An establishment survey is a survey of a sample of establishments or enterprises which represent worksites for employees. Information about the jobs held by self-employed workers is typically excluded from such surveys. They are conducted from a production perspective and seek to describe labour as an input to production in establishments. Such surveys collect information on jobs rather than on persons employed, thus persons who have jobs in more than one establishment will be counted more than once. Moreover, they often only cover a subset of all establishments in an industry, normally those above a certain size limit, and typically sample only formal sector establishments. The agricultural sector is commonly excluded and sometimes such surveys are limited in scope to a key sector of the economy such as manufacturing. Such a survey is often conducted in order to provide estimates on employment, hours, and earnings of employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry. They may also provide information on variables such as employment or wages by occupation, labour cost, basic data for productivity, or employee benefits.

For more information, refer to the Quick Guide on Sources and Uses of Labour Statistics.

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