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6292.0 - Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, Aug 2015  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2015   
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FORTHCOMING CHANGES TO STANDARD LABOUR FORCE OUTPUTS

In the previous issue of this publication we detailed our plans to publish Labour Force information in new formats. We also advised that any changes to these plans would be announced in this publication.

As previously advised, we will publish Labour Force information in new formats commencing with the:

  • July 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), to be published on 6 August 2015
  • July 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), to be published on 13 August 2015
  • August 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003), to be published on 17 September 2015.

While plans to publish existing information in new formats have not changed, some new quarterly content will be delayed. The ABS previously advised that new quarterly series would commence with the August 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003), including volume measures of labour underutilisation, leave entitlements, retrenchment, and sector of main job (public/private). These series will now be published in the November 2015 issue on 17 December.

This decision was made in the interest of reducing risks to the broader Labour Force program.

The May issue of this information paper includes Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) spreadsheets with data in the new format up to April 2015. The July issue includes the new format spreadsheets for Labour Force, Australia, Detailed (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) with experimental data up to May 2015. Data may not match published estimates for all series and should not be relied on for decision-making. The purpose of these products is to assist stakeholders to test their analytical systems.

A concordance between all current format and new format time series identifiers is also included in the July issue of this publication.

WHAT WILL BE CHANGING

The publication of Labour Force estimates in the new formats will not result in revisions to historical estimates. Original estimates will align in both formats when rounded to the nearest person, while seasonally adjusted and trend estimates will show the usual revisions resulting from the subsequent observations being added.

The exception to this alignment is estimates of underemployment and underutilisation (Tables 22 and 23 in the spreadsheet series). With the introduction of the new format spreadsheets in the July issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), a correction will be applied to these estimates which is unable to be applied in the current format. The correction will address the erroneous inclusion of seasonal workers in underemployment estimates since July 2014. This will revise down underemployment estimates for the relevant periods by between 1,100 and 13,600 persons.

In addition to format changes and the correction to Tables 22 and 23, the introduction of several new series is also planned in coming months:

  • Underutilisation will be published on a monthly basis, with the introduction planned for the August 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). This series will be presented in original terms only until 2017, at which point seasonally adjusted and trend series can be introduced.
  • Six new series are planned to commence in the November 2015 issue of the Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003):
    • Volume measures of labour underutilisation
    • Leave entitlements
    • Retrenchment
    • Sector of main job (public / private)
    • Educational attainment
    • Educational attendance for the whole civilian population.
A brief article will be released for each of the new quarterly items to assist clients in interpreting the data.

An article describing changes to the Status in Employment standard will be published in the July 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

The front cover and commentary format of the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) pdf publication will not change with the introduction of new format spreadsheets. However, the tables in the pdf publication will reflect changes made to the spreadsheets. In particular, the Labour force status 15 years and over - States and territories (pdf Table 12) will be published as pdf Table 4 and will include seasonally adjusted estimates (except for the territories), trend estimates and an employment to population ratio. It will no longer include:
  • a male/female split
  • unemployed looking for full-time work
  • unemployment rate looking for full-time work
  • employed part-time
  • not in the labour force
  • civilian population 15 years and over.

Other changes include:
  • pdf Tables 1 to 3 will include an employment to population ratio but will no longer include unemployment rate - looking for full-time work
  • pdf Tables 13 to 16 will include employed part-time and unemployed looking for part-time work but will no longer include unemployment rate - looking for full-time work or unemployment to population ratio - looking for full-time work
  • aggregate monthly hours worked (pdf tables 18 & 19) will be called monthly hours worked in all jobs
  • pdf Table 17 (Gross Flows) will include unmatched civilian population 15 years and over and total civilian population.

The ABS recommends that users of the 6202.0 Labour Force, Australia pdf should take extra care until experienced with the new format. For further details around changes to tables in the pdf refer to the timetable attached to this information paper (via the Downloads tab).

The new outputs result from a review of the labour household survey program. The outcomes of the review were announced in 2012. Implementation has been delayed while priority was given to investigations into recent Labour Force results, the annual seasonal re-analysis and comprehensive testing of the system producing the new outputs.

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Commonwealth of Australia 2015

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