Australian Bureau of Statistics
6310.0 - Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, Aug 2002
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/03/2003
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6 Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with handicaps), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.
7 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 the Northern Territory where such persons account for over 20% of the population.
8 In addition to those already excluded from the LFS, employees who worked solely for payment in kind in their main job are excluded from this survey.
9 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in August 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).
RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES
10 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:
11 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.
12 Occupation data are classified according to the ASCO - Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition (cat. no. 1220.0).
13 Industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).
14 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).
NOTES ON ESTIMATES
15 In August 2002 there were 42,700 persons for whom sector of main job could not be determined. These persons were included in the private sector for the purpose of this publication.
16 In August 2002, persons refusing to answer questions about their weekly earnings and persons working in their own limited liability company who did not draw a wage or salary represented 593,900 persons in the population. These persons have been classified to the ‘Could not be determined’ category in this publication.
17 Care should be taken when using estimates of mean or median weekly earnings. Employees refusing to answer questions about their earnings are excluded from estimates of mean or median weekly earnings. Where these employees have demographic and employment characteristics which differ on average from the rest of the employee population, it is likely that the exclusion of these persons has resulted in a slight downward bias in mean weekly estimates.
COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES
18 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 these revised population benchmarks.
19 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. As a result of the reduction in sample size, standard errors for this survey differ from those applicable to previous surveys.
20 In August 1990, persons aged 70 years and over were excluded from this survey, restricting the age of respondents to 15-69 years. The scope of surveys since 1991 and surveys run prior to August 1990, included persons aged 70 and over.
21 Care should be taken when comparing movements in mean weekly earnings and employment benefits estimates that include the July 1991 and August 1997 surveys. The usual period between surveys is 12 months; however, in 1991 the elapsed time was 11 months (August 1990 to July 1991), and in 1992 it was 13 months (July 1991 to August 1992). In 1997, the elapsed time was 2 years (August 1995 to August 1997).
22 Estimates for the reference period August 2001 have been revised in this publication following an evaluation of procedures used for that survey. The evaluation found that inadequate editing procedures had been applied to a number of data records, necessitating changes being made to those records. As a result, revisions have been made to the estimates of gross weekly earnings in main job, gross weekly earnings in all jobs, hours paid for, frequency of pay in main job, and employees who worked as an employee in the reference week in their second job. For further information about this revision, see Appendix 1 or contact the person named on the front cover of this publication.
23 A change has been made in the method used to determine whether an employee works full-time or part-time in his/her main job. Prior to 2002, full-time or part-time status in main job was derived from a self-perception question in which all employees were asked 'Is your job full-time or part-time?'. Following the redesign in 2001 of the LFS questionnaire, actual hours worked in main job in the reference week is now collected. From August 2002, data on hours worked in main job are used to derive full-time or part-time status of employees in main job.
24 This approach is consistent with the method (based on hours worked) used in the LFS to derive full-time or part-time status in all jobs. For further details see Glossary entries 'Full-time employees in main job' and 'Full-time workers'.
25 This change has resulted in a net increase of 59,744 persons classified as full-time in their main job in 2002, compared with the number that would have been obtained if the self-perception question had been used. In total, 451,985 persons changed full-time/part-time status in main job with the change to the hours worked method. Of these, 255,865 persons considered part-time under the self-perception basis were classed as full-time using the hours worked method, while 196,120 considered full-time using the self-perception question were classed as part-time using the hours worked method. The move to the hours worked method has resulted in a small decrease in mean weekly earnings for both full-time and part-time employees in main job ($4 and $6 respectively). See Appendix 1 for further details.
COMPARABILITY WITH MONTHLY LFS STATISTICS
26 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 EMPLOYER-BASED AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS SURVEY
27 Caution should be exercised when comparing estimates of mean weekly earnings in this publication with estimates of average weekly earnings included in the quarterly publication Average Weekly Earnings, Australia (cat. no. 6302.0), which are compiled from a survey of employers. There are important differences in the scope and methodology of the two surveys.
28 The quarterly Survey of Average Weekly Earnings excludes employees in the industries of Agriculture, forestry and fishing (ANZSIC Division A) and Private households employing staff (ANZSIC Subdivision 97), both of which are included in this household survey. The quarterly Survey of Average Weekly Earnings collects information from employers who complete a mailed questionnaire with details of their employees' total gross earnings and the total number of employees. For this household survey, respondents are either interviewed personally, or another adult member of their household responds on their behalf.
29 The methodology used in this household survey may result in non-sampling error not evident in surveys of employers (and vice versa). This may account for some of the differences between the results of the two surveys.
PREVIOUS SURVEYS OF WEEKLY EARNINGS
30 Similar surveys have been conducted annually since August 1975, except 1991 when the survey was conducted in July, and in 1996 when the survey was not conducted.
31 Prior to 1998, this publication was titled Weekly Earnings of Employees (Distribution), Australia (cat. no. 6310.0). The change in title reflects the inclusion of employment benefits and trade union membership data previously released in other publications.
PREVIOUS SURVEYS OF EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
32 Results of previous surveys on employment benefits have been published in:
PREVIOUS SURVEYS OF TRADE UNION MEMBERS
33 Information on trade union membership was first collected in 1976, then biennially in its current format, from 1986 to 1992. From this time it was conducted annually (with limited data available every second year). Results of previous surveys were published in:
34 Limited data on trade union membership have also been published in:
35 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided 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.
36 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in August 2003.
37 Other publications which may be of interest include:
38 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products, Australia (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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This page last updated 20 June 2006