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6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Aug 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/12/2006   
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Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods was originally released in 2001 in both electronic and paper versions (cat. no. 6102.0). The paper publication will not be rereleased. However, the web version (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) is being updated on an ongoing basis. This chapter was updated on 12 April, 2006.


21.14.1 This survey provides information about workers who are not fully employed, i.e. part-time workers who indicate that they would prefer to work more hours, and full-time workers who did not work full-time hours in the reference period for economic reasons (see Chapter 5). This group includes 'time-related underemployed' workers. Measures of underemployment supplement other measures of labour market slack such as the number of unemployed persons and discouraged job seekers.

21.14.2 While basic data on underemployment are available from the Labour Force Survey, this supplementary survey provides greater detail on the characteristics and the job search activities of this important segment of labour underutilisation. The data also provide important support to policy formulation, as well as for labour market forecasts, and are an important source for those concerned with employment policy initiatives, and benefit and support programs.

21.14.3 This section describes only those aspects of the methodology that are unique to this survey, and hence should be used in conjunction with the overview part of this chapter, which outlines the survey methodology used in supplementary surveys.


21.14.4 Data from the survey are published in Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0). More detailed data are available on request.

21.14.5 Data from the survey relate to all employed people aged 15 years and over. The largest population of interest is part-time workers wanting to work more hours. Estimates are produced on an original basis only (i.e. not seasonally adjusted) and include:


Sex, age, marital status, household/family relationship, state or territory of usual residence, educational attainment, birthplace and year of arrival in Australia.


Whether fully employed or not fully employed, full-time/part-time status, status in employment, number of hours worked in the reference week.


Duration of current period of insufficient work, whether would move interstate if offered a suitable job, whether would move intrastate if offered a suitable job, whether would prefer to change occupation to work more hours, whether would prefer to change employer to work more hours, whether had been looking and/or was available to start additional work, steps taken to find additional work, whether registered with Centrelink, preferred number of extra hours, main difficulty in finding additional work, usual hours worked, preferred total hours.

21.14.6 Data collected in the survey are compiled according to concepts and definitions outlined in Chapter 3 (Employment), Chapter 4 (Employment Characteristics), Chapter 5 (Underemployment) and Chapter 16 (Other Classifications Used in Labour Statistics).


21.14.7 The scope of this survey is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over. The standard scope restrictions for supplementary surveys outlined in the overview part of Chapter 21 also apply to this survey.


21.14.8 In order to provide a high degree of consistency and comparability over time, changes to survey methods, survey concepts, data item definitions, frequency of collection, and analysis methods are made as infrequently as possible. Over the time the survey has been conducted there have been some changes to the scope and sample size. These changes mean that the standard errors for the survey differ over time. The effect on estimates of the change in scope is considered to have been small. Changes affecting the Labour Force Survey may also affect this survey. Such changes are outlined in Chapter 20 and are not repeated here.


Initial survey conducted (May) - data published in Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0).


Survey conducted (May).


Survey conducted (May).


Annual collection commenced (September).

Sample restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the Labour Force Survey sample.

Standard Data Service replaced publication format (cat. no. changed to 6265.0.40.001).

Data items added to the survey:

  • whether part-time workers wanting more hours, who were available to start additional work within four weeks, were also available to start additional work last week.

Data items no longer available:
  • occupation; and
  • industry.


Publication format replaced Standard Data Service (cat. no. changed to 6265.0).

Data items added to the survey:
  • duration of current period of insufficient work;
  • whether would move interstate if offered a suitable job;
  • whether would move intrastate if offered a suitable job;
  • whether would prefer to change occupation;
  • whether would prefer to change employer to work more hours; and
  • main difficulty in finding work.


Persons living in remote and sparsely settled areas excluded from scope.


21.14.9 For further details contact the Labour Market Statistics Section, on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.

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