The survey will be directed to households and is designed to obtain information on the local labour market.
This is done through a series of personal interviews with members of the household, similar to the Census process.
Questions asked will help to produce statistics about matters that affect the whole community, including work, unemployment, training, retirement and looking after the family and home.
Obtaining information from as many selected households as possible is the only way to get a complete and accurate picture of the nation’s employment status and other circumstances. Such individual experiences and circumstances become an important part of the bigger picture of life in the Cook Islands today and help to shape policies that affect everyone residing here.
The Cook Islands Labour Force Survey is being conducted by the Statistics Office of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM), in partnership with the Labour and Consumer Services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (INTAFF).
This first ever LFS is supported by the National Labour Advisory Board and its Social Partners, Cook Islands Workers Association (CIWA) and Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce (COC). To reinforce this joint national effort, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have come forward with technical expertise and additional financial support.
The LFS data is complimentary to the Census and Household Income and Expenditure survey and all three surveys together provide important national data on the Cook Islands’ society as well as much needed evidence to allow both the public and private sectors to base their policy- and decision-making and directing resources to where they are needed most.
Last week, a Cook Islands delegation, composed of public servants from MFEM and INTAFF as well as representatives from CIWA and COC attended a workshop in Tonga. It was facilitated by the ILO and SPC and was hosted by the Government of Tonga through its Statistics Department.
Tonga implemented its first stand-alone LFS in 2018 and the main objective of the workshop was to learn from their experience both in terms of preparation of the LFS and analysis of the data collected.
A work plan was finalised with consensus from all participants and the delegation will continue work as a group back in country to lead and deliver this LFS.
Any lessons learned from this LFS will also assist the Statistics Office for the next Census coming up in 2020, expecially in regards to the first time use of tablets to collect and centralise data.
The next step following the workshop is to now finalise the questionnaire and work with SPC and ILO to prepare intervention on the ground.