Making a Labour Force Survey work

When numbers defy logic, it’s time to investigate. Hyphen’s team of experts helped one government agency solve its conundrum.

A national labour survey is meant to take the pulse of a country’s economy. But when the Covid-19 pandemic caused a surge in unemployment, it was clear that in one country that the numbers generated did not tally with reality.

This distortion left the national statistics agency for that nation, based within the Middle East and North Africa region, with a big problem: how can the government support its people if it doesn’t have an accurate picture of the economic health of the country?

An independent external review was launched, with Hyphen and a major global consulting firm assisting the government agency in conducting a thorough review of the processes involved in the survey from start to finish.

An artwork about labour force survey work

Our hand-picked team of seasoned technical specialists and senior experts brought clarity where there was confusion.

Every stage of the survey needed to be reviewed to understand the full extent of the problems and to potentially design a new system fit for purpose.

Using our network of contacts, we carefully built a team of reputable, independent experts with specific and complementary skillsets to critically analyse the situation and use their specialist knowledge to come up with solutions.

The group included national leaders and experts with experience in running national labour force studies, including:

Specialist knowledge was key to launching a comprehensive review and transforming the government agency’s processes.

The team completed a comprehensive review in less than eight weeks and led the way when creating a detailed plan to remedy the problems. Their extensive analysis highlighted 40 areas for improvement and Hyphen’s experts provided the client with a one-year roadmap for implementing the changes.

Seeing the value created by our experts, the client enlisted the group in an advisory capacity throughout the implementation phase, which included training staff and preparing a methodology and documentation review. This overhaul has raised processes to meet international standards and will provide the government agency with a strong foundation to assess the national economy with far greater precision for decades to come.

Fact Sheet
Key figures
Q1 2020-ongoing
Hyphen’s team led a comprehensive review of an ineffective national labour force survey and prepared a thorough roadmap for improvement.
Services provided:
Team development
We evaluated precisely what level of involvement and which skillsets would be required to conduct the survey review.
Custom search
We compiled a team of experts – all of whom came highly recommended from contacts within our extensive network – capable of working together effectively to complete the job efficiently and to the highest standard.
Experts provided
• A former head of methodology of statistics who ran the labour force survey review for a G7 country twice

• A former G7 statistician with experience conducting similar reviews in other countries, including the United States and South Africa

• A former ILO labour statistician

• A former ILO and emerging markets labour statistician

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