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TimorLeste Labour Force Survey 2010

Labour Force Survey (LFS) to be conducted in Timor‐Leste since the country gained its full independence in 2002. Up to 2009‐2010, when the LFS was carried out, Timor‐Leste has had only limited labour statistics available. These came mainly from data about the seekers for jobs and training who were registered at the District Employment Centres. Other sources of information were the programmes implemented and services provided by the Secretariat of State for Vocational Training and Employment (SEFOPE). This meant that most of the economically active population, including job seekers who do not register at Employment Centres, were not covered by any statistics.

It was for this reason that the Government of Timor‐Leste initiated this first LFS, which was carried

out by the National Statistics Directorate (DNE) under the Ministry of Finance. The survey was expected to provide much‐needed data on a variety of key employment issues:

  1. the labour force, in terms of age, sex, and education;
  2. the employed population, in terms of occupation, economic sector and multiple job‐holding;
  3. employment conditions, in terms of job permanency, public/private sector, hours worked,
  4. underemployment, and net monthly earnings;
  5. informal sector and informal employment, in terms of contractual conditions, size of
  6. establishment, benefits of employment, etc.;
  7. the unemployed, including duration of unemployment, and methods of seeking work; and
  8. persons not in the labour force, their reasons for not being available to work, and their
  9. previous work experience.

One key aim of the LFS was to ensure that it made full use of international standards, so that this survey would mark the beginning of a new period characterised by the availability of reliable and internationally comparable data on employment and unemployment, which would create improved

conditions for the design of well‐grounded sector policies. Conducting this survey was planned as a

joint undertaking by DNE and the Labour Market Information Department of SEFOPE, which has helped to strengthen the links between the two institutions.

The availability of this data from the LFS will provide an input in the formulation and evaluation of economic and social policies, particularly in the areas of employment generation and poverty reduction policies and strategies. The wide range of employment data collected in the survey is intended to be of assistance to the Government as it attempts to monitor both the implementation

of various national plans and Timor‐Leste’s progress towards the attainment of those Millennium Development Goals and other national goals that are labour‐related.

The survey was carried out with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO’s

activities in Timor‐Leste take place within the framework of its Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) 2008‐2013, which defines the joint five‐year programme priorities of the Government of Timor‐Leste, the employers’ organization, and workers’ organizations, as well of the ILO itself and its

development partners. The ILO’s work programme in Timor‐Leste is focused on the three priorities

identified in the DWCP: youth employment, rural economic development, and labour market governance.

The DWCP identifies labour market information‐based policy and programmes’ as being one of the

areas of work contributing to the achievement of the first priority (youth employment). Within that

area of work there are two elements: the development of a computerized labour market information database (SIMU); and conducting the LFS. Both of these activities involve the LMI Department of SEFOPE, which is supported with technical assistance from ILO and financial support

from Irish Aid. The LMI Department aims to enhance the capacity of the Government’s labour administration to contribute to sustained labour market development, by creating an enabling environment for the design, monitoring and implementation of employment promotion interventions.

In advance of the survey, two statistical experts from ILO headquarters visited Dili in March 2009 to

make initial preparations for the survey. The purpose of their visit was to help with sampling and questionnaire design, and to make proposals for the organization of field arrangements for the survey and the processing and tabulation of the resulting data. Later on, another expert from ILO visited Dili to provide advice on classification systems in respect of occupation and economic activity.

An ILO consultant also assisted with the data analysis and the preparation of this report.

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