This publication provides a comprehensive description of the concepts, sources and methods used in compiling Australian labour statistics. It also discusses the various statistical measures that are available, how they relate to each other, and the factors influencing their accuracy and reliability. The aim is to help users improve their understanding of the extensive range of labour statistics that are produced, and thereby to support better analyses and interpretations of the resulting data.
The publication updates and greatly extends the more summary information on concepts, sources and methods previously published under this catalogue number in 1986 in 'A Guide to Labour Statistics'. Since that Guide was prepared, there have been a number of significant changes to international guidelines. These have been incorporated into this publication together with any consequent changes to Australian measurement practices.
Australian measurement practices are discussed within the context of international conventions, recommendations and guidelines. Published material of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has been used and quoted extensively in this process. The ABS thanks the ILO for the use of this material.
I also take the opportunity to extend my thanks to the many ABS staff who have contributed to the preparation and production of this publication. In particular my thanks go to George Sarossy, a former employee of the ABS, and to Kirrilie Horswill, a current ABS employee, for their considerable efforts in preparing this publication.
From time to time, particular concepts, sources and methods used in compiling labour statistics are changed or modified in the light of reviews or other developments. The practice of advising users of these changes in the appropriate labour statistics publications and through special information papers will continue. It is also intended that the information in this publication will be updated periodically to reflect such changes and modifications.
The ABS invites comments on the usefulness of this publication as a guide to Australian labour statistics. Such feedback will help in planning the content of future issues, and the descriptive material included in regular ABS labour statistics publications. Comments should be directed to the Director, Labour Market Section, Australian Bureau of Statistics, PO Box 10, Belconnen ACT 2616.