(only for those who have received a user-ID and a password)
Direct participation by telephone
0800 511 411 (free hotline)
Appointment for an interview
Frequently Asked Questions about the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS)
The Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS) is a cornerstone of the Swiss statistical system. It provides indispensable indicators 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. From the 2nd interview onwards, if a person has given their email address, they will also be contacted by email from the following address: SLFS <email@example.com> for the follow-up to their participation.
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 and guarantees the rotation of persons selected for 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, the 2nd and 4th interviews last approximately 10 minutes and the 3rd 15 minutes.
In total, approximately 120,000 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 and the general state of health. 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).
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.
This information is in the letter we sent you asking you to take part in the survey.
On the SLFS