Australian Bureau of Statistics
4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Users' Guide, 2008
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2010
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LABOUR FORCE STATUS
A reduced set of questions from the ABS monthly Labour Force Survey were used to collect information on the labour force status of selected persons aged 15 years and over. Based on the information provided, the person was classified as:
More details on these classifications are provided below.
In the 2008 NATSISS an employed person is someone who, during the week prior to interview:
In addition to these criteria, a person must have reported usually working one hour or more per week, in all jobs, to be classified as employed. In the 2008 NATSISS, people were only asked about the number of hours they usually work, and not how many hours they worked in the week prior to interview (ie the reference week). For this reason, the number of hours usually worked was used in the classification of a person's labour force status. This differs slightly from the definition of an employed person in the monthly Labour Force Survey, in which a person must have worked for one hour or more in the reference week to be classified as employed.
People aged 15 years and over were asked about work they had done in the week prior to interview. This included work done as part of the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP), but excluded work done as part of the Work for the Dole Scheme. People were asked if, during the week prior to interview, they:
People who said yes to any of the above were asked for employment details of their current job. People who did not do any of the above, including people who reported being permanently unable to work and people who were permanently not intending to work, were not classified as employed and so were not asked any further questions about their employment.
Community Development Employment Project (CDEP)
CDEP is a program which allows Indigenous communities to exchange unemployment benefits for opportunities to work or train in activities which are managed by a local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation.
People who had a job in the week prior to interview were asked if they were on CDEP, and if so, how long they had been on CDEP. People who identified as having more than one job, including CDEP, were asked if their main job (ie the job in which they worked the most hours) was part of CDEP.
Multiple job holders and status in employment
Information about the nature of a person's work was collected for people who had a job in the week prior to interview. For some people, this information resulted in them not being classified as employed. For example, people who reported their main job as being unpaid voluntary work.
People who had a job in the week prior to interview were asked whether they had more than one job in that week. People in non-remote areas were also asked a series of questions to determine their status in employment. A person's status in employment refers to their position in the enterprise in which they work and is defined as follows:
People were asked whether, in their main job, they worked:
People who worked for an employer were asked if they are paid a wage or salary, or some other form of payment. A wage is an hourly rate paid to an employee, while a salary is a fixed annual amount divided into equal instalments over the year. People who reported being paid a wage or salary were classified as employees. People who were uncertain or reported some other form of employment or form of payment were asked what their working/payment arrangements are in their main job. Response categories included:
Unpaid voluntary workers were not classified as employed and so were not asked any further questions about their current employment. People who reported their working/payment arrangements as any of the following were classified as employees:
Contributing family workers are those people who reported working in a family business without pay.
People who reported their working/payment arrangements were contractor/subcontractor, own business/partnership or commission only, as well as anyone who earlier reported that they worked in their own business were asked if:
People who worked in a business that was incorporated were classified as employees. People who worked in a business that was unincorporated were classified as:
Hours worked and working arrangements
People who had a job in the week prior to interview (excluding unpaid voluntary workers) were asked how many hours they usually work each week in their job or business (or all jobs for those people who had more than one job). Based on the hours usually worked in all jobs, employed people were classified as either:
People who did not state their usual hours were classified as part-time workers.
People who usually worked one hour or more per week were asked, if they could choose the total number of hours they worked each week, and taking into account how that would affect their income, whether they would prefer to work:
People who usually worked one hour or more per week were asked if their job was permanent or temporary, and whether they would describe their job as casual, full-time, part-time or shift work. Permanent work is ongoing employment, while temporary work is work for a set time. The terms casual, shift work and full/part-time were left open to interpretation. People who reported their job as being full-time or part-time may have been classified differently in the labour force status data item, as it is based on the hours a person usually works per week.
People who had a temporary job were asked which of the following types of contract they were on:
All employed people were asked whether it was possible for them to meet all their cultural responsibilities. The question refers to cultural responsibilities people have outside of work, even if their work is for a cultural organisation. Cultural responsibilities include things like:
Duration of employment
Information was collected on the duration of current employment, age when first started paid employment and total time in paid employment. Employed people were asked how long they have been in their current (main) job or business.
