Institutions use administrative records for administrative purposes, such as keeping a record of its members, activities, staff, etc. Although they were not designed for statistical purposes, administrative records have a significant underlying statistical potential, and can be used to produce statistics as a by-product. They are particularly useful in contexts where there are no regular household or establishment surveys in place, to serve as an alternative source of statistics.

In any given country, the administrative records found are numerous and varied, and cover a wide range of topics. Some examples are:

  • population registers (population data),
  • records of tax authorities (income data),
  • registration of students in the educational system (education data), and
  • medical registration (health statistics).

When it comes to labour statistics, the main administrative records used are:

  • records of employment offices or unemployment benefits (data on registered unemployment),
  • records of workers’ organizations (data on unionization, strikes, etc.),
  • collective agreements (data on 13 collective bargaining, wages, etc.), and
  • labour inspection records (data on occupational accidents).

For more information, see the ILO’s Quick Guide on Sources and Uses of Labour Statistics.

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