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Press section / Economically Active Population Survey (EAPS)

Latest data Persons employed Persons unemployed Activity
rate (%)
rate (%)
Q2 2014 17,353,000 Time serie graph 5,622,900 Time serie graph 59.63 Time serie graph 24.47 Time serie graph

Press release EAPS: pricipal series Methodology Questionnaire Detailed results


The Economically active population survey (EAPS) is a continuous investigation of quarterly periodicity directed to families and has been carried out since 1964. Its main objective is to obtain data on the population in relation to the labour market, active unemployed and inactive people.

The EAPS is carried out on a sample of 65,000 a quarter or, the same thing, some 200,000 people. The first survey that is carried out for each family is made personally by fixed INE interviewers . Successive surveys may be carried out by phone or in person.

The reference period of information is the week previous to the interview. The results from the EAPS are obtained a month after finishing the fieldwork.

Revision of the EAPS in 2005

On 30 March 2005, the INE revised the EAPS series 1996-2004 to adjust the results to the increase in the population residing in Spain. This increase, which has mainly been caused by the increase in the foreign population, has produced an important expansion of the total population and the corresponding categories of employment, unemployment and inactivity, with slight variations in rates.

On 29 April 2005, the INE published the results of the EAPS from the first quarter of 2005, including the incorporation of the new European regulations, in accordance with Eurostat norms, and the introduction of improvements in the information collection method. The new European regulations specify that the EAPS must include six new variables:

1. Whether the person, in his/her main job, supervises the tasks of other workers.

2. Whether the person has a contract with a temporary employment agency (currently included).

3. The role that public employment offices played in the interviewee obtaining his/her current main job.

4. The definition of overtime work and whether it is paid.

5. The existence or lack of care services for dependent persons.

6. Whether the person receives his/her salary in the event of a long-term leave.

In addition, an optional question may be included regarding the amount of the salary in the case of workers working for others.

Definitions of EAPS

Active persons: persons 16 and over who, during the reference week (that previous to that in which the interview is carried out), supply labour for the production of goods and services or are available and in conditions to be incorporated into the said production. They are subdivided into employed and unemployed.

Employed: These are people 16 or over who during the reference week have been working for at least one hour in exchange for remuneration in cash or in kind or those with work who have been temporarily absent through illness, holidays, etc.

The unemployed are subdivided into freelance workers (employers, businesspersons without employees and independent workers) and employees (public or private). Dealing with the duration of the working day of the employees they are classified into full time (with a working week greater than 30 hours) and part time (normal working week less than 35 hours).

Unemployed: These are people 16 and over who during the reference week have been without work, available to work and actively seeking work. A person is considered to be seeking work actively if he or she:

  • Has been in contact with a public employment office with the object of finding work.
  • Has been in contact with a private office (temporary employment office, specialised contracting company, etc) with the objective of finding work.
  • Has sent a candidature directly to employers.
  • Has inquired via personal contacts, unions, etc.
  • Has put an ad up or answered newspaper ads.
  • Has studied employment offers.
  • Has participated in a test, competition or interview in the context of a contracting process.
  • Has been looking for land or premises.
  • Has done what is necessary to obtain permits, licences or financial resources.

People who have found a job and are waiting to start are also considered unemployed as long as the first two conditions are verified.

Inactive population: population of 16 or over not included in any of the previous categories receives this consideration.

Press release EAPS: pricipal series Methodology Questionnaire Detailed results