6102.0 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2001  
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20.5.1 The Labour Force Experience Survey collects a range of data about the labour force experiences of persons aged 15-69 over the 12 month period prior to the survey date. It was first conducted in 1969, and has been conducted on a biennial basis since February 1996. It presents information about time spent in labour force activities, including episodes of work or looking for work, and time spent out of the labour force.

20.5.2 Estimates from the survey are used to monitor the extent and nature of labour force participation over an extended period and to complement gross flows estimates from the monthly Labour Force Survey in the analysis of labour market dynamics. The information is used to construct profiles of various groups within the labour force, particularly the unemployed.

20.5.3 This section describes only those aspects of the methodology that are unique to this survey, and hence should be used in conjunction with the overview part of this chapter, which outlines the survey methodology used in supplementary surveys.


20.5.4 Data from the survey are published in Labour Force Experience, Australia (Cat. no. 6206.0). More detailed estimates are available on request.

20.5.5 The main population of interest is persons aged 15-69. Estimates are produced on an original basis only (i.e. not seasonally adjusted) and include:

Socio-demographic informationSex, age, marital status, relationship in household, family, geographic region, State or Territory of usual residence 12 months ago, educational attainment, birthplace and year of arrival in Australia.
All personsLabour force status at survey date, time in the labour force during the year, time worked during the year (including time spent working full-time and part-time), time and number of spells spent looking for work during the year, whether had an unpaid absence from work during the year, number of employers/businesses during the year, time out of the labour force and main activity when not in the labour force.
Persons who were employed at survey dateStatus in employment, occupation, industry, full-time or part-time status, duration in current job and time worked with current employer/business.

20.5.6 Data collected in the survey are compiled according to concepts and definitions outlined in Chapter 2 (currently economically active population - labour force status at survey date), Chapter 4 (employment characteristics), Chapter 8 (usually economically active population - time in the labour force during the year, time worked and looked for work during the year) and Chapter 15 (socio-demographic information and industry).


20.5.7 The scope of this survey is restricted to persons aged 15 to 69. The standard scope restrictions for supplementary surveys outlined in the overview part of Chapter 20 also apply to this survey.


20.5.8 In order to provide a high degree of consistency and comparability over time, changes to survey methods, survey concepts, data item definitions, frequency of collection, and analysis methods are made as infrequently as possible. Over the time the survey has been conducted there have been some changes to the scope and sample size. These changes mean that the standard errors for the survey differ over time. The effect on estimates of the change in scope is considered to have been small. Changes affecting the Labour Force Survey may also affect this survey. Such changes are outlined in Chapter 19 and are not repeated here.

1969Initial survey conducted (February) - preliminary data in Labour Force Experience, Preliminary (Ref. no 6.38) and final data in Labour Force Experience (Ref. no 6.26).
Survey reference period - preceding calendar year.
Sample size restricted to three-quarters of the Labour Force Survey sample.
1973Survey conducted (February).
1975Annual collection commenced (February).
1978Survey not conducted (this year only).
1979Catalogue numbers replaced reference numbers - Cat. no. 6205.0 (preliminary data) and Cat. no. 6206.0 (final data)
1981Change to survey reference period - beginning of February in previous year to the end of the reference week.
1982Change to the classification of some persons (this year only) - persons who reported that they had been in their current job for 1 year and also reported that they did not work for the entire reference period were not classified as 'not in the labour force' for the remainder of the period (as they were in other years).
1983Change to survey reference period - 52 weeks to the end of the week prior to interview.
1988Preliminary publication discontinued.
1989Sample size reduced to one-half of the Labour Force Survey sample.
1990Change to survey month (March).
Persons aged 70 and over excluded from scope of the survey.
Sample size increased to full Labour Force Survey sample.
1995Annual collection ceased - replaced by biennial collection (February).
Sample restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the Labour Force Survey sample.
Standard Data Service replaced publication format (Cat. no. changed to 6206.0.40.001).
1997Publication format replaced Standard Data Service (Cat. no. changed to 6206.0).
Persons living in remote and sparsely settled areas excluded from scope.


20.5.9 For further details contact the Assistant Director, Monthly and Multi-purpose Population Surveys Section, on Canberra (02) 6252 6660.

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