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


2021 Q1

Employment-to-Population Ratio


2021 Q1

Unemployment Rate


2021 Q1

Indicator 2020_Q2 2020_Q3 2020_Q4 2021_Q1
Total Non-institutional population 15 years old and over 1,081,400 1,078,700 1,078,400 1,080,400
Total labour force 604,100 589,100 603,900 608,400
Persons with jobs 572,900 553,300 560,400 569,000
Total unemployed 31,100 36,000 43,500 39,300
Persons without jobs and seeking work 22,100 24,800 33,200 33,500
Other unemployed 9,000 11,200 10,400 5,900
Labour Force Participation Rate (%) 55.9 54.6 56.0 56.3
Unemployment Rate (%) 5.1 6.1 7.2 6.5
Not in Labour Force 477,300 489,600 474,500 472,100
Source: Central Statistical Office
youth unemployment
Indicator 2020_Q2 2020_Q3 2020_Q4 2021_Q1
Male 6.4% 12.2% 13.5% 15.1%
Female 14.5% 12.6% 26.3% 30.7%
Both Sexes 9.6% 12.3% 18.6% 21.3%
Source: Central Statistical Office

Persons in employment are defined as all those of working age who, during a short reference period, were engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit.

Persons in unemployment are defined as all those of working age who were not in employment, carried out activities to seek employment during a specified recent period and were currently available to take up employment given a job opportunity.

The current supply of labour for the production of goods and services in exchange for pay or profit, computed as the sum of persons in employment and in unemployment.

Formerly known as economically active population

The unemployment rate measures the share of workers in the Labour force who do not currently have a job but are actively looking for work.
The unemployment rate is computed as follows:
𝐔𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞 = (𝑈𝑛𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑦𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 ÷ 𝐿𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑐𝑒) x 100
𝐔𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞 = 𝑈𝑛𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑦𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 ÷ (𝐸𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑦𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 + 𝑈𝑛𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑦𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡) x 100

The labour force participation rate (LFPR) is a measure of the proportion of a country’s working-age
population that engages actively in the labour market, either by working or looking for work.

The labour force participation rate is calculated by expressing the number of persons in the
labour force as a percentage of the working-age population.

LFPR(%) = Labour force ÷ Working-age population x 100
LFPR(%) = (Persons employed + persons unemployed) ÷ Working-age population x 100

Own-use production work refers to activities performed to produce goods or provide services intended for final use by the producer, their household and/or family.

This form of work is one of the oldest forms of organization of labour, whereby households produce mainly their own food, shelter and other necessities, and provide care and other services for household members, their premises and durables.

Information about participation and time-spent in own-use production work is essential to inform a wide range of policies including those targeting employment creation in rural areas, poverty reduction, food security, and provision of a wide range of services, including water supply, child and elderly care, domestic services, etc

Persons in own-use production of goods are defined as all those of working age who, during a specified reference period, performed any activity to produce goods for own final use.


  • Producing and/or processing for storage agricultural, fishing, hunting and gathering products;

  • Manufacturing household goods (such as furniture, textiles, clothing, footwear, pottery or other durables;

  • Building, or effecting major repairs to, one’s own dwelling, farm buildings, etc.

The employment-to-population ratio is the proportion of a country’s working-age population that is employed. The ratio provides information on the ability of an economy to create employment; for many countries the indicator is often more insightful than the unemployment rate.

The employment-to-population ratio is calculated as follows:

EPR(%) = (Persons employed ÷ Total Non-institutional population 15 years old and over) x 100

A high ratio means that a large proportion of a country’s population is employed, while a low ratio means that a large share of the population is not involved directly in market-related activities, because they are either unemployed or 'out of the labour force'.

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 2021 Q1, the average number of persons with jobs for All sectors was 569,000. This represents a decrease of 4.0% in employment numbers compared to the same quarter in 2020. However, compared to the 4th quarter of 2020, the overall average employment across All industries recorded an increase of 1.5%. A year on year comparison (2021 Q1 over 2020 Q1) revealed that the average number of persons without jobs and seeking work rose by 67.5%.
(May 16th, 2022)

Annual Income Tables

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.


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.

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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