Definition: Labour accounts
European System of Accounts (ESA)
In many countries, a wide range of labour market data are collected. Population and establishment censuses, household and enterprise surveys on the labour force, hours of work, earnings and labour costs, as well as registers of population, taxes and social security provide data for monitoring and analysing labour market developments on a regular basis. Despite the availability of a large amount of such statistical information, they do not provide a complete and reliable picture of the labour market. The major measurement problems are as
(a) contradictory results between different data sources;
(b) many different concepts without a clear linkage;
(c) incomplete coverage;
(d) limitations in describing labour market dynamics;
(e) absence of links between labour market statistics and national accounts, demographic data, and other social and economic statistics such as education and social security.
A system of labour accounts can resolve such problems by combining all information on the labour market and showing the links with the major concepts and classifications of the labour market in the national accounts, such as the concepts of compensation of employees and classification by industry. A strong link with the national accounts improves the compilation of both national accounts and labour accounts, and is helpful in describing the relationship between the labour market and the rest of the economy.
Eurostat, "European System of National and Regional Accounts - ESA 2010", Luxembourg, 2013