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6265.0 - Underemployed Workers, Australia, Sep 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/04/2003   
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INTRODUCTION

1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Underemployed Workers Survey conducted throughout Australia in September 2002 as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who were in scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 .The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) 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 relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.

CONCEPTS, SOURCES AND METHODS

3 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in the 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) which is also available on the ABS web site (About Statistics-Concepts and Classifications).

SCOPE

4 The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes the following persons:

  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated populations
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

5 Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g.retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities) and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.

6 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded approximately 80,000 persons living in remote and sparsely settled parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these persons will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual states and territories, except in the Northern Territory where such persons account for over 20% of the population.

COVERAGE

7 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in September 2002. 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. 6203.0) for more details.

RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES

8 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 see 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.

SEASONAL FACTORS

9 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.

CLASSIFICATIONS USED

10 Country of birth data are classified according to the SACC-Standard Australian Classification of Countries, 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).

11 Educational attainment data are classified according to ASCED-Australian Standard Classification of Education (cat. no. 1272.0).

LEVEL OF HIGHEST EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

12 Level of Highest Educational Attainment can be derived from information on Highest Year of School Completed and Level of Highest Non-school Qualification. The derivation process determines which of the 'non-school' or 'school' attainments will be regarded as the highest. Usually the higher ranking attainment will be self-evident, but in some cases some Secondary Education is regarded, for the purposes of obtaining a single measure, as higher than some Certificate level attainments.

13 The following decision table is used to determine which of the responses to questions on Highest Year of School Completed (coded to ASCED Broad Level 6) and Level of Highest Non-school Qualification (coded to ASCED Broad Level 5) will be regarded as the highest. It is emphasised that this table was designed for the purpose of obtaining a single value for the output variable Level of Highest Educational Attainment and is not intended to convey any other ordinality.

14 The decision table is also used to rank the information provided in a survey about the qualifications and attainments of a single individual. It does not represent any basis for comparison between differing qualifications. For example, a person whose Highest Year of School Completed was Year 12, and whose Level of Highest Non-school Qualification was a Certificate III, would have those responses crosschecked on the decision table and would as a result have their Level of Highest Educational Attainment output as Certificate III. However, if the same person answered 'Certificate' to the highest non-school qualification question, without offering any further detail, it would be crosschecked against Year 12 on the decision table as 'Certificate not further defined'. The output would then be 'Year 12'. The decision table, therefore, does not necessarily imply that one qualification is 'higher' than the other.



AUSTRALIAN STANDARD LEVEL OF EDUCATION (ASCED) CODES
Certificate not further defined (500)Certificate III or IV not further defined (510)Certificate IV (511)Certificate III (514)Certificate I or II not further defined (520)Certificate II (521)Certificate I (524)

Secondary Education not further defined (600)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate II or I not further defined Certificate II Certificate I
Senior Secondary Education not further defined (610)Senior Secondary not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIISenior Secondary not further definedSenior Secondary not further definedSenior Secondary not further defined
Year 12 (612) Year 12Certificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate III Year 12 Year 12 Year 12
Year 11 (613) Year 11Certificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate III Year 11 Year 11 Year 11
Junior Secondary Education not further defined (620)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate I or II not further defined Certificate II Certificate I
Year 10 (621) Year 10Certificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate III Year 10 Certificate II Year 10
Year 9 (622)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate I or II not further defined Certificate II Certificate I
Year 8 (623)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate I or II not further defined Certificate II Certificate I
Year 7 (624)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate I or II not further defined Certificate II Certificate I



COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES

15 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 1999 to take account of the results of the 1996 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates from supplementary surveys conducted from and including February 1999 are therefore based on revised population benchmarks.

16 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. Since it was introduced, this survey has been conducted on various proportional samples and therefore sampling errors associated with previous surveys may vary from sampling error for this survey.

17 Prior to September 1994, part-time workers who wanted more hours of work were asked whether they were available to start work with more hours within the subsequent four weeks. From September 1994, an additional question was added to also determine their availability to start work with more hours during the reference week. This question was added to the survey so that estimates of underemployment could be more easily aligned with the then current International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommendations on underemployment.

18 As part of the redesign in 2001 of the LFS questionnaire, persons who were on short-term unpaid leave initiated by the employer, are now classified as employed. This approach is consistent with ILO recommendations on formal job attachment. Analysis of data from the LFS shows that many of these persons usually worked part time, and that a number of these had a preference to work more hours. However, overall, these persons contribute only marginally to the change in part-time workers wanting more hours.

COMPARABILITY WITH LABOUR FORCE SURVEY STATISTICS

19 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of this supplementary survey and that of the monthly LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.

COMPARABILITY WITH ILO DEFINITIONS

20 Comparability of the concepts and definitions used in the Underemployed Workers Survey are discussed in the Conceptual Framework on page 3. More detailed discussion is included in Labour Statistics: Concepts Sources and Methods, 2001 (cat. no. 6102.0), Chapter 5.

PREVIOUS SURVEYS

21 The Underemployed Workers Survey was conducted in May 1985, 1988 and 1991. In 1994, the survey became an annual survey, collected each September. Results of previous surveys were published in: Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0); and the standard data service Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0.40.001) for 1994 and 1995.

NEXT SURVEY

22 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in September 2003.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

23 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.

RELATED PUBLICATIONS

24 ABS publications which may be of interest include:
  • Job Search Experience, Australia, cat. no. 6222.0
  • Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6203.0
  • 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
  • Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6220.0
  • Working Arrangements, Australia, cat. no. 6342.0

25 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 the ABS web site. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

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