6365.3 - Preferred Working Hours of Wage and Salary Earners, Queensland, Oct 2006  
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1    This publication summarises the results of the survey of Preferred Working Hours of Wage and Salary Earners. This survey was conducted throughout Queensland during October 2006 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Monthly Population Survey (MPS) which is described in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0).

2    Information was obtained only for persons who were usual residents of private dwellings within Queensland, and satisfied either of the following job characteristics:

  • persons who had only one job were required to be a wage and salary earner in that job
  • persons with more than one job were required to be a wage and salary earner in their main job.

3    The survey collected information on characteristics of wage and salary earners, such as usual hours worked, unpaid overtime, paid overtime, preferred working hours and related socio-demographic characteristics such as highest non-school qualification.


4    The MPS is based on a multi-stage area sample of private dwellings (houses, flats, etc.) and a list sample of non-private dwellings (hotels, motels, etc.). The survey was conducted using seven-eighths of the full sample of private dwellings in Queensland that were included in the MPS. Sparsely populated areas were excluded. Information was obtained from the occupants of the selected dwellings by specially trained interviewers.


5    The survey questions were asked of all persons within the selected households who were aged 15 years or over and were wage or salary earners, with the following exceptions:

  • visitors to the selected dwelling;
  • members of permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from censuses and surveys;
  • overseas residents in Australia; and
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependents) stationed in Australia.

6    Information was sought from approximately 5,400 persons of whom about 5,000 (93%) responded.


7    For the survey, coverage rules were applied which aimed to ensure that each person was associated with only one dwelling, and hence had only one chance of selection in the survey.


8    Information was obtained for the occupants of selected dwellings by personal or telephone interviews, conducted during the two weeks commencing 9 October 2006. Interviewers for the survey were obtained from a panel of trained interviewers who have extensive experience in conducting household surveys.

9    One responsible adult member of each selected household was interviewed, answering questions regarding themselves and/or other persons in scope within that household. It is possible that some answers supplied by the responding person may be different to what would have been answered by the in-scope person themselves. Therefore, care should be taken when interpreting the results of this survey, for although it has been estimated that the error resulting from this occurrence is small, its impact has not been quantified. See Technical Note paragraph 2 regarding non-sampling error.


10    Industry and occupation of employment were not collected in this survey nor in the October 2006 labour force survey. However, records from this supplementary survey were matched with the November 2006 labour force survey when questions regarding the industry and occupation of employment were asked. Where there was no matching November record, industry and occupation were coded as 'unknown'.


11    Figures have been rounded and discrepancies may occur between totals and the sums of the component items.


12    This survey was a repeat of a similar survey conducted in 1999 (Working Hours of Wage and Salary Earners, Qld, October 1999 (cat. no. 6344.3)). The 2006 survey used some reworded questions (mainly those relating to educational qualifications), and a different scope compared to the 1999 survey. The difference in scope was:

  • the 2006 survey includes persons who were wage and salary earners in their main job
  • the 1999 survey includes persons who were wage and salary earners in all of their jobs.


13    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.


14    Other ABS publications which include information on Wage and Salary Earners include:

15    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 the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.


16    In addition to the statistics provided in this publication, the ABS can produce customised tabulations on request. Subject to confidentiality and sampling variability constraints, tabulations can be produced by cross-classifying data items for the relevant survey populations.

17    Additional available data for this survey of Preferred Working Hours of Wage and Salary Earners include:

  • number of hours prefer to work;
  • sources of income (multiple response possible);
  • main source of income; and
  • type of post-school qualification.

18    Subject to confidentiality and data quality restrictions, all data items can be cross-classified with person items available from the Monthly Population Survey, such as labour force region, household type and country of birth.

19    This additional data is available on a fee-for-service basis. For further information about this service, please contact ABS Queensland Statistical Consultancy Unit on 07 3222 6012.