The Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) is a household-based sample survey conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). It collects data on the labour market activities of individuals aged 15 years or older who live in South Africa.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
v2.0: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution
Version 1 was accessed by DataFirst on the 22nd of March 2021. It didn't contain covid variables.
Version 2 was received by DataFirst from Stats SA on the 16th of July 2021. It contains the 9 covid variables and is otherwise the same as version 1.
For Q4 2020 Statistics South Africa contiued to use Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing, in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This meant that households without telephones were out of scope. See the statistical release for more information.
INDIVIDUALS: labour market activity, labour preferences, labour market history, demographic characteristics, marital status, employment status, education, grants, tax.
From 2010 the income data collected by South Africa's Quarterly Labour Force Survey is no longer provided in the QLFS dataset (except for a brief return in QLFS 2010 Q3 which may be an error). Possibly because the data is unreliable at the level of the quarter, Statistics South Africa now provides the income data from the QLFS in an annualised dataset called Labour Market Dynamics in South Africa (LMDSA). The datasets for LMDSA are available from DataFirst's website.
Provincial and metropolitan level
The QLFS sample covers the non-institutional population of South Africa with one exception. The only institutional subpopulation included in the QLFS sample are individuals in worker's hostels. Persons living in private dwelling units within institutions are also enumerated. For example, within a school compound, one would enumerate the schoolmaster's house and teachers' accommodation because these are private dwellings. Students living in a dormitory on the school compound would, however, be excluded.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
The samping procedure for this quarter of the QLFS had to be changed from the norm due to covid-19. In this 2020 Q4 the sample used was the same sample as from Q3, Q2 and Q1 from 2020. Because the interviews were done telephonically, any sampling units that did not have telephones dropped out of the sample. This was adjusted for in the weighting procedure.
Because the survey was done telehponically, households without telephones were essentially out of scope. To account for this problem,weights were "bias-adjusted" by Statistics South Africa. There was also significant imputation done to try and make the data more representative, despite covid.
For more details see section 4 of the stastical release and the metadata document.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
In general, imputation is used for item non-response (i.e. blanks within the questionnaire) and edit failures (i.e. invalid or inconsistent responses).
University of Cape Town
Public access data, available to all
Statistics South Africa. Quarterly Labour Force Survey 2020: Q4 [dataset]. Version 2. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa [producer], 2021. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25828/gd4d-s714