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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
Persons are considered not marginally attached to the labour force if they:
The Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey collects a range of information about people not in the labour force, including the reasons why they were not actively looking for work or were not available for work, their main activity while not in the labour force, whether they have worked previously and if so, time since their last job, occupation in their last job and the reasons for ceasing their last job.
Numbers derived from Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey contribute to measures of the Extended labour force underutilisation rate.
The Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey is conducted annually during September as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey. Results from this survey are released approximately six months after the completion of enumeration (i.e. during March) in the publication, Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0).
Estimates from the Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey, including those presented in the publication, are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors.
The Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for State or territory of usual residence and State capital city/Balance of state/territory, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors.
Sample reductions in the Labour Force Survey, (see Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Nov 2007 (Second edition) (cat. no. 6269.0)), resulted in the 2008 Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey sample being approximately one-third smaller than the sample size in September 2007. This has resulted in higher relative standard errors associated with these estimates.
While the Labour Force Survey provides the official estimate of persons not in the labour force, the Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey provides further information on the characteristics of these people. Summary information is also collected in the Labour Force Survey on a quarterly basis, however this information is restricted to marginally attached people who had actively looked for work but were not available to start in the reference week but were available within four weeks. The Census of Population and Housing, and Special Social Surveys also provide summary information on persons not in the labour force, however the scope and methodology used differs from Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey.
The conceptual framework used for this survey is described in Chapter 7 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001). The statistics in this survey are comparable with other labour statistics produced by the ABS. The ABS definition of persons not in the labour force is consistent with the International Labour Organisation definition adopted in 1982.
The ABS conducted the first Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey in May 1975, and again in May 1977. From 1979 to 1987 the survey was collected twice a year (March and September). Since then it has been conducted annually in September.
Key changes made to Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey include:
For more information on changes to the survey see Chapter 21.14 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).
The Persons Not in the Labour Force publication contains tables with footnoted data and a Summary of Findings to aid interpretation of the results of the survey. Detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and a Glossary are also included providing information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.
Further commentary is often available through articles and data published in other ABS products, including:
Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0), released electronically via the ABS website as a PDF publication. Additional data may be available on request (subject to data quality). For a list of data items available see Appendix 2 of the publication. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors, and in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.
Additional tables in spreadsheet format with time series data are also available from the ABS website.
Labour underutilisation measures are published annually in the April issue of Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0), in Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators (Edition 2) (cat. no. 1383.0.55.001).
For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070 or the Labour Market Section in Canberra on (02) 6252 7206.
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