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6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Dec 2013 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/01/2014   
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WHAT'S NEW IN THE LABOUR FORCE


UPCOMING CHANGE TO GEOGRAPHY STANDARD USED IN THE LABOUR FORCE SURVEY

A new geographical classification used to present regional labour force estimates will be introduced with the January 2014 issue. For more details see the What's New in the Labour Force section in the November 2013 issue of this publication. The November issue referred to an information paper outlining changes to available regional Labour Force data. This information paper will be updated on 23 January 2014 to reflect the outcome of additional user consultation. The changes include:

  • The sex classification will continue to be included in data cubes RM1, RQ1 and RQ2.
  • Data cubes RQ1 and RQ2 will be presented each quarter as a four quarter rolling average instead of annually as a financial year average.
  • The Duration of Job Search categories in data cubes RM2 and RM3 will provide further detail regarding short term unemployment and be more consistent with data published in data cube UM2.

These and other changes to the regional estimates will be introduced with the January 2014 issue. For further information, refer to the Information Paper: Regional Labour Force Statistics (ABS cat. no. 6262.0).


REBENCHMARKING LABOUR FORCE ESTIMATES TO THE 2011 CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING

Data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) on persons employed, unemployed and not in the labour force are calculated so as to add to independent population benchmarks for age groups, sex and regions. For the labour force estimates, these population benchmarks are based on the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) which reflects Census data adjusted for under-enumeration, updated for births, deaths, interstate migration and net overseas migration. As labour force estimates cover the civilian population aged 15 years and over, the civilian population aged under 15 years and permanent defence personnel are deducted from ERP to create the labour force population benchmarks.

From the January 2014 issue of this publication labour force estimates will be compiled using population benchmarks based on results from the 2011 Census. Additionally, labour force estimates for the period July 1991 to December 2013 will be rebenchmarked to the revised population benchmarks. These revisions will be introduced concurrently with the introduction of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard.


UPCOMING CHANGE IN COLLECTION PROCEDURES FOR THE LABOUR FORCE SURVEY

The LFS receives a high level of cooperation from individuals in selected dwellings, with the response rate typically ranging from 95 to 97% each month. However, in recent years it has become increasingly difficult to contact persons selected in the Survey due to changes in lifestyles. This has led to significant increases in costs which are not sustainable. In response, the ABS is refining procedures for the collection of labour force data. As a result, from 2014 the LFS response rate is expected to range from 93 to 95% each month. Analysis undertaken by the ABS has shown that this will not have a significant impact on the quality of labour force estimates at the Australia, State and regional levels. Response rates for the ABS's LFS will remain higher than those for similar surveys conducted by national statistical offices in comparable countries.

This is part of a broader program of ABS work to enhance the cost-effectiveness of its response follow-up strategies while maintaining the high quality of its statistics. The ABS remains committed to producing high quality labour force estimates and will continue to monitor the estimates to determine if there is any impact from the changed procedures.


500TH LABOUR FORCE SURVEY

This issue presents the results of the 500th LFS. 70 quarterly surveys were conducted between November 1960 and February 1978 followed by 430 monthly surveys between March 1978 and December 2013.

The LFS is the Bureau's longest running household survey and has provided the basis on which the ABS has built an extensive program of labour and social surveys of the Australian population. The LFS provides official statistics about the number of employed and unemployed Australians and their working arrangements.

ABS household surveys, including the LFS, draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of population and social statistics published by the ABS would not be available.


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Commonwealth of Australia 2014

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