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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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Contents >> Methods >> Household Collections >> Chapter 21. Labour Force Supplementary Surveys

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 15 December, 2005.


INTRODUCTION

21.0.1 A supplementary topic was included with the Labour Force Survey for the first time in November 1961, and this concept has been gradually extended so that now the majority of months in each year include supplementary questions on one or more topics.

21.0.2 Each Labour Force Supplementary Survey comprises a series of additional questions asked at the end of each Labour Force Survey interview. The survey methodology does not differ greatly among the supplementary surveys, and in many aspects is the same as the Labour Force Survey methodology (outlined in Chapter 20). Paragraphs 21.0.1 to 21.0.22 of Chapter 21 (below) describe the broad survey methodology of the supplementary surveys. They should be used in conjunction with Sections 1 to 16, which outline elements of the methodology which are unique to each supplementary survey.


OBJECTIVES OF THE LABOUR FORCE SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEYS

21.0.3 The Labour Force Supplementary Surveys form an important component of the ABS's household surveys program, which aims:

  • to provide a range of statistics required to monitor the social and economic wellbeing of Australians with particular reference to important sub-groups of the population; and
  • to support the development, implementation and evaluation of policies and programs of key Commonwealth and State government agencies.

21.0.4 The information requirements of ABS household surveys are determined on the basis of submissions from users on their needs for and uses of household survey data. They also reflect ABS deliberations on what is required of a national statistics program in the various subject fields, based on user contact and consultation.

21.0.5 In the field of labour statistics, supplementary surveys provide detailed information on a range of labour topics and interest groups such as:
  • labour force - labour force experience;
  • employment - underemployment; multiple job holding; forms of employment; labour turnover; work-related injuries; and locations of work;
  • employees - earnings; trade union membership; benefits; and working arrangements;
  • unemployment - job search experience; successful and unsuccessful job search;
  • persons not in the labour force - discouraged job seekers; other persons with marginal attachment to the labour force;
  • retirement and retirement intentions; and
  • persons retrenched or made redundant from work.

21.0.6 Many labour topics are covered on a regular basis, while others are only covered once or at irregular intervals to meet a specific need for information. Topics are usually run nationally. However, one month is set aside each year for State government proposed topics, specific to one or more States. The program also includes other social and economic topics not relating to labour statistics, such as the environment, crime and safety, and child care.


SURVEY OUTPUT

21.0.7 Estimates from each supplementary survey are released in separate publications. More detailed estimates are available on request. Confidentialised Unit Record Files are sometimes also produced.
SCOPE

21.0.8 In addition to those already excluded from the Labour Force Survey, the following persons are excluded from most supplementary surveys (see paragraphs 18.2 to 18.4 of Chapter 18 for further information):
  • people living in private dwellings in very remote parts of Australia;
  • institutionalised people; and
  • boarding school pupils.

21.0.9 Depending on the topic or population of interest for which information is being collected, there may be further exclusions from scope. For example, some supplementary surveys exclude all persons living in special dwellings; others collect information only from a certain population or interest group (e.g. information on retirement is collected from persons aged 45 years or over).


COLLECTION METHODOLOGY

21.0.10 The collection methodology for the supplementary surveys is generally the same as for the Labour Force Survey. Interviews are conducted at the same time as interviews for the Labour Force Survey. Most interviews (about 70%) are conducted by telephone, with the remainder conducted face-to-face.

21.0.11 Information about each household member in scope of the supplementary survey is generally collected from one adult using the ARA methodology.

21.0.12 Response rates for the supplementary surveys are slightly lower than for the Labour Force Survey, and average around 93%.


SAMPLE DESIGN

21.0.13 The supplementary surveys use the same sample design as the Labour Force Survey, and the sample used in the supplementary surveys is a subset of the Labour Force Survey sample. Persons in the outgoing rotation group in the Labour Force Survey are excluded from all supplementary surveys.

21.0.14 The sample size for the supplementary surveys varies. In addition to the scope exclusions listed above, there may be further restrictions to the supplementary survey sample for particular topics.


ESTIMATION METHODS

21.0.15 Post-stratification estimation techniques are generally used, with adjustment to account for persons enumerated outside their State of usual residence.

21.0.16 Supplementary survey weights use labour force estimates, referred to in this context as pseudo-benchmarks, to supplement independent demographic benchmarks (see Chapter 18 for further information on population benchmarks used in household surveys). Supplementary surveys may also incorporate other auxiliary information on target populations - for instance benchmarks for the Indigenous population, or the private dwelling population - into estimates.

21.0.17 The post-stratification variables generally used are:
  • State/Territory of usual residence;
  • part of State of usual residence (capital city, rest of State);
  • labour force status;
  • sex; and
  • age (age groupings generally correspond with those used in post-stratification for the Labour Force Survey).


TIME SERIES ESTIMATES

21.0.18 Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are not produced for supplementary surveys.


RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES

21.0.19 Estimates from supplementary surveys are subject to both sampling and non-sampling error (see Chapter 17 for more detail). The relative standard errors of survey estimates are published in each supplementary survey publication.

21.0.20 A 'split-halves' variance estimator, with a Taylor series adjustment for the post-stratified estimate, is used to calculate estimates of variance (see Chapter 17 ) for more detail).


DATA COMPARABILITY OVER TIME

21.0.21 Estimates from successive supplementary surveys on a given topic may not be strictly comparable over time due to changes in survey scope and concepts measured. In addition, changes affecting the Labour Force Survey sample and estimation processes will affect supplementary survey estimates. For further discussion of changes to a particular labour topic see Sections 1 to 16 of this chapter.


FURTHER INFORMATION

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




This section contains the following subsection :
          21.1 Career Experience
          21.2. Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership
          21.3. Forms of Employment
          21.4. Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons
          21.5. Labour Force Experience
          21.6. Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants
          21.7. Labour Mobility
          21.8. Locations of Work
          21.9. Multiple Job Holders
          21.10. Persons Not In the Labour Force
          21.11. Retirement and Retirement Intentions
          21.12. Retrenchment and Redundancy
          21.13. Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience
          21.14. Underemployed Workers
          21.15. Work Related Injuries
          21.16. Working Arrangements
          21.17 Job Search Experience
          21.18 Child Employment

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