Labour Force Survey (LFS) Caribbean Netherlands

What does the survey comprise?


To collect information on the labour market situation of the population of Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (Caribbean Netherlands).

Target population

People aged 15 years and older who have been living on the islands for more than three months or who are planning to stay on the islands for more than three months.

Statistical unit

Households and individuals.

Year survey started

In the period October-December 2010 the LFS on Bonaire was conducted for the first time by Statistics Netherlands; at the end of 2012 the LFS was conducted for the first time on all three islands. The LFS on Bonaire has been conducted since 1988. For Saint Eustatius and Saba labour market information could only be derived from the census that took place every ten years. Until 2010 the LFS Bonaire was conducted by CBS Dutch Antilles; the most recent labour market figures from Saint Eustatius and Saba are from 2001. Since 10 October 2010, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba have become special municipalities of the Netherlands and therefore Statistics Netherlands took over the data collection for these islands.


The survey is conducted every other year in the period October-December.

Publication strategy

The figures published are presented as yearly figures for the year in which the survey was conducted.The published yearly figures are final figures.

How is the survey conducted?

Survey type

Sample survey.

Survey method

The survey is conducted using face-to-face interviews. The interviewers use paper questionnaires inDutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento. The answers of the respondents are filled in on the paper questionnaires by the interviewers and are later processed electronically. The entire questionnaire of the LFS Caribbean Netherlands (English) is available electronically.



Sample size

In 2012, the sample size was 740 addresses on Bonaire, 400 on Saint Eustatius and 470 on Saba.

Checking and correction methods

The figures are checked first for internal consistency. To check the plausibility, the aggregated data are thencompared with other labour market figures and if possible with the figures of previous Labour Force Surveys.


In principle the survey method determines the weights for the respondents, but this does not take into account the structure of the non-response. Because of selective non-response, certain groups may be underestimated. Within certain limits, this can be corrected for by adjusting the weights on the basis of extra information about the respondents and the target population. For all three islands the weights were adjusted by using information on sex and age. Additionally for Bonaire information on sex and district was used.

Quality of the results


When interpreting the results it should be taken into account that a sample survey does not always give totally accurate results; there is always a certain margin of error. The size of this margin depends among others things on the number of persons in the various distinguished categories. The sample size guarantees a confidence level of 95 percent for the unemployment rate.

Sequential comparability

The figures based on the LFS Caribbean Netherlands 2012 are not comparable to the figures of previous years. This is because in 2012 the questionnaire of the LFS that was previously used on Bonaire was redesigned. This was done to make the questions used to determine labour status (employed, unemployed, not in the labour force) more comparable to the ones used in the Dutch LFS.

Quality strategy

The interviews for the LFS Caribbean Netherlands are conducted by temporary interviewers who are hired and trained especially for the LFS. The interviewers participate in a two-day course on the content and importance of the LFS and on interview techniques.

To guarantee a good response, there are campaigns on the islandsin the period that the LFS is conducted. Commercials are broadcasted to create awareness about the survey and ask for cooperation. Households that are selected for the survey also receive a letter and a folder with information on the LFS.