Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Apr 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/04/2007   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Methods >> Household Collections >> Chapter 21. Labour Force Supplementary Surveys >> 21.10. Persons Not In the Labour Force

CHAPTER 21.10. PERSONS NOT IN THE LABOUR FORCE

INTRODUCTION

21.10.1 The Persons Not in the Labour Force (PNILF) survey collects information about persons who are neither employed nor unemployed. Data from this survey are used to measure potential labour supply not reflected in employment and unemployment statistics, and in particular to measure the number and characteristics of discouraged job seekers and others marginally attached to the labour force. The policy context for the data includes labour market programs for the jobless, income support programs, retirement policies, and child care policies. The survey was first conducted in May 1975 and then in May 1977. From 1979 to 1987 the survey was collected biannually. The survey has been conducted annually since 1988.

21.10.2 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.

SURVEY OUTPUT

21.10.3 Data from the survey are published in Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0) and standard data service Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0.40.001) for 1994 and 1995 (available in hard copy only). More detailed estimates are available on request.

21.10.4 Data from the survey relate to persons aged 15 years and over. The main populations of interest are:

  • persons not in the labour force: persons who are neither employed nor unemployed;
  • persons marginally attached to the labour force: people who were not in the labour force in the reference week, want to work and were either actively looking for work but were not available to start in the survey reference week, or were not actively looking for work but were available to start work within four weeks; and
  • discouraged job seekers: people who want work and were available to work within four weeks, but weren't actively looking for work because they believed they would not find a job.

21.10.5 Estimates are produced on an original basis only (i.e. not seasonally adjusted or trend) and include:

Socio-demographic information

Sex; age; marital status; relationship in household; state or territory of usual residence; country of birth; year of arrival in Australia; and full-time study status.

Persons not in the labour force
  • Whether want to work and full-time/part-time preference; whether looked for work in last 12 months; main activity when not in the labour force; and intention to enter the labour force;
  • For persons who have previously had a job: time since last job, and reason for ceasing that job; and
  • For persons who have held a job in the last 20 years: details of the job including occupation, status in employment, and full-time or part-time status.
Persons marginally attached to the labour force
  • Details of whether actively looking for work and whether available for work;
  • For persons not actively looking for work: all and main reason(s) not actively looking for work;
  • For persons not available to start work within four weeks: all and main reason not available; and
  • For persons not actively looking for work or available to start work within four weeks for caring for children reasons: age of youngest child and number of children.
21.10.6 Data collected in the survey are compiled according to concepts and definitions outlined in Chapter 4 (Employment Measures and Classifications), Chapter 7 (Not in the Labour Force) and Chapter 16 (Other Classifications Used in Labour Statistics).

SCOPE

21.10.7 The scope of this survey is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over. The standard scope restrictions for supplementary surveys outlined in the overview part of Chapter 21 also apply to this survey.

DATA COMPARABILITY OVER TIME

21.10.8 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. Changes affecting the Labour Force Survey may also affect this survey. Such changes are outlined in Chapter 20 and are not repeated here.

1975

Initial survey conducted (November) - preliminary data published in
Persons Not In the Labour Force, Preliminary (ref. no. 6.54) and final data in Persons Not In the Labour Force (ref. no. 6.59). Survey scope - persons aged 15-64.

1977

Survey conducted (May). Catalogue numbers replaced reference numbers - cat. no. 6219.0 (preliminary data) and cat. no. 6220.0 (final data).

1979

Biannual collection commenced (March and September), some definitional changes.

1980

Change to definition of persons wanting a job - broadened to include persons available to start work within 4 weeks from the end of the reference week but not actively looking for work. Preliminary publication discontinued.

1983

Concept of marginal attachment to the labour force introduced. Improvements made to measure of discouraged job seekers. Survey scope changed - persons aged 15 years and over.

1988

Survey scope changed - persons aged 15-69. Annual collection commenced (September).

1994

Standard Data Service replaced publication format (cat. no. changed to 6220.0.40.001). Sample reduced to seven-eighths of Labour Force Survey sample.

1996
Publication format replaced Standard Data Service (cat. no. changed to 6220.0).

1997

Persons living in remote and sparsely settled parts of Australia excluded from scope of survey.


2001

The introduction of the redesigned Labour Force Survey (in April 2001) allowed the identification of a new population group 'People permanently not intending to work'. These people were not asked questions about wanting to work and looking for work. As such these people were classified as 'Did not want to work' (without marginal attachment).

2005

The scope of the survey was expanded to include all persons aged 15 years and over.


2006

Estimates of the number of people who were not in the labour force because they were caring for children include people whose youngest child was aged 12 years and under. Previously questions relating to the care of children were only asked of people with children aged 11 years and under.

2007

Those 'permanently not intending to work' were further classified as either 'wanting to work' and 'did not want to work'. As a result of this change there has been a break in time series.
For the data items 'All reasons for not actively looking for work', 'Main reason for not actively looking for work', and 'Main reason not available to start work within four weeks' the response category 'own ill health, physical disability or pregnancy' was changed to three separate categories; 'own short-term illness or injury', 'own long-term health condition or disability' and 'pregnancy'.
For the data items 'Reason for ceasing last job', and 'Main activity when not in the labour force' the response categories 'own ill-health or injury' and 'own disability or handicap' were changed to 'own short-term illness or injury' and 'own long-term health condition or disability' respectively to ensure consistency within the survey resulting in a break in series.
A new data item was collected: 'All reasons not available to start work within four weeks'.

2008

For the data item 'Main activity when not in the labour force' the category 'Home duties or caring for children' was split into 'Home duties' and 'Caring for children'.

2009

For the response categories 'All reasons for not actively looking for work' and 'Main reason for not actively looking for work' a new data item 'Believes ill-health or disability discourages employers' was collected.
For the population group 'Discouraged job seekers' the response categories 'Believes no jobs in suitable hours' and 'Believes ill-health or disability discourages employers' were included resulting in a break in series.
A new data item: 'Preferred number of hours' was collected. The data item 'Full-time or part-time preference' was determined using this information based on the number of hours a respondent preferred to work each week. Both data items were collected for people who intend to enter the labour force in the next 12 months, resulting in a break in series.

FURTHER INFORMATION

21.10.9 For further details contact the Labour Market Statistics Section, on Canberra (02) 6252 7206 or email <labour.statistics@abs.gov.au>.


Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.