The Continuous Sample Survey of Population (CSSP) is a multi-purpose household survey with it’s primary objective being to provide up-to-date data on the Labour Force characteristics of the population of Trinidad and Tobago on a continuing basis. It is also a vehicle for collecting data on other subjects of interest to both Government and Private Agencies for the purposes of planning and formulating policies.


Participation Rate


2023 Q4

Employment-to-Population Ratio


2023 Q4

Unemployment Rate


2023 Q4

Indicator 2023_Q2 2023_Q3 2023_Q4
Total Non-institutional population 15 years old and over 1,085,200 1,085,900 1,086,000
Total labour force 609,800 603,800 602,400
Persons with jobs 587,400 584,200 577,700
Total unemployed 22,400 19,600 24,800
Persons without jobs and seeking work 19,100 15,200 20,700
Other unemployed 3,200 4,400 3900
Labour Force Participation Rate (%) 56.2 55.6 55.5
Unemployment Rate (%) 3.7 3.2 4.1
Not in Labour Force 475,400 482,000 483,600
Source: Central Statistical Office
youth unemployment
Indicator 2023_Q2 2023_Q3 2023_Q4
Male 7.5% 8.1% 11.2%
Female 4.7% 11.1% 14.1%
Both Sexes 6.2% 9.3% 12.7%
Source: Central Statistical Office

Annual Youth(15-24) Employment Status Time Series


Coverage and Classification


National coverage

reference period
The past week
standard occupational classification

Data Collection

sample design
Stratified Cluster Sampling
topics covered 

Demographic characteristics – age, sex, ethnic group, education, place of birth, marital status

Economic activity – type of worker, occupation, industry, hours worked, income

Housing – tenancy, type of dwelling, toilet facilities, water supply, source of lighting

Labour Force Survey (LFS) Bulletins

Latest Release

In Quarter 4 2023, the average number of persons with jobs for All sectors was 577,700. Compared to the 3rd Quarter of 2023, the overall average employment across all industries recorded a decrease of 1.1%.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison (2023 Q3 over 2023 Q4) revealed that the average number of persons without jobs and seeking work increased by 26.6%. A year-on-year comparison (2022 Q4 over 2023 Q4) revealed that the average number of persons without jobs and seeking work decreased by 15.9%
(April 4th, 2024)

Persons with jobs by Monthly Income Group 2014-2023

The Economically Inactive Population (Out of the Labour Force)

This general category consists of:

  1. (i) Persons who explicitly stated that they did not want work
  2. (ii) Students (full time)
  3. (iii) Persons engaged in Home Duties
  4. (iv) The Retired
  5. (v) The Disabled
  6. (vi) Old Age Pensioners
  7. (vii) Other persons, e.g. mentally challenged, inmates of prisons, hospitals, mental institutions etc.

Keywords: labour force, unemployment rate, cssp, income, employed, statistics


Methodology and Usefulness
Concepts and Definitions

A job is defined as any economic activity in which a person is engaged for pay in cash or kind, regardless of the duration of work, since work takes precedence over any other activity.


Content: Non-Institutional population of individuals who are 15 years of age or older and are members of non-overlapping private households

Units: Private Households within private dwellings

Extent (Scope): Enumeration Districts (EDD) within Wards/Parishes of Counties in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The CSSP Labour Force Household survey is national in scope. The sample is representative of fourteen and four Domains of Stratification in the islands of Trinidad and Tobago respectively. In the case of Tobago, over-sampling of households is done deliberately in order to allow for the quarterly estimation of labour force characteristics for Tobago as a separate entity.

Note: An Enumeration District (ED) is the smallest geographic unit into which the country is divided in order to facilitate the conduct of household surveys and censuses. It contains on average, approximately 200 households in the urban areas and approximately 120 households in the rural areas. EDD are non-overlapping and are bounded primarily by easily identifiable features.

Time (Reference Period): A specific week within a given month, which is called the survey reference week. For each calendar month of every quarter there are two such reference weeks.


For all jobs, the employed is classified into occupational and industrial groupings according to ISCO and ISIC respectively. The employed is also classified by the size of business in which s/he is employed and by the number of hours worked during the reference period.

Sheet tabs in bulletin

Source of data

Data on employment are obtained exclusively from monthly household surveys of the Continuous Sample Survey of Population (CSSP). Samples of households are drawn from a sample Frame of Non-institutional households. The sample frame of households is updated after every decennial census. The latest revision of the frame was based on the 1990 Population and Housing Census.

Statistical Techniques

The CSSP household survey is based on a stratified cluster design in which households are sampled in the same proportions that they are allocated to strata. The sampling of clusters of households is done in two stages. At the first stage, by the process of repeated systematic selection, PSUs are selected with probability approximately proportional to a size measure.

The size measure is the number of clusters of households within a primary unit, where the size of a cluster is approximately equal to five households. At the second stage, by the process of systematic selection, households are selected with probability inversely proportional to size. The rate of sampling households in Trinidad is 1 in 120, whereas the rate of sampling households in Tobago is 1 in 75. However, within each island stratum the sample of households is self-weighted.

The grand sample of first stage PSUs is arranged into three sub-samples. In order to improve the efficiency of the design so that one can measure changes from one period to the next and, at the same time, measure the current levels of labour force characteristics, the following procedure was adopted:One third of the sample was retained from the previous quarter in the quarter under review to measure the changes between quarters. Another third of the sample was recalled from the corresponding quarter of the previous year to measure changes over a year for corresponding quarters.

Finally, the last third of the sample was drawn anew to measure current estimates. In addition to the above, sub-samples were arranged in a Latin square formation in order to control sample variability arising from two sources of variability:Variability due to monthly seasonal factors of labour force characteristics Variability due to geographical location of the labour force Estimation of the number of persons employed is done by gender specifics.

Data are expanded to population levels by means of weighting ratio estimates of characteristics of interest to number of persons in the sample by an estimate of the number of persons in the population aged 15 and over. The estimate of the number of persons in the population aged 15 and over, by gender, which is obtained from a source that is independent of the labour force survey, is centered at the middle of each quarter.

Estimate of population based on the independent source is crossed checked against estimate of population based on expanding the sample by the inverse of the sampling fraction adjusted for non-response. Estimates of missing data are not made. Missing data are recorded as “no

Periodicity and Timeliness




Currently, the elapse of time between the dissemination of the data and the end of the second survey reference week of the last month in the quarter under review is approximately twenty (20) weeks.

Data Revision

Identification of preliminary and/or revised data
Data is clearly identified as provisional, preliminary, revised or final data upon dissemination

Using Official Statistics for SDGs


  • 8.3.1 Proportion of informal employment in total employment, by sector and sex
  • 8.5.1 Average hourly earnings of female and male employees, by occupation, age and persons with disabilities
  • 8.5.2 Unemployment rate, by sex, age and persons with disabilities
  • 8.6.1 Proportion of youth (aged 15-24 years) not in education, employment or training
  • 8.b.1 Existence of a developed and operationalized national strategy for youth employment, as a distinct strategy or as part of a national employment strategy
  • 9.2.2 Manufacturing employment as a proportion of total employment
  • 10.4.1 Labour share of GDP

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