Comparability and reliability of information are key requirements when carrying out cross-national investigations. With this in mind, a unified methodological approach and a quality assurance system was developed in an effort to provide comparable and reliable data on working conditions across Europe. Over the years, methods have been improved, new concerns integrated and geographic scopes expanded with the enlargement of the European Union.
The latest outcome of such intensive cross-national research is the fourth European Working Conditions Survey, conducted in 2005 by the Foundation in close cooperation with its data collection contractor GALLUP Europe. The survey gives insight into differences as regards the working environment and employment situation across the EU27 member states plus Turkey, Croatia, Norway and Switzerland.
The survey is questionnaire-based. The 2005 survey included a comprehensive quality control framework, to ensure the highest possible standards in all data-collection and editing processes.
Population: Active population of the respective nationalities of the EU Member States and candidate countries, aged 15 years and over, resident in each of the Member States and candidate countries.
Sample: The basic sample design is a multi-stage, random sampling. In each country, a number of sampling points are drawn with probability proportional to population size (for a total coverage of the country) and to population density.
Sample size: For the 2005 survey, the target number of interviews was 1,000 in all countries except Cyprus, Estonia, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia, in which it was 600. Total: 29,680 interviews.
Weighting: Based on the Eurostat Labour Force Survey (LFS), meaning that the distribution by region, locality size, gender, age, economic activity and occupation is identical to that of the LFS distribution.
Type of interview: Face to face, at home (i.e. outside the workplace).