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8126.0 - Information Technology, Australia, 2000-01  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/09/2002   
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  • Explanatory Notes

INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents results, in respect of the 2000-01 financial year, from a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on the production and distribution of information technology and telecommunication (IT&T) goods and services by businesses in Australia. Also included in this publication are:

  • import and export data compiled by the ABS from information submitted by exporters, importers or their agents to the Australian Customs Service. Exports include both exports of Australian produce and re-exports of goods of foreign origin; and
  • data from the ABS Survey of International Trade in Services.

2 Information in this publication covers the main industries involved in the production and distribution of IT&T goods and services. This industry view draws together a number of standard industries that generally comply with the international definition of industries that specialise in IT&T activity. A complete list of these industries can be found in paragraph 5 below. Within these industries, it is the subset of businesses which specialise in IT&T which are the prime interest, and therefore the main focus of the statistics in this publication. Also presented are comparisons between selected IT&T goods and services produced in Australia, and imports and exports of those goods and services. The recorded media manufacturing and publishing industry is included in a separate chapter of the publication, because it undertakes significant IT&T activity, but is not within the international definition of industries which specialise in IT&T activity.

3 The definition of IT&T used in these statistics is based on a set of goods and services descriptions which have been agreed by major policy and industry organisations. It essentially covers computers and communications equipment and the services which facilitate the use of this equipment. Excluded from this definition are process control computers and other equipment in which the presence of microprocessors is predominantly for the control or setting of functions. Also excluded are simple calculating devices and TV and radio receivers.

4 The survey complements other information produced as part of the ABS IT&T statistics work program. Related publications are listed in paragraph 27 below.


SCOPE

5 The scope of the survey was all employing businesses recorded on the ABS Business Register and classified to the following classes of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC):
  • Class 2841, Computer and business machine manufacturing;
  • Class 2842, Telecommunication, broadcasting and transceiving equipment manufacturing;
  • Class 2849, Electronic equipment manufacturing;
  • Class 2852, Electric cable and wire manufacturing;
  • Class 4613, Computer wholesaling;
  • Class 4614, Business machine wholesaling n.e.c.;
  • Class 4615, Electrical and electronic equipment wholesaling n.e.c.;
  • Class 7120, Telecommunication services;
  • Class 7831, Data processing services;
  • Class 7832, Information storage and retrieval services;
  • Class 7833, Computer maintenance services; and
  • Class 7834, Computer consultancy services.

The scope excludes businesses classified to the General Government sector but includes government owned Public Trading Enterprises.

6 A random sample of businesses recorded on the ABS Business Register that were classified to ANZSIC 2430, Recorded media manufacturing and publishing, was also surveyed. This industry is not included in the main parts of this publication as it does not form part of the international definition of industries which specialise in IT&T activity. The only tables which incorporate statistics from this industry are Tables 3.1 (Production, imports and exports of IT&T goods and services) and 4.1 (Key figures, Recorded media manufacturing and publishing).

7 In general, the ABS Business Register excludes businesses which do not have any employees. However, a sample of businesses recorded on the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman list of employing and non-employing Internet service provider (ISP) businesses was also included in the survey.


COVERAGE

8 The frame used for the IT&T Producers survey, like most ABS economic surveys, was taken from the ABS Business Register. The ABS Business Register is primarily based on registrations to the Australian Taxation Office's Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) scheme (and prior to 1 July 2000, the Group Employer (GE) scheme). The frame is updated quarterly to take account of new businesses and businesses which have ceased employing.

9 Businesses which have ceased employing are identified when the Australian Taxation Office cancels their PAYGW registration (or previously their GE registration). In addition, from July 1999, businesses which did not remit under the GE scheme for the previous five quarters were removed from the frame. A similar process will be adopted to remove businesses which do not remit under the PAYGW scheme. The changes resulted in a shift in the level of the IT&T estimates. Historic data in this publication have been revised to take account of these changes.

10 From June 2002, the ABS will make further changes to the business surveys including adopting a new units model and expanding the frame to include all units on the Australian Business Register, including non-employers.

11 The introduction of The New Tax System has a number of significant implications for ABS business statistics, and these are discussed in the information papers ABS Statistics and The New Tax System (cat. no. 1358.0) and Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).


IMPROVEMENTS TO COVERAGE

12 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABS Business Register, and the omission of some businesses from the register. The majority of businesses affected, and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size.

13 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses in the estimates in the periods in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the ABS Business Register. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

14 Further adjustments have been made for businesses which had been in existence for several years, but, for various reasons, were not previously added to the ABS Business Register. The ABS is remedying these omissions.

