CHOOSING A DATA SOURCE
Each data source provides a different perspective on employment or voluntary work in the cultural sector. The most appropriate source to use will depend on the analysis being undertaken. For example, if seeking a regional breakdown (below state or territory level) or a fine level of detail on the occupation of a person working in a cultural industry, the Census is the most appropriate data source. However, a limitation of data from the Census is that it only refers to a person's main job in the week prior to Census Night. If information on the total number of people involved in culture is required and detailed data on the characteristics of those involved is less important, then the Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities Survey (ABS 2007c) data would be the most useful. If trying to compare the number of people who volunteer to work in heritage and arts organisations with those offering their services elsewhere, the Voluntary Work Survey (ABS 2007b) should be used.
The Service Industry Surveys are the most appropriate source if details on the number of people working in selected industries are required. Unlike the Census, these surveys include people working in the industries in second jobs or in an unpaid capacity. However, many of the Service Industry Surveys cited in this publication only collected information from employing organisations, therefore those organisations which rely solely on the services of volunteers were excluded. Changes in coverage occurred in the 2003-04 Museums Survey, the 2003-04 Public Libraries Survey (ABS 2005c) and the 2006-07 Performing Arts (ABS 2008g) and Television, Film and Video Production and Post-production Services (ABS 2008h) Surveys. These surveys included employing and non-employing organisations.