Employment and Unemployment

Employment and Unemployment

The Department of Statistics (DoS) implements the Labor Force Survey through four rounds every year. The survey covers about 16,500 households distributed over all governorates. The households are selected on the basis of scientific criteria in designing the multistage cluster stratified samples. It should be noted that the survey sample represents the Kingdom, governorates, three regions, urban / rural and Jordanians and non-Jordanians.

The survey is carried out over several stages, namely;
1. The Preparatory Stage: It includes the design and geographical preparation.
2. The Field Data Collection Stage.
3. The Processing Stage: It covers the edit and coding operations.
4. The Final Stage is the Extraction and Dissemination of the Results.

The importance of the survey stems from the fact that it provides a comprehensive database on the characteristics of the employed and the unemployed thus helps the researchers and decision makers to formulate policies for regulating the Jordanian labor market.

It is worth mentioning that the Department of Statistics uses the tablet sets in data collection and processing and an electronic questionnaire instead of the paper format.

Survey Objectives:
a) Identify different demographic, social and economic characteristics of the population and manpower.
b) Identify the professional structure, economic activity and the work status of the workers.
c) Identify the reasons that made employees to seek new or additional work.
d) Measure the participation rates in the economic activity (i.e., labor force is attributed to the total population aged 15 years and above).
e) Identify different characteristics of the unemployed.
f) Measure the unemployment rates (i.e., total number of unemployed persons attributed to the total economically active population) according to different characteristics of the unemployed and the related changes.
g) Identify the most important methods followed by the unemployed in order to obtain a job, in addition to measuring the periods of unemployment for those unemployed.
h) Identify changes in these variables over the years.
i) Measure the underemployment associated with time.
j) Measure the potential work force.

Survey Frame:

The sample of the survey was based on the frame provided by the results of the General Population and Housing Census – 2015. The Kingdom was divided into strata. Each city with a population of over 100,000 was considered a large city totaling six (6). Each governorate (except for the 6 large cities) was divided into rural and urban areas, where urban areas in each governorate were considered independent stratum (total number of strata was 30).

Due to the huge disparity in the social and economic characteristics of major cities in particular and in urban areas in general, each stratum of major cities and urban strata was divided into four sub-strata according to the social and economic characteristics provided by the General Population and Housing Census – 2015 with the aim to provide homogeneous strata. Residents living in remote areas (mostly nomads) are excluded from the frame. In addition to that, the frame does not include collective housing units (persons staying in hotels, hospitals, labor camps, prison inmates… etc.)


Sample Design:

The survey sample was designed using the stratified cluster sampling method, which is representative at the Kingdom, urban / rural, regions and governorate levels. The total sample size was (1656) Primary Sampling Units (clusters). These units were distributed over the governorates, urban / rural and large cities in each governorate according to their weight in terms of the number of individuals, households and the variation within each stratum, with minor modifications to the number of sampling units so that they are multipliers of figure (8).

The main sample consists of 40 replicates; each consists of 167 Primary Sampling Units. For the current survey, eight replicates of the main sample were used. In order to ensure the spread of the sample well, the PSUs were arranged within each stratum according to geographic and socio-economic characteristics. Then, the sample was selected in two stages: In the first stage, the sample of the PSUs was drawn in a proportion to the size and drawn systematically, where the number of households in each PSU (cluster) is considered as its weight or size. In the second stage, the blocks of the systematic primary sampling units (clusters) selected in the first stage were updated, then a fixed number of households were selected using the Systematic Random Sampling Method as final sampling units (10 households) from each Primary Sampling Unit (cluster).

The Labor Force Survey-2017 methodology increases the sample size from (1336) clusters to (1656) clusters per round, thus providing a representation level for non-Jordanians. The survey questionnaire was developed and new chapters were added as follows:

  1. Questions related to migration of non-Jordanians (such as the date of arrival, country of origin and main reason for arrival).
  2. Developing the questions and characteristics of the employed within the context of the new international definition.
  3. Questions about underemployment associated with time that reflect the phenomenon of workers working less hours than the average working hours and looking for other work.
  4. New questions on the potential workforce (i.e., individuals available for work but do not search or individuals not available for work but search).
  5. New questions about the informal sector.
  6. The results will be representative of Jordanians and non-Jordanians.
  7. Results will be in absolute numbers and ratios.
  1. Total unemployment rate for Jordanians and by sex.
  2. Unemployment rate by educational level.
  3. Unemployment rate by governorate.
  4. Unemployment rate by age group.
  5. Percentage of employed persons to total population 15+.
  6. Percentage of employed persons by sex and age group.
  7. Percentage of employed persons by academic qualification.
  8. Percentage of employed persons by work status.
  9. Workforce by educational level and gender.
  10. Crude economic participation rate (labor force attributed to total population).
  11. Unemployment rate for non – Jordanians.
  12. Revised economic participation rate (labor force attributed to population 15 years and above).


  1. The Division issues four quarterly bulletins covering each quarter.
  2. The Division issues an annual bulletin.
  3. An annual analytical report of the survey.
  4. Quarterly press release.

 Labor Force Survey (First Round) 2020 Questionnaire  (548 KB)

Data Bank