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6239.0 - Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Australia, Jul 2008 to Jun 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2009   
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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


RELEVANCE

The Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation survey provides data on people aged 18 years and over who are either not employed or work less than 16 hours. The Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation topic is designed to bring various aspects of factors which influence labour force participation into one data source for comparison. The survey provides information on the potential labour force and what is preventing these people finding or taking up (more) work. The related supplementary surveys of Persons not in the labour force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0), Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0) and Job Search Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0) offer more detailed information on the various populations.

For a complete list of populations and data items collected in this survey see Appendix 1 – B&I and R&RI 2008–09 Data Items List.

TIMELINESS

The Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation survey is collected biennially, and was first conducted in 2004–05. The most recent Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation survey was conducted throughout Australia during the 2008-09 financial year. It was a component of the 2008-09 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS), collected as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force Survey (LFS). Results from the survey is released approximately six months after the completion of enumeration i.e. during December, in the publication Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation (cat. no. 6239.0).


ACCURACY

The number of completed interviews (after taking into account scope and coverage exclusions) for the Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation survey was 5,243. The response rate was approximately 86% after taking the exclusions into account. See the Explanatory Notes (paragraph 11) for more information. The exclusion of people living in very remote parts of Australia has only a minor impact on aggregate estimates, except for the Northern Territory where these people account for around 23% of the population.

Estimates from the survey are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors.

The MPHS was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for states and territories, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. RSEs for all estimates in the publication are available on the ABS website. As a guide, estimates and RSEs for Table 1 and Table 2 are presented in the Technical note.

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 MPHS being marginally smaller than the sample size in 2006-07.



COHERENCE

The following changes were made to the Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation survey for the 2008–09 cycle in order to enhance the quality of the data:

  • New content was included in the 2008-09 survey to explore incentives to join or increase participation in the labour force. New data items included are: incentives to join/increase participation in the labour force, self assessed health status, all reasons not available to start work/more hours.
  • Care should be taken in interpreting the data in the 'All reasons not available to start work/more hours' and 'Main reason not available to start work/more hours' items. There has been a shift from reporting 'caring for children' to 'home duties'. Some people with young children indicated that 'home duties' was their reason for not being available for work, rather than 'caring for children'.

    The related supplementary surveys of Persons not in the labour force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0), Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0) and Job Search Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0) offer more detailed information on the various populations. Data from these supplementary surveys are not directly comparable with data from Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation as there are differences in scope, collection methodology and sample design (including sample size). For example, the three supplementary surveys are conducted in a particular month each year, whereas Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation data are usually collected over the 12 months of a financial year (for 2004-05, the survey was conducted over 11 months). Information for the supplementary surveys is collected using the Any Responsible Adult methodology, whereas the Barriers and Incentives topic uses personal interviewing. For more information see chapters 21 and 22 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


    INTERPRETABILITY

    The Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, Technical Notes and a Glossary that provide information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.

    Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are not produced. The estimates are based on information collected over the financial year. However, seasonal weighting is not undertaken.

    Further commentary is often available through articles and data published in other ABS products, including:

  • Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) - refer to appendix 2 for past articles.
  • Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) - refer to the Cumulative list of articles for past articles.
  • Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).
  • Year Book, Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) - refer to the 'Labour' chapter.


    ACCESSIBILITY

    In addition to the PDF publication, the tables and associated RSEs will be available in spreadsheet form on the website.

    Data is available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

    An expanded confidentialised unit record file (cat. no. 4100.0) will be produced for this survey and is expected to be released in May 2010.

    For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and referral centre on 1300 135 070 or Labour Market Section in Canberra on (02) 6252 7206 or by facsimile on (02) 6252 5066, or by email to <labour.statistics@abs.gov.au>

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