6291.0.55.003 - Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2015 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/12/2015   
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The Labour Force Survey (LFS) has collected information on an employed person's duration with their current employer/business every three months since May 2001. Data were collected from employed people as to whether they had been employed for a year or more, or the number of months they were employed, if this duration was less than a year. This resulted in a considerable amount of detail being captured on durations of less than one year but not for durations of more than one year. While not available from the LFS, publications from the annual supplementary surveys, Forms of Employment (cat. no. 6359.0) and Labour Mobility (cat. no. 6209.0), presented more detailed breakdowns of duration with current employer over one year (e.g. single years between 1 and 20 years, and 'More than 20 years').

From July 2014, the LFS has collected information on the number of years employed for those employed over a year, up to 20 years. The publication of this more detailed information is a result of the review of Labour Force statistics, as detailed in Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review (cat. no. 6107.0). These data were first released with the August 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003) in Table 17.

Data on duration of employment with current employer/business for less than one year are comparable with previously available quarterly LFS data. However, the new LFS estimates for duration over one year may differ from Forms of Employment and Labour Mobility supplementary surveys due to the fact that supplementary surveys are not conducted on the full LFS scope or sample (presently they are run on at most seven eighths of the sample). This will lead to some minor differences between LFS estimates and those from supplementary surveys. Also, estimates from the LFS are periodically revised to reflect the latest population benchmarks, whereas time series data from supplementary surveys have not normally been revised.

Consistent with previous data, those employed less than a year comprise about one fifth of total employment. The new data also show that a high number of employed people have had duration of two years or less with their employer/business (around 40% of all employed people). At the other end of the distribution, around 10% of employed people had a duration of 20 years and more.


Graph showing employment by duration with current employer