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Labour mobility in the spotlight of the Conference of European Statisticians

Travelling – be it for work or holiday – and long distance commuting has become part of everyday life for many people. You might live in France but work in Switzerland, or your colleague may fly to Rome every week-end to visit the family. Cross-border commuting belts are growing in size and are reaching a global scale that can have an impact on the economy, social services and infrastructure.  

In order to measure the impact of this trend and the number of people affected, we need sound and reliable data on which to base policy decisions. This requires agreeing on common definitions and increasing cooperation and data exchange across countries. The Conference of European Statisticians (CES), the governing body on statistics for UNECE countries, will meet in Geneva on 15-17 June 2015 to discuss, among many other topics on the agenda, the difficulties of measuring labour mobility and globalization.

Chief Statisticians will also touch upon another critical issue: the measurement of extreme events and disasters, which impact countless lives around the world. In developing countries the effects can often be even more devastating due, for example, to inadequate response. This risk can be mitigated also by unleashing the potential of information. National statistical offices are currently identifying practical steps to support disaster management and risk reduction. With reliable data, resources can be targeted where most needed to reduce the damaging effects of disasters.   

These discussions, among others, will feed into two thematic seminars of the Conference on:

  • The response by official statistics to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and
  • The modernization of statistical production as a necessary condition for data revolution

Creating the mechanism needed to appropriately monitor progress made on SDGs or on the mobility of labour, and assessing the number of inhabitants affected by a natural disaster in a specific region will require considerable efforts by statistical offices.

For more information, please visit: www.unece.org/index.php?id=38920

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