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SURVEY METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN
5 The SEE uses a sample survey methodology and collects information using a mail-out/mail-back collection methodology. Some government departments provide their information to ABS electronically.
6 The statistical unit for the survey comprises all activities of a public sector employer in a particular state or territory. Statistical units are stratified by state, industry and employment size, and within each stratum, statistical units are selected with equal probability.
7 A sample of public sector employer units is selected from the ABS Business Register to ensure adequate state and industry representation. Commencing with the 2008-09 survey, a sample redesign was implemented based on the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). The sample for the 2007-08 survey was designed on both the 2006 and 1993 editions of ANZSIC.
8 Commencing with the 2008-09 survey, the ABS also implemented a number of improvements to the ABS Business Register. Employment benchmarks for ATO maintained units (refer paragraph 11) have been updated to reflect more up-to-date information for use in stratification and estimation.
9 Due to the sample redesign, the sample size has decreased from about 2,500 employer units for the 2007-08 survey to about 2,000 units for 2008-09 onwards. The reduced sample size has resulted in increased standard errors for the 2008-09 estimates, compared with the 2007-08 estimates.
STATISTICAL UNITS DEFINED ON THE ABS BUSINESS REGISTER
10 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABS Business Register to describe the characteristics of businesses (and other organisations, including government departments), and the structural relationships between related businesses. The units model is also used to break groups of related businesses into relatively homogeneous components that can provide data to the ABS. The units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations, as follows:
ATO MAINTAINED POPULATION
11 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and are then included on the ATO Australian Business Register. Most of these businesses have simple structures; therefore the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO Maintained Population, and the ABN unit is used as the economic statistics unit for all economic collections.
ABS MAINTAINED POPULATION
12 For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with each business. These businesses constitute the ABS Maintained Population. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse businesses and the statistical units model described below is used for these businesses.
13 Enterprise Group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts, and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.
14 Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising (i) a single legal entity or business entity, or (ii) more than one legal entity or business entity within the same Enterprise Group and in the same institutional sub-sector (ie they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) sub-sector).
15 Type of Activity Unit (TAU): The TAU comprises one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry sub-division (and the TAU is classified to the relevant sub-division of ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry sub-division.
16 Each statistical unit is classified to an industry which reflects the primary activity of the organisation in the state or territory. Industry is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). The 2006 edition of ANZSIC replaces the 1993 edition which has been in use since 1994. The 2006 edition of ANZSIC was developed to provide a more contemporary industrial classification system taking into account issues such as changes in the structure and composition of the economy, changing user demands and compatibility with major international classification standards.
17 Institutional units are classified by broad economic functions according to the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) which is a key component of the general national accounting framework. For more details refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).
INPUT INTO THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ACCOUNTS
18 Estimates of employee remuneration for the public sector are one of the inputs to the gross domestic product component of the Australian National Accounts, specifically compensation of employees estimates. The private sector component of compensation of employees estimates are provided by the Quarterly Business Indicators Survey which are published in Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0). For further details see Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0).
COMPARABILITY OF SERIES
19 As noted in paragraph 3, estimates of employee earnings from the annual survey have been produced in accordance with the Australian conceptual framework for measures of employee remuneration.
20 The measure of employee earnings presented for the annual series is 'cash wages and salaries', which is regular and irregular wages and salaries in cash, including amounts salary sacrificed. For the quarterly series the published measure was 'gross earnings'. Gross earnings included regular and irregular wages and salaries in cash, but excluded salary sacrificed amounts. The quarterly series also included severance, termination and redundancy payments (STRP), which are not included in the annual series.
21 In addition, payments for accrued leave paid on termination are defined as part of cash wages and salaries in the annual series. In the quarterly series such payments were included as a component of STRP.
22 Because of these differences, care should be taken when comparing estimates of employee earnings for the annual series with those published for the quarterly series.
23 In addition, care should also be taken when comparing data for the public sector over time. Estimates of public sector employment and earnings can change over time due to: privatisation of public financial and public trading enterprises; changes to machinery of government, especially resulting from a change of government; and other changes to statistical unit structures, including industry classification, resulting from periodic updating of the ABS maintained population (refer paragraphs 12 to 15).
24 The following publications contain related information:
ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
25 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request and for a charge. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
26 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
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