Hong Kong, China Identification Title of the survey: General Household Survey (May 2011) Organisation responsible



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Hong Kong, China

Identification

Title of the survey: General Household Survey (May 2011)

Organisation responsible: Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong Government

Objectives of the survey: To collect information on the labour force, employment, unemployment and underemployment. In addition, information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population is also collected.

Date: 31/05/2011

Periodicity and coverage

Periodicity of data collection: Continuously (every week)

Geographical coverage: Whole country excluding the following areas: Marine

Population coverage: Whole population excluding the following groups: Persons living in institutions and persons living on board vessels

The survey covers: The usual residents present and the usual residents temporarily absent

Definition of usual resident: Hong Kong Resident Population includes both Usual Residents and Mobile Residents. ‘Usual Residents’ include two categories of people: (1) Hong Kong Permanent Residents who have stayed in Hong Kong for at least three months during the six months before or for at least three months during the six months after the reference time-point, regardless of whether they are in Hong Kong or not at the reference time-point; and (2) Hong Kong Non-permanent Residents who are in Hong Kong at the reference time-point. As for ‘Mobile Residents’, they are Hong Kong Permanent Residents who have stayed in Hong Kong for at least one month but less than three months during the six months before or for at least one month but less than three months during the six months after the reference time-point, regardless of whether they are in Hong Kong or not at the reference time-point.

Definition of household and household members: A domestic household consists of a group of persons who live together and make common provision for essentials for living. These persons need not be related. If a person makes provision for essentials for living without sharing with other persons, he/she is also regarded as a household. In this case, the household is a one-person household.

Usual household members who are temporarily absent are enumerated in the survey: Yes, including labour related questions

Age coverage: The labour related questions of the survey relate to the population of 15 years old and over

Topics covered:

Demographic characteristics: age, sex, marital status, educational attainment, relationship to household head

Main labour related characteristics: employment, unemployment, underemployment, hours of work, wages, employment related benefits

Other labour related characteristics: industry, occupation, status in employment, duration of employment, existence of more than one job, characteristics of the second job(s), duration of unemployment, previous working experience, characteristics of the last job, methods of looking for work, reasons for not being in the labour force

Other characteristics: other sources of income (e.g. income from property)

Concepts and definitions

Current employment

Definition of employment: The employed population comprises all those persons aged 15 and over who have been at work (for at least one hour) for pay/profit or have had formal job attachment (i.e. that the person has continued receipt of wage or salary; or has an assurance or an agreed date of return to job or business; or is in receipt of compensation without obligation to accept another job) during the seven days before enumeration. Unpaid family workers are also included.

Employment refers to people who during the reference period:

- worked for one hour or more for wage or salary, in cash or in kind

- worked for one hour or more for profit or family gain, in cash or in kind

- were temporarily not at work and had a formal attachment to a wage employment job

- were temporarily not at work and had an enterprise

- worked for at least one hour without pay on a family business or farm



Reference period for employment: The seven days preceding the interview date (moving)

Current unemployment

Definition of unemployment: Unemployment refers to persons aged 15 and over who: (a) did not have had a job and did not have performed any work for pay or profit during the seven days before enumeration; (b) have been available for work during the seven days before enumeration; and (c) have sought work during the thirty days before enumeration. However, if a person aged 15 or over fulfils the conditions (a) and (b) above but has not sought work during the thirty days before enumeration because he/she believes that work is not available, he/she is still classified as unemployed, being regarded as a so-called "discouraged worker". Notwithstanding the above, the following types of persons are also classified as unemployed: (a) persons without a job that have sought work but have not been available for work because of temporary sickness; and (b) persons without a job that have been available for work but have not sought work because they: (i) have made arrangements to take up a new job or to start business on a subsequent date; or (ii) were expecting to return to their original jobs (e.g. casual workers are usually called back to work when service is needed).

Unemployment refers to people who during the reference period: Are without work, available to work and actively seeking work

Reference period for seeking work: The 30 days preceding the interview date (moving).

Reference period for availability for work: The seven days preceding the interview date (moving)

Underemployment

Underemployment concept measured: Time related underemployment

Definition of underemployment related to working time: Underemployment refers to employed persons who satisfy the following criteria: (1) involuntarily working less than 35 hours during the seven days before enumeration; and either (2a) has been available for additional work during the seven days before enumeration; or (2b) has sought additional work during the thirty days before enumeration.

