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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
For further detail of the types of businesses and organisations included in the scope of the survey see paragraph 2 of the Explanatory Notes.
Size of the sector
At the end of June 2000, there were 9,287 employing businesses and organisations involved in the provision of community services within the scope of the survey, which was a 15% increase on the number of employing community services businesses and organisations at the end of June 1996.
The 9,287 businesses and organisations comprised 2,800 'for profit' organisations, 5,938 'not for profit' organisations and 548 government organisations. While the number of government organisations has virtually remained the same since June 1996, the number of 'for profit' and 'not for profit' organisations have increased by 32% and 10% respectively.
At the end of June 2000, there were 341,447 employees working for community service organisations in scope of this survey, which was a 7% increase since June 1996. The majority (81%) of employees worked directly on community service provision. In addition, there were 299,413 volunteers working at some time during June 2000 on community services activities, which was a 25% increase since June 1996.
In terms of employees and volunteers, 'not for profit' organisations accounted for the greater proportion with 64% of employees and 93% of volunteers.
There were 59,246 employees carrying out community services activities in government organisations. The large majority of these employees (49,023 or 83%) worked directly on community service provision with the remaining employees (10,223) working on activities such as social planning and policy development, administration of funding, licensing and regulating of service providers, and service delivery development and support. In addition, local government organisations had the support of 17,954 volunteers during June 2000.
Community services expenditure
In total, there was $12,643 million expended on community services and community services related activities during 1999-2000. This expenditure was a 32% increase since 1995-96, and comprised $10,748 million of direct community service expenditure and $1,895 million expenditure on community service related activities.
The total expenditure comprised $2,111 million by 'for profit' organisations, $7,086 million by 'not for profit' organisations and $3,445 million by government organisations.
While the direct community service expenditure by these organisations increased by 28% since 1995-96, the increases were different by sector with the expenditure by 'for profit' organisations increasing by 16%, 'not for profit' organisations by 47% and government organisations by 6%.
Personal and social support
The National Classification of Community Services (NCCS) category of personal and social support comprises information advice and referral, individual and family support, independent and community living support and support in the home. The total expenditure on personal and social support for 1999-2000 was $2,170 million which accounted for 20% of all direct community service expenditure and represented a 49% increase since 1995-96.
Expenditure on personal and social support was mainly by 'not for profit' organisations ($1,300 million) and government organisations ($821 million) with 'for profit' organisations expending only $50 million on this activity.
During 1999-2000, the expenditure on child care by organisations in-scope of the survey was $1,156 million which represented a 17% increase since 1995-96. Private sector organisations had considerable expenditure on child care activities with $587 million (51% of child care expenditure) by 'for profit' organisations and $413 million (36% of child care expenditure) by 'not for profit' organisations. The remainder of expenditure on child care was $157 million by government organisations.
The category with the largest direct community service expenditure during 1999-2000 was residential care activities with $6,058 million, which represented 56% of all direct community service expenditure. Since 1995-96, expenditure on residential care has increased by 25%. All three types of organisations were involved in residential care with 'for profit' organisations expending $1,451 million, 'not for profit' organisations expending $3,570 million and government organisations expending $1,036 million on residential care.
Other direct community services expenditure
Other direct community service expenditure included $499 million for training and employment for persons with disabilities, $246 million for juvenile and disability corrective services, $233 million for statutory protection and placement, $190 million for foster care placement, $142 million for financial and material assistance, $34 million for other accommodation placement and support and $20 million for other direct community services activities.
There was virtually no expenditure on these activities by 'for profit' organisations with 'not for profit' organisations being heavily involved in training and employment (100% of expenditure), financial and material assistance (83% of expenditure) and other accommodation placement and support (68% of expenditure). In comparison, government organisations were heavily involved in juvenile and disability corrective services (96% of expenditure), statutory protection and placement (94% of expenditure) and foster care placement (71% of expenditure).