People who were permanently unable to work or permanently not intending to work were asked if they had ever had a job. If they had a job at some point in their lifetime they, along with all other people aged 15 years and over, were asked:
An occupation is a collection of jobs that are sufficiently similar in their title and tasks, skill level and skill specialisation which have been grouped together for the purposes of classification. Based on a description of the type of work performed by a person in their main job, a code was assigned as their occupation of employment.
For this survey, occupations have been classified according to the:
The major groups of occupations according to ANZSCO are:
An industry is a group of businesses or organisations that undertake similar economic activities to produce goods and services. Based on a description of the type of work performed by a person in their main job, a code was assigned as their industry of employment. Industry data was only collected for people living in non-remote areas.
For this survey, industries have been classified according to the:
The industry divisions according to ANZSIC 2006 are:
In the 2008 NATSISS an unemployed person is someone who was not classified as employed and:
Actively looking for work means taking active steps such as contacting an employer or applying for jobs, and does not include reading job advertisements in the newspaper. This differs slightly from the definition of an unemployed person used in the monthly Labour Force Survey, which also includes people who were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and who could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then.
A series of questions were asked of people who were not classified as employed, to determine whether they had actively looked for work and were available to start work. People were asked if at any time in the four weeks prior to interview, they had been looking for full-time or part-time work. People who had looked for work were asked if at any time in the four weeks prior to interview, they had done any of the following to find a job:
People who had done any of the above were considered to have actively looked for work and were asked whether they would have been able to start work in the week prior to interview, had they found a job. People who would have been able to start work and people who did not know whether they would have been able to start work were classified as unemployed.
Duration of unemployment
Unemployed people were asked how long they had been looking for work and when they last worked for two weeks or more. In remote areas people were asked:
In non-remote areas people were asked to provide:
This information was converted into the number of weeks spent looking for work and the number of weeks since a person last worked for two weeks or more. Duration of unemployment was determined as follows:
Difficulties finding work
Unemployed people were asked for all the difficulties/problems they had getting a job, based on the following:
More than one response was allowed. If a person reported more than one difficulty, they were asked which was the main difficulty.
Persons not in the labour force
In the 2008 NATSISS persons not in the labour force are those individuals who were not classified as either employed or unemployed. These people are of interest as they reflect the potential supply of labour. Persons not in the labour force represent a diverse group, including those who have some attachment to the labour force, such as:
Persons not in the labour force also includes people who:
Information was collected on all the reasons people, who were not in the labour force, had not been looking or actively looking for work. People who had not been looking for work at all were asked for all the reasons they had not been looking. People who had not been actively looking for work (eg people who had looked in newspapers but had not taken any active steps to find a job) were asked for all the reasons they had not taken any other steps to find work. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
Labour force rates and ratios
The 2008 NATSISS collected information on the number of Indigenous people who were employed, unemployed and not in the labour force. This information can be used to calculate rates and ratios, which are commonly used measures for describing labour force data. Rates and ratios provide an indication of the relative size of a group of people who share particular characteristics, when compared to the larger population. The following rates and ratios can be calculated using labour force data:
EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT SERVICES
Information was collected on the need for, and use of, employment support services such as Centrelink, Mission Australia and the Job Network. People aged 15-64 years, who were not looking for work in the four weeks prior to interview (including people who were employed) were asked whether they had been looking for work at any time in the 12 months prior to interview. People who had looked for work in the 12 months prior to interview, including unemployed people aged 15-64 years, were asked if they used employment support services to help them look for work or get a job. People who did not use employment services were asked of they needed any, and if so, the reasons why they did not use them. More than one response was allowed.
Response categories included:
COMPARISON TO THE 2002 NATSISS
The 2002 NATSISS collected information on employment for people aged 15 years and over. The following information was collected in 2008, but not in 2002:
The following information was collected in the 2002 NATSISS but not in 2008:
In 2002 information on whether a person had more than one job is only available for employed people in non-community areas, while this information is available for all employed people in 2008. In 2008, there are more output categories than in 2002, for the following data items:
More detailed information on the 2002 survey data is provided in the output data item list, available from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Data Reference Package, 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0.55.002).
For information on differences in collection methodology between the 2008 NATSISS and the monthly Labour Force Survey see the 'Comparison to the monthly Labour Force Survey' section of the Appendix in National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0).
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This page last updated 1 September 2010