Underemployment refers to employed persons who:

- are willing to work additional hours during the 7 days preceding the interview

- are available to work additional hours during the 7 days preceding the interview

- worked less than 35 hours a week in all jobs

- has sought additional work during the 30 days preceding the date of the interview

Information collected on the number of hours of work wanted/ available for: No

Hours of work

The survey measures: hours actually worked

Information is collected for: main and secondary job(s) separately

Reference period used for the measure of hours of work: a week

Actual hours of work are collected for: the week as a whole

Separate information is collected for overtime hours: no

Separate information is collected for absence hours: no

Separate information is collected for working time arrangements: no

Time unit used in the measure of hours of work: exact hours

Income from paid employment

The components of income for which separate statistics are available are: regular cash earnings

Income from paid employment covered: GROSS income

Reference period: a month

Income from paid employment refers to: main and secondary job(s) separately

Information on income from paid employment is requested in: exact amounts

Actual/usual income: actual income for a specific reference period

Income due/received: income received in a specific reference period

Income from self-employment

Income from self-employment covered: Amount drawn from the self-owned enterprise for personal and household use or net earnings from business.

Value of production used for own consumption is included in the profit/remuneration: no

Income from self-employment covered relates to: GROSS income

Reference period: a month

Income from self-employment refers to: main and secondary job(s) separately

Information on income from self-employment is requested in: exact amounts

Actual/usual income: actual income for a specific reference period

Income due/received: income received in a specific reference period

Employment in the informal sector

Informal employment

Usual activity

Treatment of special groups

- Persons with a job but temporarily absent due to parental leave are classified as employed

- Persons with a job but temporarily absent due to educational or training leave are classified as employed

- Persons with a job but temporarily absent due to voluntary leave without pay are classified as employed

- Persons on temporary lay-off without pay are classified as employed if they are sure to return to work on an agreed date

- Persons on indefinite lay-off without pay are classified as unemployed

- Seasonal workers not at work during the off-season are classified as employed if there is an agreed date of return to the job

- Persons without work and currently available for work who have made arrangements to start a new job on a date subsequent to the reference period are classified as unemployed

- Persons without work and currently available for work who are trying to establish their own enterprise are classified as unemployed

- Persons without work and currently available for work who are not seeking work during the reference period due to specific reasons (e.g. discouraged workers) are classified as unemployed

- Persons who performed some work for pay or profit during the reference period but were subject to compulsory schooling are classified as employed

- Persons who performed some work for pay or profit during the reference period but were full-time or part-time students are classified as employed

- Persons who performed some work for pay or profit during the reference period but were retired and/or receiving a pension are classified as employed

- Persons who performed some work for pay or profit during the reference period but were registered as jobseekers at an employment office are classified as employed

- Persons who performed some work for pay or profit during the reference period but were receiving unemployment benefits are classified as employed

- Persons who were seeking and/or available for work and were subject to compulsory schooling are classified as unemployed

- Persons who were seeking and/or available for work and were full-time or part-time students are classified as unemployed

- Persons who were seeking and/or available for work and were retired and/or receiving a pension are classified as unemployed

- Paid apprentices and trainees are classified as employed

- Unpaid apprentices and trainees are classified as economically inactive

- Contributing family workers at work during the reference period are classified as employed

- Contributing family workers temporarily absent from work are classified as unemployed

- Persons engaged in production of goods for own final use (e.g. subsistence farming) are classified as economically inactive

- Persons engaged in production of services for own final use (e.g. care work, cooking, etc.) are classified as economically inactive

- Volunteers contributing to the production of goods are classified as economically inactive

- Volunteers contributing to the production of services provided by market producers are classified as economically inactive

- Volunteers contributing to the production of services provided by non-market producers (i.e. government units, NPIs serving households, etc.) are classified as economically inactive

- Volunteers contributing to the production of personal or domestic services produced by other households are classified as economically inactive



Classifications

Disaggregations used in the analysis and tabulation of the survey results:

- The economically active population is tabulated by: sex, age, industry, occupation, status in employment, level of education, institutional sector (public/private)

- The employed population is tabulated by: sex, age, industry, occupation, status in employment, level of education, institutional sector (public/private)

- The unemployed population is tabulated by: sex, age, industry, occupation, level of education, institutional sector (public/private)

- The economically inactive population is tabulated by: sex, age, level of education, institutional sector (public/private)

Classifications used

Industry:

- Title of the classification: Industry

- Number of most detailed groups or digits used: 112 groups

- Links to international classifications: ISIC Rev.4

- Level of correspondence at which the link is made: 2 digit level

Occupation:

- Title of the classification: Occupation

- Number of most detailed groups or digits used: 32 groups

- Links to international classifications: ISCO-88

- Level of correspondence at which the link is made: 2 digit level

Status in employment:

- Title of the classification: Employment status

- Number of most detailed groups or digits used: 8 groups

- Links to international classifications: ICSE-1993

- Level of correspondence at which the link is made: 1 digit level

Education:

- Title of the classification: Educational attainment

- Number of most detailed groups or digits used: 25 groups

- Links to international classifications: ISCED-97



- Level of correspondence at which the link is made: 1 digit level

Sample design

Sampling frame: Address register

The sampling frame is updated: continually

Procedure used to update the sampling frame: The sampling frame consists of two parts: (i) Register of Quarters (RQ) - The RQ contains computerised records of all addresses of permanent quarters in built-up areas; and (ii) Register of Segments (RS) - The RS contains records of segments in non-built-up areas which are delineated by relatively permanent and identifiable landmarks such as footpath and river. Records in the RQ are updated through field visits by staff of the Census and Statistics Department upon receipt of written notifications of erections and demolitions from various sources like the Buildings Department, Housing Department and Lands Department. For records in the RS, segment boundaries are usually revised (re-segmentation) every five years before the conduct of population censuses/by-censuses. Subsequently, they continue to be updated to take into account known major clearance and feedback from surveys.

