EWCS 2015 – Methodology

In its European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), Eurofound aims to collect comparable and reliable data on working conditions across Europe. The methodology is incrementally improved. based on lessons learned as well as to reflect the state-of-the-art in survey methodology.

Contractor: Ipsos NV, Belgium. 

Coverage: 28 EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland, Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Fieldwork period: February–September 2015 in the EU28, Norway and Switzerland; September– December 2015 in Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Target population: All residents of the countries mentioned above aged 15 or older (16 or older in Bulgaria, Norway, Spain and the UK) and in employment at the time of the survey. People were considered to be in employment if they had worked for pay or profit for at least an hour in the week preceding the interview (ILO definition). 

Sample: Multi-stage, stratified, random samples of the working population in each country. Depending on the availability of high-quality registers, sampling was carried out using individual-level, household-level and address-level registers, or through enumeration using a random-walk approach. Country-level samples were stratified by region and degree of urbanisation. In each stratum, primary sampling units (PSUs) were randomly selected proportional to size. Subsequently, a random sample of households was drawn in each PSU. Finally, unless individual-level registers were used, in each household the selected respondent was the person in work who would have their birthday next. 

Sample size: In most countries, the target sample size was 1,000. To reflect the larger workforce in larger countries, the target was increased to 1,200 in Poland, 1,300 in Spain, 1,400 in Italy, 1,500 in France, 1,600 in the UK and 2,000 in Germany and Turkey. Eurofound also offered countries the opportunity to top-up their sample. This offer was taken up by Belgium, Slovenia and Spain, which led to sample sizes of 2,500, 1,600 and 3,300 respectively in these countries. The total sample size for the sixth EWCS in all 35 countries is 43,850 interviews.  

Type of interview: Face to face, at the respondent’s home; average duration of 45 minutes.

For more information please see the Technical report.

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