35. In the last four weeks, were you actively looking for any kind of paid work?

Why we ask this question

Your answers help your local community by allowing charities, organisations and local authorities to identify where action is needed to help tackle low employment rates in your area.

Your answer also helps local authorities to make plans that support large amounts of public spending, for example, job creation, educational opportunities and health services.

The census first asked questions on employment in 1851.

Were you looking for paid work between Monday 22 February and Sunday 21 March 2021?

Select "Yes" if you were looking for any kind of paid work. Include looking for casual or temporary work, or work that pays a living allowance rather than a salary, such as clergy or elected officials.

Select "No" if you were only looking for voluntary or unpaid work. Also select "No" if you would have been looking for paid work in the last four weeks but did not do so because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

What does "actively looking" mean?

Examples of this could be:

  • registering online with recruitment agencies
  • applying for jobs by completing application forms, sending your CV to potential employers, or emailing employers directly
  • registering with employment agencies
  • checking newspapers and magazines for job vacancies
  • attending job fairs and interviews

Why it's important for those who are retired, long-term sick or disabled to answer this question

We ask this question to everyone who's not currently working. It helps us get a true picture of the working population.

The number of people who continue to work after retirement is increasing.

Some people who are not currently working due to long-term illness or disability may hope to return to work in the future.

If you're not looking for any kind of paid work, just answer "No".

Important information:

Answering for someone else

If you're answering on behalf of someone else, where possible you should ask them how they would answer. If they're away, answer as best you can.