Australian Bureau of Statistics
Job Search Experience
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Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
The Job Search Experience survey examines the job search experience of unemployed persons, with particular focus on two key aspects - steps taken to find work, and barriers encountered in finding work. It also provides information about employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months, the steps taken to attain work and their current job details.
Data from the survey are used in formulating policies in areas such as labour market assistance, and control and review mechanisms for unemployment benefit payments.
This survey is conducted as part of the Monthly Population Survey, which comprises the Labour Force Survey and, in most months, a supplementary survey topic.
Scope - Labour Force Survey
The Labour Force Survey includes all persons aged 15 and over except:
Scope - Job Search Experience (JSE)
The JSE survey also excludes students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons. The survey only covers those who were unemployed in July and persons employed in July who started their current job in the previous 12 months.
Coverage - Labour Force Survey
In the Labour Force Survey, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection. The chance of a person being enumerated at two separate dwellings in the one survey is considered to be negligible.
Persons who are away from their usual residence for six weeks or less at the time of interview are enumerated at their usual residence (relevant information may be obtained from other usual residents present at the time of the survey).
The survey presents data on the two populations: Unemployed persons and Employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months.
Population 2: Employed persons who started that job in the previous 12 months
State or territory of usual residence
Area of usual residence
Region of usual residence
Relationship in household
Country of birth and period of arrival
Age group (years)
Level of highest educational attainment
Level of highest non-school qualification
Highest year of school completed
Highest non-school educational qualification and whether qualification obtained overseas or in Australia
Number of jobs started in previous 12 months
Steps taken to find work/attain job
Whether looking for full-time or part-time work
Number of hours of work sought
Duration of current period of unemployment
Whether registered with Centrelink as a job seeker
All steps taken to find work
Active steps taken to find work
Active steps taken to find work while registered with Job Network employment agency
Whether registered with a Job Network employment agency
Number of offers of employment in the current period of unemployment
All difficulties in finding work
Main difficulty in finding work
Number of spells of looking for work in the previous 12 months
Time spent looking for work in the previous 12 months
Whether has ever worked
Status in employment in last job
Occupation of last job
Industry of last job
Whether worked full-time or part-time in last job
Duration of last job
Reason for ceasing last job
Whether has job to go to lasting two weeks or more
Whether out of work prior to starting last job
Whether first job ever held
All steps taken to attain job
Whether jobseeker approached employer
Whether had prior knowledge that job was available
Role of job network in job attainment
Month started job
Duration of looking for work before being offered job
Occupation of current job
Full-time or part-time status of current employment
Whether prefers to work more hours that usually works
Demographics: State, Area, Region, Sex, Marital Status, Relationship in Household, Period of Arrival and Age.
Country of Birth: The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC).
Occupation: Australian Standard Classification of Occupations Second Edition (ASCO SE).
Industry: Australia and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).
Educational attainment: Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED).
Other concepts (summary)
Comments and/or Other Regions
Not all data available for all areas.
Initial collection: Job Search Experience, July 2002. Collected annually.
Job Search Experience was the combination of two collections: Job search Experience of Unemployed Persons (cat. no. 6222.0) which was last run in July 2001 and Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience (cat. no. 6245.0) which was last run in July 2000.
Data availability comments
Publication Job Search Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0)
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This page last updated 11 September 2008