1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Job Search Experience Survey that was conducted throughout Australia in July 2005 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who fell within the scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.
2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.
3 From April 2001, the LFS has been conducted using a redesigned questionnaire containing additional questions and some minor definitional changes. These changes also affect the supplementary surveys. For further details, see Information Paper: Implementing the Redesigned Labour Force Survey Questionnaire (cat. no. 6295.0) and Information Paper: Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey (cat. no. 6232.0).
4 Information for this survey was collected using computer assisted interviewing (CAI), whereby interviewers record responses directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer. In the July 2004 survey, the CAI method was used on a random sample of 70% of survey interviews in all states and territories. The remaining 30% of interviews were conducted using the traditional 'pen and paper' method. In the July 2005 survey all interviews were conducted using the CAI method.
5 The change of interviewing method is not expected to have affected the estimates in any meaningful way.
CONCEPTS, SOURCES AND METHODS
6 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) which is available on the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au> (Methods, Classifications, Concepts & Standards).
7 The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes the following people:
8 Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for people with disabilities), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.
- members of the permanent defence forces
- certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from the census and estimated populations
- overseas residents in Australia
- members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).
9 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded approximately 120,000 people living in very remote parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these people will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates produced for individual states and territories, except the Northern Territory where such people account for around 23% of the population.
10 The survey only relates to people who were unemployed in July 2005, and people employed in July 2005 who started their current job in the previous 12 months.
11 The estimates in this publication relate to people covered by the survey in July 2005. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.
12 Supplementary surveys are not always conducted on the full LFS sample. Since August 1994 the sample for supplementary surveys has been restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the LFS sample.
13 The initial sample for the July 2005 LFS consisted of 41,269 private dwelling households and non-private dwelling units. Of the 33,484 private dwelling households and non-private dwelling units that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. households selected in the survey which had no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), approximately 31,379 or 93.7% were fully responding to the Job Search Experience survey. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwellings and non-private dwelling units (after taking into account scope, coverage and subsampling exclusions) was 6,436.
RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES
14 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:
- Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For further information refer to the Technical Note.
- Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers and efficient processing procedures.
15 The estimates are based on information collected in the survey month and, due to seasonal factors, may not be representative of other months of the year.
16 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).
17 Occupation data are classified according to the ASCO - Australian Standard of Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0).
18 Industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).
19 Educational attainment data are classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0). See Appendix 1 for further information.
COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES
20 Revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. The last such revision was made in February 2004 to take account of the results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates from supplementary surveys conducted from and including February 2004 are therefore based on revised population benchmarks.
COMPARABILITY WITH MONTHLY LFS STATISTICS
21 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of this supplementary survey and that of the LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.
COMPARABILITY WITH PREVIOUS SURVEYS
Change in data items 'all difficulties in finding work' and 'main difficulty in finding work'
22 From July 2004, a change has been made to the category 'considered too young or too old by employers' for the data items 'all difficulties in finding work' and 'main difficulty in finding work'. The category has been split into 'considered too young by employers' and 'considered too old by employers'. Data for 'considered too young by employers' are not published separately but are available on request.
Changes to employment services to the community
23 The Government made significant changes to the manner in which it provided employment services to the community between September 1997 and May 1998. As a result, the nature of job search activity undertaken by job seekers changed.
24 Prior to the change in employment service arrangements, the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) provided job seekers with access to labour market assistance, and offices of the then Department of Social Security (DSS) provided job seekers with access to income support.
25 Centrelink progressively replaced the CES and DSS shopfronts from September 1997. A competitive employment services market, the Job Network, was launched on 1 May 1998. The Job Network consists of private, community and government organisations on contract to the government to provide employment services to the community. From that date, job seekers register with Centrelink for job search assistance and can choose to go to any of the Job Network employment agencies. The agency then attempts to match job seekers with jobs that are registered with them by employers.
26 During the transition to the new employment services market, Centrelink performed a similar role to the CES. Job seekers registered at either a CES or Centrelink office, depending on which was operating in their area, for income support and/or job search assistance.
27 Due to the changes in the nature of employment services, caution should be used in comparing results for periods prior to the introduction of the changes with results from surveys conducted after the changes occurred.
28 JSE was first conducted in July 2002. Results of similar surveys on the job search experience of unemployed persons conducted in July 1984, July 1985, June 1986, July 1988, July 1990, June 1991, and annually from July 1992 to July 2001 were published in various issues of Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0). Information on persons who had started work for an employer for wages or salary during the 12 months up to the end of the reference week was collected in June 1986, and two-yearly from July 1990 to July 2000 and were published in Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6245.0).
29 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in July 2006.
30 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
31 ABS publications which may also be of interest include:
32 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or from the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.
- Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0)
- Career Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6254.0)
- Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0)
- Labour Force Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6206.0)
- Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0)
- Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001)
- Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0)
- Retrenchment and Redundancy, Australia (cat. no. 6266.0)
- Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0)