APS Release of estimates for Apr20-Mar21 survey period rescheduled

The population data used to produce labour market estimates are being updated to better reflect changes in international migration and other impacts as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Annual Population Survey (APS) updates are no longer being produced using the old weights of population totals.

As a consequence, the release of estimates for the April 2020 to March 2021 survey period originally scheduled for 15 July 2021 has been delayed to 14 Sep 2021 to allow for the work involved in reweighting to take place. At the same time, revised estimates based on the new weights will be released for all survey periods from April 2019 to March 2020 onwards.

The release date of APS estimates for the July 2020 to June 2021 survey period remains unchanged as 12 October 2021.


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS) generally operate on the basis of a first interview conducted face to face, with subsequent interviews conducted by telephone, through a contact number obtained during that first interview.

At the start of the pandemic all face to face interviewing was suspended and ONS had to switch to telephone only interviewing, using telematching and contact numbers submitted by households selected for the survey. These changes introduced a change to the non-response bias of the survey.

In October 2020, as an initial step to address these issues, ONS introduced tenure-based weights into the survey as detailed in the article Coronavirus and its impact on the LFS. While this constituted a significant improvement, further work was required.

In May 2021 an article was published regarding Labour Force Survey weighting methodology, giving details of further improvements planned, making use of information from the payroll tax system to provide population weights, with the intention to apply this in labour market publications from July 2021.

Due to the work involved in reweighting, processing and publishing the datasets involved, ONS set out in that article a timetable of work. This timetable allows all outputs to take account of the new methodology and population totals in the most timely way.


This article is an update to the original article published on 2 July 2021 with revised information on release plans.