ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents information about the labour force experience of people aged 15 years and over during the 12 months ending February 2009. It presents information about time spent in labour force activities, including episodes of working or looking for work, and time spent out of the labour force.
The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Labour Force Experience Survey conducted throughout Australia in February 2009 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).
For this publication, labour force activity over a 12-month period was determined from a more limited set of questions than is used in the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). For this reason, the terms worked and looked for work are used, rather than the more precisely defined terms employed and unemployed, as used in the LFS. In this survey, the concepts worked and looked for work are used to determine whether a person was in the labour force during the year. Therefore, this concept is also based on a more limited set of questions than the Labour Force Survey.
Labour force experience relates to a person's labour force activities over a 12-month period. Labour force activity consists of either working or looking for work.
This survey measured the number of weeks in which people were engaged in these labour force activities during the year, the number of spells of looking for work during the year and the main activity of people when not in the labour force.
NOTES ABOUT THE ESTIMATES
As a result of the sample reductions in the Labour Force Survey, (see Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Nov 2007 (Second edition) (cat. no. 6269.0)) the sample for the Labour Force Experience Survey was approximately one-third smaller than the sample size in February 2007. The reduced sample will still be representative, with selections made across all parts of Australia.
This has resulted in higher relative standard errors associated with the estimates. See the Technical Note for more details.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
Changes made to the categories for the data item 'Main activity when not in the Labour Force' have affected its comparability with previous years data. Users need to exercise caution when comparing estimates from 2009 with previous years. More details of this change, including the impact on the estimates are provided in paragraphs 18 and 19 of the Explanatory Notes.
Some of the publication tables have been expanded to incorporate time series tables for persons aged 15 years and over. As a result the order in which the tables are presented have been rearranged.
As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Market Statistics Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.