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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
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 are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the size of the sampling error affecting an estimate, i.e. the error introduced by basing estimates on a sample of the population rather than the full population. Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data.
The Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for state and capital city/balance, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. RSEs for all estimates from the survey are available in the Technical Note of the publication, Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0).
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:
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:
The main product from the survey is a PDF publication, Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0), released electronically via the ABS website. Additional data may be available on request. For a list of data items available see Appendix 1 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.
The Extended labour force underutilisation rate is published annually in the April issue of Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) and in Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0).
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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