15 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no. 1357.0).


STATISTICAL UNIT

16 The management unit is the highest type of unit within a business or organisation which controls its productive activities, and for which accounts are kept. A management unit is created for all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the unit will be classified to the relevant subdivision of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry subdivision, a management unit will be formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision.


STATE AND TERRITORY DATA

17 Data were collected from the Australia-wide operations of each organisation. Businesses which operated in more than one state or territory were asked to provide a dissection of total employment and wages and salaries to enable state and territory statistics to be compiled and comparisons undertaken.


REFERENCE PERIOD

18 Most data contained in the tables in this publication relate to IT&T businesses which operated in Australia at any time during the year ended 30 June 2001. Counts of businesses however, include only those that were operating at 30 June 2001.


RELIABILITY OF THE DATA

19 The estimates presented in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling error.

20 The estimates are generally based on information obtained from a sample of businesses in the surveyed population. Consequently, the estimates in this publication are subject to sampling variability; therefore, they may differ from figures that would have been obtained if all units had been included in the survey, that is if a census had been conducted. One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included.

21 There are about 2 chances in 3 that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if a census had been conducted, and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.

22 Sampling variability can be measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the sampling error in percentage terms and thus avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate.

23 The following table contains estimates of RSEs for a selection of statistics presented in this publication.


RELATIVE STANDARD ERRORS for Table 1.1, Summary of Operations

Businesses
at end June
Employment
at end June
IT&T
income
Total
income
Wages
and salaries
Industry
value added
%
%
%
%
%
%

IT&T SPECIALISTS

Manufacturing
Computer and business machines
18
5
4
4
7
8
Telecommunication, broadcasting and transceiving equipment
14
2
2
2
1
2
Electronic equipment n.e.c.
-
-
-
-
-
-
Electric cable and wire
28
6
5
5
5
4
Total
12
2
2
2
2
2
Wholesale trade
Computers
6
4
7
7
3
3
Business machines and electrical and electronic equipment n.e.c.
11
5
7
6
2
4
Total
5
3
6
6
2
2
Telecommunication services
6
1
1
-
1
-
Computer services
Data processing
22
14
29
29
23
33
Information storage and retrieval
21
7
9
8
8
10
Computer maintenance
17
5
4
4
4
5
Computer consultancy
2
3
3
3
3
3
Total
2
2
3
3
3
3
Total
2
1
2
2
1
1

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
Copyright Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2002


24 As an example of the above, the estimate of the total income of IT&T specialist businesses in the computer and business machines manufacturing industry is $1,342.7m and the RSE is 4%, giving a standard error of $53.7m. Therefore, there would be 2 chances in 3 that, if all units had been included in the survey, a figure in the range of $1,289.0m to $1,396.4m would have been obtained, and 19 chances in 20 (i.e. a confidence interval of 95%) that the figure would have been within the range of $1,235.3m to $1,450.1m.

25 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur because of deficiencies in the register of units from which the sample was selected, non-response and imperfections in reporting by respondents. Inaccuracies of this kind are referred to as non-sampling errors and they may occur in any collection, whether it be a census or a sample. Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems, and appropriate methodology.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

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.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

27 The most recent issues of other ABS publications on the use and production of information technology and telecommunication goods and services in Australia are listed below:

Business Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2000-01, cat. no. 8129.0
Computing Services Industry, Australia, 1998-99, cat. no. 8669.0
Government Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1999-2000, cat. no. 8119.0
Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2000, cat. no. 8146.0
Information Technology, Australia, 1998-99, cat. no. 8126.0
Internet Activity, Australia, March 2002, cat. no. 8153.0
Telecommunication Services, Australia, 1996-97, cat. no. 8145.0
Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, June 2000, cat. no. 8150.0
Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, November 2000, cat. no. 8147.0
Year 2000 Problem, Australia, June 1999, cat. no. 8152.0

28 A reference to the OECD ICT sector definition can be found in the following publication released in October 2000:

Measuring the ICT Sector, Information Society, OECD


RELEASE OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

29 Inquiries about more detailed statistics than those presented in this publication should be made by telephoning Marie Apostolou on Melbourne 03 9615 7465.


ABBREVIATIONS

$mmillion dollars
ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
GEgroup employer
ICTInformation and communication technology
IT&Tinformation technology and telecommunications
n.e.c.not elsewhere classified
OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OPBToperating profit before tax
PAYGWPay-as-you-go withholding
RSErelative standard error
SEstandard error




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