1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Forms of Employment Survey, conducted throughout Australia in November 2007 as a supplement to the 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.
CONCEPTS SOURCES AND METHODS
3 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).
4 The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes the following people:
- 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).
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.
6 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.
7 This survey was restricted to employed people aged 15 years and over who were not contributing family workers in their main job.
8 The estimates in this publication relate to people covered by the survey in November 2007. 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.
9 Supplementary surveys are not 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.
10 The initial sample for the November 2007 LFS consisted of 41,091 private dwelling households and special dwelling units. Of the 33,521 private dwelling households and special 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 31,935 or 95% were fully responding to the Forms of Employment survey. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwelling households and special dwelling units (after taking into account scope, coverage and subsampling exclusions) was 33,932.
RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES
11 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 more 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 effective processing procedures.
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.
13 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).
14 From 2006, occupation data are classified according to the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0). This new classification replaces the ASCO - Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0). Data classified according to the ASCO are available on request.
15 Also from 2006, industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). This new classification replaces the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0). Data classified according to the ANZSIC 1993 are available on request.
NOTES ON ESTIMATES
16 People who were away from work during the reference week were included in the 'Less than 1 hour/no hours' category for the data item 'Hours actually worked in main job'.
17 Employees (excluding OMIEs) are classified as 'With paid leave entitlements' if they said 'yes' to either of the following questions:
- 'Does your employer/business provide you with paid sick leave?'
- 'Does your employer/business provide you with paid holiday leave?' In all other cases, employees are categorised as 'Without paid leave entitlements'.
In 2007, only owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs) and owner managers of unincorporated enterprises (OMUEs), were asked if they worked on a contract basis. Employees (excluding OMIEs) were asked if they worked on a fixed-term contract. In 2006, all employed people including OMIEs and OMUEs, were asked if they worked on a contract basis. Users, therefore, need to exercise care when comparing the number of people who worked on a contract basis with previous releases.
COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES
19 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 based on these revised population benchmarks.
20 In 2006, all employed people were asked if they worked on a contract basis. In previous surveys, people who received both paid sick and paid holiday leave were not asked if they worked on a contract basis. Users need to exercise care when comparing the number of people who worked on a contract basis in this publication with previous releases.
21 The survey was redesigned in 2001 to reflect the changes in the Australian labour market that had occurred. This restricted the scope of the survey to people aged 15-69 years. From 2004 onwards, the scope includes all people aged 15 years and over.
22 In 1998 and 2001, people working for payment in kind were excluded from the survey. From 2004 onwards this group have been included.
COMPARABILITY WITH MONTHLY LFS STATISTICS
23 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.
24 The Forms of Employment Survey was first conducted in August 1998 then in November 2001, November 2004 and November 2006. Results of previous surveys on employment arrangements have been published in:
The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in November 2008.
26 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.
27 ABS publications which may be of interest include:
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