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6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, Nov 2008 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/06/2009   
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Forms of Employment Survey, conducted throughout Australia in November 2008 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.


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).


SCOPE

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).

5 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 people living in Indigenous communities in very remote parts of Australia.

7 This survey was restricted to employed people aged 15 years and over who were not contributing family workers in their main job.


COVERAGE

8 The estimates in this publication relate to people covered by the survey in November 2008. 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.


SAMPLE SIZE

9 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.

10 The LFS sample size in November 2008 was approximately one-third smaller than the sample size in November 2007. This is due to an 11% sample reduction that was implemented from November 2007 to June 2008 based on the 2006 sample design, and an additional 24% sample reduction implemented in July 2008. Detailed information about the sample reduction is provided in Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, November 2007 (Second edition) (cat.no.6269.0).

11 The reduced sample will still be representative, with selections made across all parts of Australia.

12 The initial sample for the November 2008 LFS consisted of 27,480 private dwelling households and special dwelling units. Of the 22,165 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 21,005 or 94.8% were fully responding to the Forms of Employment survey. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwellings and special dwelling units (after taking into account scope, coverage and sub sampling exclusions) was 22,037.


RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES

13 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.


SEASONAL FACTORS

14 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

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

16 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.

17 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

18 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'.

19 Employees are classified as 'With paid leave entitlements' if they said 'yes' to either of the following questions:
  • 'Does your employer provide you with paid sick leave?'
  • 'Does your employer provide you with paid holiday leave?' In all other cases, employees are categorised as 'Without paid leave entitlements'.

20 For the data item 'Days of the week usually worked in all jobs', people who reported that they worked from Monday to Friday, inclusive, were categorised as working Monday to Friday. These people may have reported that they also worked on Saturday and Sunday in their job/s. People who reported that the usual days of the week worked varied were categorised only to days varied. A response of days varied could not be provided with any other response.

21 The responses given by multiple jobholders for the data items 'Days of the week usually worked in all jobs', 'Number of days of the week usually worked in all jobs', and 'Whether worked weekdays and/or weekends in all jobs' does not imply that this was their usual pattern of work in each of their jobs, rather this was their total pattern of work in all their jobs.


COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES

22 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.

23 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.

24 In 1998 and 2001, people working for payment in kind were excluded from the survey. From 2004 onwards this group have been included.

25 The November 2008 Forms of Employment Survey was redeveloped to better capture information of independent contractors, other business operators and employees. Information was also collected of people who found their current job through a labour hire firm/employment agency, which the ABS plans to collect again in November 2011.

26 The change has resulted in a break in series for employees and users need to exercise caution when comparing data about employees in the 2008 publication with previous releases as data about this population group has changed. For more information see Appendix 1.

27 The data items 'Status in employment' and 'Employment type in main job' presented in the 2007 Forms of Employment publication are no longer presented in this publication, however are available on request, and have been replaced with 'Form of employment in main job'.

28 Additional information is presented about people who found their current job through a labour hire firm/employment agency. These are, 'Whether currently registered with a labour hire firm/employment agency', 'Whether still registered with the same labour hire firm/employment agency', 'Number of work assignments through labour hire firm/employment agency in the last 12 months', 'Whether usually had continuous/ongoing work from a labour hire firm/employment agency', and 'All/Main reasons for using a labour hire firm/employment agency'.


COMPARABILITY WITH MONTHLY LFS STATISTICS

29 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.


PREVIOUS SURVEYS

30 The Forms of Employment Survey was first conducted in August 1998 then in November 2001, November 2004, November 2006 and November 2007. Results of previous surveys on employment arrangements have been published in:

NEXT SURVEY

31 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in November 2009.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

32 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.


CURFS

33 It is expected that a confidentialised unit record file (CURF) will be produced from the Forms of Employment Survey subject to the approval of the Australian Statistician. The Basic CURF will be available on CD-ROM, via the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). The Expanded CURF will only be accessible through the RADL and ABSDL. The CURF will be available in SAS, STATA and SPSS format. A full range of up-to-date information about the availability of ABS CURFs and about applying for access to CURFs is available via the ABS web site (see Services - CURF Microdata). For enquiries regarding CURFs, contact ABS CURF Management Unit via email at microdata.access@abs.gov.au or telephone 6252 7714.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

34 ABS publications which may be of interest include:
35 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the Statistics Page on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.


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