The source for the regional labour market information down to NUTS level 2 is the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS). This is a quarterly household sample survey conducted in all Member States of the EU and in EFTA and Candidate countries.
The EU-LFS survey follows the definitions and recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). To achieve further harmonisation, the Member States also adhere to common principles when formulating questionnaires. The LFS' target population is made up of all persons in private households aged 15 and over. For more information see the EU Labour Force Survey (lfsi_esms, see paragraph 21.1.).
The EU-LFS is designed to give accurate quarterly information at national level as well as annual information at NUTS 2 regional level and the compilation of these figures is well specified in the regulation. Microdata including the NUTS 2 level codes are provided by all the participating countries with a good degree of geographical comparability, which allows the production and dissemination of a complete set of comparable indicators for this territorial level.
At present the transmission of the regional labour market data at NUTS 3 level has no legal basis. However many countries transmit NUTS 3 figures to Eurostat on a voluntary basis, under the understanding that they are not for publication with such detail, but for aggregation in few categories per country, i.e., metropolitan regions and urban-rural typology. Most of the NUTS 3 data are based on the LFS while some countries transmit data based on registers, administrative data, small area estimation and other reliable sources.