Community services related expenditure
During 1999-2000, there was expenditure of $1,895 million on community services related activities (i.e. non-direct services) by in-scope organisations which represented 15% of the total community services expenditure. Over half (57%) of this expenditure was accounted for by 'not for profit' organisations, with government organisations accounting for most of the remaining expenditure.
Users comparing these data with data from 1995-96 should do so with care as it is suspected that some community services related expenditure was under-reported in 1995-96.
TABLE 2.1 KEY AGGREGATES
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
1 This publication presents results in respect of the 1999-2000 financial year from an ABS survey of employing businesses and organisations engaged in the provision of community services.
2 The scope of the survey was:
IMPROVEMENTS TO COVERAGE
3 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 business register. The majority of businesses affected and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size.
4 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 business register.
5 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 register.
6 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (Cat. no. 1357.0).
CLASSIFICATION OF COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITY
7 Each business and organisation in the survey was required to provide a breakdown of its expenditure into the various community service activities undertaken by the business or the organisation. These community service activities have been classified using the National Classification of Community Services (NCCS) and the following categories have been used in table 2.1: Personal and social support; Child-care; Training and employment; Financial and material assistance; Residential care and accommodation support; Foster care placement; Statutory protection and placement; Juvenile and disabilities corrective services; and Other direct community services activities.
8 The unit for which non-government sector statistics were reported in the publication was the management unit. This is the highest level accounting unit within a business or organisation, having regard for industry homogeneity, for which accounts are maintained. In nearly all cases it coincides with the legal entity owning the business (i.e. company, partnership, trust, sole operator, incorporated association etc.). In the case of large diversified businesses or organisations, however, there may be more than one management unit, each coinciding with a 'division' or 'line of business'. A division or line of business is recognised where separate and comprehensive accounts are compiled for it.
9 For Commonwealth and State Government organisations the statistical unit generally equated to the relevant departments i.e. those departments whose main responsibility was the provision of community services. Where a department had responsibility for other activities the unit was required to report in respect of only those activities associated with the provision of community services. For local government, the unit was required to report in respect of only those activities associated with the provision of community services.
10 Data presented in this publication relate to all employing businesses and organisations which operated in Australia at any time during the year ended June 2000. Counts of businesses and organisations include only those operating at 30 June 2000.
BUSINESSES CEASED DURING THE YEAR
11 A small number of businesses and organisations ceased operations during the 1999-2000 reference period. It is normal ABS procedure to include the contributions of these businesses and organisations in the survey output.
RELIABILITY OF THE DATA
12 The estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors.
13 Since the estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample drawn from the units in the surveyed population, the estimates are subject to sampling variability, that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if all units had been included in the survey. 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.
14 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.
15 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 percentage errors likely to have occurred due to sampling, and this also avoids the need to refer to the size of the estimate.
16 The following table contains estimates of RSEs for a selection of the statistics presented in this publication.
Relative standard errors for Table 2.1, Key aggregates
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
17 As an example of the above, an estimate of total expenditure on child-care activities is $1,156.3 million and the RSE is 2%, giving a standard error of $23.1 million. Therefore, there would be two chances in three that, if all units had been included in the survey, a figure within the range of $1,133.2 million to $1,179.4 million would have been obtained, and 19 chances in 20 that the figure would have been within the range of $1,110.1 million to $1,202.5 million (a confidence interval of 95%).
18 Where the RSE of an estimate included in this publication exceeds 25%, it has been annotated with an asterisk (*) as a warning to users. Where the RSE of an estimate exceeds 50% it has been annotated with a double asterisk (**).
19 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 error and they may occur in any collection, whether it be a census or a sample. Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling errors to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires and efficient operating procedures and systems used to compile the statistics.
20 In respect of output measures, each organisation was asked to supply an estimate of the number of contacts/cases/clients, etc. for 1999-2000 related to each direct community services activity. These output measures were necessarily broad in nature but not all organisations had detailed records of output measures as sought in the survey. As such these estimates should be used with caution.
21 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.
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