Multi-purpose Household Survey, Employment Module (Encuesta de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples, Módulo de Empleo).
General Directorate of Statistics and Census, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade (Dirección General de Estadística y Censos (DGEC), Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio).
Excluded are persons living in collective dwellings such as asylums and old people's homes, prisons and hospitals. Also excluded are foreign members of diplomatic missions, nationals resident outside the country for over six months, and foreigners resident in the country for under six months.
Costa Rica has no armed forces.
The economically active population comprises persons aged 12 years and over.
The survey is annual, and takes place in July of each year (see also under History of the survey).
The week preceding the week of the interview.
The Employment Module of the survey provides information on employment, unemployment, underemployment, hours of work, wages and income, employment in the informal sector, duration of unemployment, discouraged and occasional workers, industry, occupation, status in employment and level of education/qualifications.
The following are not classified as employed or as members of the economically active population:
The July 1987 survey results did not include as employed any persons who took part in the production of primary products exclusively for own consumption; it is hoped to include them in future surveys.
The July 1987 survey results also exclude "marginal employed" from the labour force. This group comprises a part of the population that is in reality employed and carries on economic activities, but is not usually recorded as employed as a result of asking the traditional questions. This may be due to the kind of economic activity they perform, or because they consider that their economic activity cannot be regarded as work. It is intended to include this category of persons in future surveys.
Visible underemployment covers employed persons working fewer than 47 hours weekly, who wish to work longer hours but do not because they cannot find more work either as employees or as self-employed.
Invisible underemployment covers employed persons who work 47 hours or more weekly and earn less than the statutory minimum wage guaranteed by the State, to workers without a specific occupation, by the Minimum Wage Decree; that minimum wage was Colones 7,562 at the time of the July 1987 survey.
The "specific steps" to find work or set up their own business or enterprise include consulting an employment office or labour exchange, inserting or replying to advertisements, personal application to farms, factories, public offices, etc., consulting friends or relatives, or other measures (which must be specified).
Excluded from the unemployed and regarded as inactive are unemployed persons currently available for work who did not look for work during the five weeks preceding the survey, because of illness or accident, study, personal obligations, or because they did not think that they were able to find work, or are awaiting a busier time (the two last-named groups are regarded as discouraged or seasonal unemployed, but are classified as inactive), or for other reasons.
Employed persons and unemployed persons with previous work experience are classified by industry, occupation and status in employment. All persons of school age (5 years and over) are classified by level of education. All tabulated data are classified by sex and most variables are classified by age group.
Members of producers' co-operatives are regarded as owners or own-account workers or employees, according to whether the co-operative does or does not have employees. If a member of a co-operative is also an employee he is classified as such.
Where the formal education is technical secondary education, para-university education or university education, the career and last diploma obtained are investigated. Also investigated are whether the persons completed any course of education outside the regular curriculum and if so in what speciality.
Nine specialities are combined with five kinds of diplomas obtained to classify the data by level of formal education, and 20 groups are used to classify them by education other than scholastic education.
The census segments are delimited geographical areas in which households are associated with their respective dwellings, so giving a measurement very near the probabilities of selection of the households.
The sample frame documentation is supplemented by all the maps and auxiliary documents used in making the 1984 Population and Household Census. The information contained in the frame enables stratification by area (urban and rural), by geographical regions and by socio-economic level.
The frame is updated in various ways:
The frame is stratified in the urban zone by socio-economic level, i.e. the segment is classified in accordance with the estimated level of income of the households in the segment. An indirect method of estimating income is used, based on a multiple lineal regression model. Each segment is classified in a determined socio-economic level (low, medium or high income).
Sampling fractions differ according to region, as follows:
|Planning Region||Number of Dwellings||Sampling Fraction|
In 1987 data collection took place from 14 July to 20 August. The field work was done by 43 interviewers, usually in groups of three, in 14 zones throughout the country, each zone having a supervisor and all staff being co-ordinated by a head supervisor.
Reinterviewing, and checking questionnaires and coding, are done by field supervisors.
When the data are compiled digitation is fully checked; a programme of cleaning-up ranks and inconsistencies between variables is used; a coverage programme is applied; and the totals of the variables are obtained before tabulating the data.
During the July 1987 survey, a statistical evaluation of the data obtained was made, in which data were examined for inconsistencies and compared with other sources of information. Lastly an Evaluation Committee was formed to make an analytical evaluation of results, using historical data series and exogenous information.
Different factors of expansion are used for each region and zone (urban and rural), corrected by the rate of non-response of dwellings and persons.
No adjustment for seasonal variations has yet been necessary.
The principal sources of bias or error are errors that may arise from the controls in the processing, coding and data entry stages, coverage errors caused by omissions or duplications in the frame, and error in replies.
The first National Household, Employment and Unemployment Survey was conducted in July 1976, and took place in March, July and November of each year until July 1986. During this period practically no change was made in the basic variables relating to employment, unemployment and income. The most important revision was made in 1979, to reduce the number of questions in the questionnaire; this to some extent affected the study of population variables but not employment variables.
As from July 1987 the new Multi-purpose Household Survey was made annually in July. Big changes were made when the scope of the survey was extended to employment from producers of primary products for own consumption, who are however not classified as employed, in order to maintain comparability with previous surveys; but they can be included if so desired once they are fully identified. Also changed was the definition of unemployed, leaving as sole criterion search for employment during the five weeks previous to the survey (before this, persons who were looking for work during the reference week, and discouraged workers, were considered as unemployed).
Greater prominence was given to the study of inactive persons by investigating their availability for work and the reasons for which they did not seek employment. Also, investigation of income was extended; previously this had been done only for employees; it is now done by investigating the income of all persons from all sources except from investment income. A section was introduced on the secondary occupation of employed persons and to cover persons employed in marginal activities which the person does not generally regard as work. Finally the survey was broadened to cover persons of all ages and socio-demographic characteristics such as relationship, sex, age, formal education, informal education, social insurance and marital status.
Specific topics are periodically investigated, upon request from institutions which are users of the survey. (The 1989 survey will include two special modules: Housing and Services, and Household Apparent Food consumption.)
For the results of the survey and methodological information, see:
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, Dirección General de Estadística y Censos: "Encuesta de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples, Julio de 1987" (San José, November 1988).
Also available on request are other results in the form of tables.
The publication of the 1988 Survey results is being prepared in 1989.