will be conducted. At the beginning of the interview, the LINK institute introduces itself and provides information about the survey which matches what was explained in the letter. Persons who doubt that they are actually part of the sample can phone the SLFS hotline (the number is included in the letter). The FSO includes a code for each household in the letter; if respondents have doubts about the identity of the person calling them (is it really a LINK employee working for the SLFS?), they can verify the identity by asking the interviewer to say the code.
The volume of the information collected varies greatly from year to year and month to month. Private survey institutes are in a better position to distribute the workload because they also conduct numerous other surveys.
The selection of a survey institute is done by means of a public tendering procedure, and the institutes are evaluated according to very strict criteria. Every aspect of the collaboration between the institute and the FSO is defined in a detailed contract. The institute must meet high professional, economic and technical requirements. Considerable emphasis is placed on training the institute's staff and monitoring their work on a continuous basis. In addition, the FSO provides intensive assistance for and monitoring of the execution of the survey contract.
The FSO is well aware of the burden borne by the persons selected to take part in the survey. We make every effort to reduce the burden to the minimum without compromising our information mandate. Whenever possible, the FSO relies on data contained in administrative registers (e.g. the new register-based federal population census) and guarantees the rotation of persons selected for telephone surveys. But certain essential information that is not contained in the registers has to be collected by means of specific surveys.
From now on, a person selected for the SLFS will participate 4 times over a period of 15 months. The first interview takes approximately 20 minutes and the 3 subsequent interviews approximately 10 minutes.
In total, approximately 125,000 interviews will be conducted every year.
The questions mainly concern the labour market situation (employment, unemployment, retirement, working conditions, occupation, salary), education and training (including continuous education), household composition and demographic characteristics (nationality, marital status, etc.). There are also questions about household work, the general state of health and the household income. In addition to the basic questionnaire, the SLFS is complemented every year by a different thematic module (topics covered so far: social security, migration, unpaid work, continuous education and training).
As of October 2009, a free hotline (0800 00 25 26) providing information about the survey will be made available by the FSO. It is currently not possible to call LINK directly. But it is possible to set a subsequent date for the interview during the first telephone contact with LINK or via the FSO hotline.
Since 1 November 2010, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has a new sampling frame from which samples are drawn for surveys. This frame is based on data from the official registers of persons – particularly the communal and cantonal registers of persons. The data are updated quarterly and include the basic data of all persons residing in Switzerland. The FSO has your address owing to these data.
According to article 10, para. 3quater of the Federal Statistics Act (RS 431.01), all public telephone service providers active in the Swiss market are obliged to furnish to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) data about their customers which are required to conduct sample surveys. Consequently, the scope of the sample currently used by the FSO comprises all fixed-line telephone numbers in Switzerland, regardless of whether they are listed in a telephone directory. Furthermore, in a directory listed mobile numbers are used. The Act stipulates that these may only be used for federal statistical surveys. Private individuals may not use this register, unless they are officially mandated to carry out a statistical survey by the Confederation. In this case, these private companies only receive the telephone numbers required to carry out the survey.
The Federal Statistical Office is aware that the growing number of opinion polls, telemarketing campaigns and other commercial telephone surveys cause annoyance and mistrust in the population. That is why the FSO sends each household it selects to participate in the SLFS an official letter explaining that it is a survey conducted by the Confederation.
If you still have questions about the survey, we will be glad to answer them. Please phone 0800 00 25 26 from 10-11.30 a.m. and from 2-4 p.m.
On the SLFS