Lowest level of geographic disaggregation for which reliable estimates of the unemployment rate can be produced and their frequency: Council districts (annual)

The sample is stratified: Yes

Variables used for stratification: geographic region, type of quarters

Number of sampling stages: 2

Ultimate sampling units: dwellings

Number of ultimate sampling units per sample area: 18

Sample size: 9000 ultimate sampling units per month

Sample fraction: 0.4% of the total population

Sample rotation takes place: at the ultimate sampling unit level only

The rotation system results in: the overlap between consecutive survey periods

Percentage of ultimate sampling units remaining in the sample for two consecutive survey rounds: 50%

Maximum number of times an ultimate sampling unit is interviewed: 2

Months needed to renew the sample completely: 2

Data collection

Main mode of data collection: face to face personal interview (paper and pencil) for the first interview, telephone interview (paper and pencil) for the following

Number of ultimate sampling units (USU) interviewed per interviewer per day: 8

Average duration of an interview per household member of working age: 10 minutes

The field staff is mainly: part of a permanent survey organisation

Duration of training on the survey for newly recruited interviewers: 4 day(s)

Respondents' participation in the survey is compulsory: No

Ultimate sampling units that could not be identified are replaced: No

Ultimate sampling units that could not be contacted are replaced: No

Ultimate sampling units that refuse to participate are replaced: No

Estimation and adjustment

Percentage of all eligible ultimate sampling units that are interviewed: 85%

Percentage of refusals in the total non-response: 25%

The sample is self-weighting: Yes

Weighting factors used to adjust for: survey non-response, bench-marking (to ensure consistency between survey estimates and those from other reliable source(s), e.g. census)

Adjustment for item non-response is made: No

Relative standard errors computed:

- Total unemployment rate: 3 %

- Total employment: 0.3 %

- Total unemployment: 3 %

- Total economically active population: 0.3 %

Confidence level: 95 %

If sub-annual surveys are conducted, the results are adjusted for seasonal variations: Yes

Data series seasonally adjusted: Unemployment rates

Method(s) used for seasonal adjustment: X-12 ARIMA

Selected indicators tabulated from the survey:

- Unemployment rate by: sex, age, level of education, economic activity, occupation, status in employment

- Employment to population ratio by:

- Labour force participation rate by: sex, age, level of education, occupation

- Hours of work (per worker) by: sex, age, level of education, economic activity, occupation, status in employment

- Earnings (per worker) by: sex, age, level of education, economic activity, occupation, status in employment

- Number of workers by hours band by: sex, age, level of education, economic activity, occupation, status in employment

- Number of workers by earnings class by: sex, age, level of education, economic activity, occupation, status in employment



Availability of data from other sources

- Data on employment is also available from: establishment surveys and population censuses

- Data on unemployment is also available from: population censuses

- Data on hours of work is also available from: establishment surveys

- Data on wages is also available from: establishment surveys and population censuses

LFS data are considered official for:

- employment: yes

- unemployment: yes

- earnings: yes

- hours of work: yes

Documentation and dissemination

Publication(s) and website where the survey results can be found: Quarterly Report on General Household Survey; www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/labour/index.jsp

Publication(s) and website where methodological information on the survey can be found: Quarterly Report on General Household Survey; www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/labour/index.jsp

Dissemination formats and periodicity:

- news release (monthly)

- comprehensive report (quarterly)

- microdata access (quarterly)



Time needed for an initial release of the survey results: generally no more than 3 weeks after the end of the reference period

The public is informed in advance on the date of the initial release of survey results: Yes

Non-published results can be made available on request: Yes

Micro data are made available on request: Yes

Comments: The provisional number of unemployed persons and the provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate are available in a press release generally no more than three weeks after the end of the reference period. Revised unemployment statistics taking into account the revision made to the population figures upon availability of the final population estimates are available in August of the following year. The unemployment statistics are subject to final revision when the population estimates are finalised subsequent to the conduct of the Population Census/By-census.

Historical information

Year when the survey was conducted for the first time: 1975

Years when significant methodological changes were introduced: The survey originated from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which started in September 1975 and was conducted at half-yearly intervals. In response to the need to produce labour force statistics more frequently for monitoring short-term changes in the labour market, the LFS was replaced by the General Household Survey in 1981.

Other information

Additional comments: GHS is not the only official data source for topics on "earnings" and "hours of work". Data collected from an establishment survey is also regarded as official for these topics.


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