Labour Force Survey

The economically active population, or labour force, is the part of a country’s human resources that contributes to the production of goods and the provision of services in a country. The economic and social development of a country depends on the number of persons who are economically active, the quality of their work and the regularity of their job. The primary objective of a labour force survey is to provide labour market statistics for development. The findings of the Tonga Labour Force Survey 2018 (TLFS 2018) will enhance monitoring and evaluation of the Tonga Strategic Development Framework (TSDF), Ministerial Strategic Plans, Budget briefs and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with respect to economic growth and reduced unemployment.

The TLFS 2018 was conducted as a joint exercise between the Tonga Statistics Department and the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development (MTED) and was funded by the Government of Tonga. The survey was more comprehensive in coverage than the TLFS 2003 and followed latest international guidelines from the ILO.

Currently employed


Currently unemployed


Current Activity status of the population aged 15 and over, by sex and division

Of the economically active, 24,000 live in Tongatapu, 6,000 in Vava’u, 3,000 in Ha’apai, 2,000 on ‘Eua, and about 800 in the Niuas. Activity rates are considerably higher for males than for females; three-quarters of males aged 15 and over are currently active, whereas only just over a half of females in that age group are economically active. For both males and females, economic activity rates are higher in the outer islands than on the main island of Tongatapu.

Current work activities of males and females aged 15 and over

  • A particularly noticeable feature is that almost half of the men and women in the outer island groups do not have paid work or do other business activity, but produce food or other items for sale and/or home consumption. In addition, at least half the males in the outer islands who have a paid job or do some other business activity combine that work with producing food for home consumption, but the same is not true for females with jobs.

 Tonga Labour Force Survey reports

Labour Force Survey


2018 Labour Force Survey Report

Size: 1.69 MB
Hits: 22
Date added: 31-12-2018

2003 Labour Force Survey Report

Size: 1.09 MB
Hits: 16
Date added: 23-06-2017

Contact Person: Lupe Moala Tupou