6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Preliminary, May 2002
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/06/2002
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• What If
• Standard Errors (Technical Note)

The estimates in this publication are based on information gained from the occupants of a sample survey of dwellings. Because the entire population is not surveyed, the published estimates are subject to sampling error. The most common way of quantifying such sampling error is to calculate the standard error for the published estimate or statistic.

LEVEL ESTIMATES

To illustrate, let us say the published level estimate for employed persons aged 15 to 19 is 500,000. The calculated standard error in this case is 8,700. The standard error is then used to interpret the level estimate of 500,000. For instance, the standard error of 8,700 indicates that:

• There are approximately two chances in three that the real value falls within the range 491,300 to 508,700 (500,000 + or - 8,700)
• There are approximately nineteen chances in twenty that the real value falls within the range 482,600 to 517,400 (500,000 + or - 17,400).

The real value in this case is the result we would obtain if we could enumerate the total population.

The following tables show the standard errors for this month’s level estimates.

 EMPLOYED UNEMPLOYED Looking Looking Not in Unemp- Partic- for f/t for p/t Labour labour loyment ipation Full time Part time Total work work Total force force rate rate ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 pts pts NSW 18.5 10.5 22.3 5.2 3.7 5.7 23.2 17.0 0.2 0.4 Vic. 14.0 8.7 16.9 3.9 2.9 4.5 17.5 12.8 0.2 0.4 Qld 10.9 7.7 12.4 4.1 2.7 4.6 12.8 10.1 0.2 0.4 SA 5.0 3.7 5.8 1.9 1.1 2.1 6.0 5.0 0.3 0.5 WA 5.4 4.1 6.1 2.2 1.4 2.4 6.2 5.0 0.2 0.4 Tas. 1.8 1.4 2.1 0.8 0.4 0.8 2.2 1.9 0.4 0.6 NT 1.3 0.9 1.4 0.4 0.3 0.5 1.4 1.0 0.4 1.0 ACT 1.8 1.1 2.1 0.5 0.4 0.6 2.1 1.4 0.3 0.9 Males 21.4 10.1 23.6 7.1 4.1 7.7 24.7 15.4 0.1 0.3 Females 15.7 14.6 20.5 5.7 4.7 6.8 21.2 19.1 0.2 0.3 Persons 28.2 16.8 37.6 8.4 5.7 9.5 40 25.1 0.1 0.3
 NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED PERSONS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE Aged Aged 20 Aged Aged 20 15-19 and over Total 15-19 and over Total looking looking looking Looking looking looking looking Looking for f/t for f/t for f/t for p/t for f/t for f/t for f/t for p/t work work work work Total work work work work Total ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 pts pts pts pts pts NSW 2.6 5.0 5.2 3.7 5.7 2.9 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 Vic. 1.8 3.8 3.9 2.9 4.5 3.2 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 Qld 1.8 3.8 4.1 2.7 4.6 2.7 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.2 SA 0.9 1.7 1.9 1.1 2.1 4.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.3 WA 1.1 2.0 2.2 1.4 2.4 3.1 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.2 Tas. 0.3 0.7 0.8 0.4 0.8 3.9 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.4 NT 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.5 8.1 0.5 0.5 0.9 0.4 ACT 0.2 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.6 4.9 0.4 0.4 0.9 0.3 Males 3.1 6.8 7.1 4.1 7.7 1.8 0.1 0.2 0.5 0.1 Females 2.9 5.3 5.7 4.7 6.8 2.8 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 Persons 4.0 8.0 8.4 5.7 9.5 1.4 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1

MOVEMENT ESTIMATES

The following example illustrates how to use the standard error to interpret a movement estimate. Let us say that one month the published level estimate for females employed part time in Australia is 1,390,000; the next month the published level estimate is 1,400,000. The calculated standard error for the movement estimate is 13,000. The standard error is then used to interpret the published movement estimate of 10,000. For instance, the standard error of 13,000 indicates that:

There are approximately two chances in three that the real movement over the two month period falls within the range -3,000 to 23,000 (10,000 + or - 13,000)

There are approximately nineteen chances in twenty that the real movement falls within the range -16,000 to 36,000 (10,000 + or - 26,000).

The following tables show the standard errors for this month’s movement estimates.

 EMPLOYED UNEMPLOYED Looking Looking Not in Unemp- Partic- for f/t for p/t Labour labour loyment ipation Full time Part time Total work work Total force force rate rate ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 pts pts NSW 9.9 7.1 11.0 3.9 2.7 4.3 11.2 9.5 0.1 0.2 Vic. 7.6 5.5 8.5 2.9 2.1 3.3 8.7 7.2 0.1 0.2 Qld 6.7 4.9 7.6 2.9 2.0 3.2 7.8 6.3 0.2 0.3 SA 3.1 2.4 3.6 1.3 0.8 1.4 3.6 3.1 0.2 0.3 WA 3.9 2.9 4.3 1.6 1.1 1.8 4.4 3.6 0.2 0.3 Tas. 1.2 0.9 1.4 0.6 0.3 0.6 1.4 1.3 0.3 0.4 NT 1.1 0.7 1.2 0.4 0.2 0.4 1.2 0.8 0.4 0.9 ACT 1.0 0.7 1.1 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.2 0.8 0.2 0.5 Males 14.1 7.5 14.9 5.4 3.2 5.8 15.2 10.8 0.1 0.2 Females 11.0 10.4 13.6 4.4 3.6 5.1 14.0 13.0 0.1 0.2 Persons 16.2 11.7 18.3 6.3 4.3 7.0 18.7 15.4 0.1 0.1
 NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED PERSONS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE Aged Aged 20 Aged Aged 20 15-19 and over Total 15-19 and over Total looking looking looking Looking looking looking looking Looking for f/t for f/t for f/t for p/t for f/t for f/t for f/t for p/t work work work work Total work work work work Total ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 ’000 pts pts pts pts pts NSW 2.1 3.8 3.9 2.7 4.3 2.5 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.1 Vic. 1.4 2.8 2.9 2.1 3.3 2.5 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.1 Qld 1.4 2.8 2.9 2.0 3.2 2.2 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 SA 0.7 1.2 1.3 0.8 1.4 3.4 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.2 WA 0.9 1.6 1.6 1.1 1.8 2.6 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 Tas. 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.6 3.1 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.3 NT 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.4 6.8 0.5 0.5 0.8 0.4 ACT 0.1 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.4 4.1 0.3 0.3 0.7 0.2 Males 2.6 5.2 5.4 3.2 5.8 1.4 0.1 0.1 0.4 0.1 Females 2.3 4.2 4.4 3.6 5.1 2.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 Persons 3.1 6.0 6.3 4.3 7.0 1.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1