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6220.0 - Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, September 2012 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/03/2013   
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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

    Persons Not in the Labour Force are people who are neither employed nor unemployed in a particular reference period. They can be divided into two groups, those with marginal attachment to the labour force and those without marginal attachment to the labour force.

    Persons are considered marginally attached to the labour force if they:
    • want to work and are actively looking for work but are not available to start work in the reference week; or
    • want to work and are not actively looking for work but are available to start work within four weeks.

    Persons are considered not marginally attached to the labour force if they:
    • did not want to work; or
    • want to work, but were not actively looking for work and were not available to start work within four weeks; or
    • were permanently unable to work.

    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.


    TIMELINESS

    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).



    ACCURACY
    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 and 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 due to 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 or Territory of usual residence. Users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. RSEs are available for estimates in the Technical Note of the publication.

    COHERENCE

    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. Information about the characteristics of people not in the labour force is also published in Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Australia (cat. no. 6239.0).

    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:
    • revision of population benchmarks
    • changes in the scope of the survey
    • revision of data items.

    For more information on changes to the survey see Chapter 21.10 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001), and also the explanatory note section of the annual publication.



    INTERPRETABILITY
    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.

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