Skip to main content

Measuring interactions with personal circumstances and characteristics

There are different ways of measuring employment in the labour market which can be divided between job, employer, and personal (worker) characteristics.

Personal, household and family characteristics relate to the individual in employment and are independent of job and employer characteristics. 

Personal, household and family characteristics

Personal, household and family characteristics refer to phenomena measured at four different levels:

  • those relating to the individual (and independent of the job they are doing), such as age, gender, disability;
  • those relating to the household or family (and independent of the job), such as housing tenure and family structure;
  • those relating to the fit between the worker and the job, which focuses on the distinction between persons who are voluntarily working in a particular form of employment from those who are doing so involuntarily. Key measures focus on the voluntary or involuntary nature of temporary and part-time employment;
  • those relating to wider labour market and economic participation, such as multiple job holding, and income obtained from other sources.

Person-level trajectories and constraints in the supply of labour

The situation of persons can also evolve, and several measures exist to capture the trajectories of persons within the labour market. This includes, for example, experiences of constraint in the supply of labour (e.g. unemployment, underemployment) over time.

While the experience of a constraint in the supply of labour may occur in relation to the same job – for example, a period of underemployment – indicators capturing this dynamic are measured at the level of the person since a period of unemployment can occur between two different jobs (e.g. two distinct short-term contracts).