As was noted in the 2010 CES Recommendations, statistics on the economic characteristics of persons are needed from population censuses for many reasons. Information on the number and characteristics of the employed, unemployed and economically inactive persons are needed in detail at the same reference point of time that other demographic and social items are being measured so that a comprehensive picture of the socio-economic situation is available. Such statistics might be obtained from other sources such as household-based labour force surveys or administrative records, but these other sources have certain limitations. Data obtained from labour force surveys are subject to sampling error and, therefore, rarely provide reliable estimates for small areas, or for detailed groups of industries and occupations. Administrative records may not necessarily have the same quality of occupational and industry coding, nor the same comprehensiveness in population coverage.

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