6348.0 - Labour Costs, Australia, 2015-16 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/08/2017   
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1 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.


2 This release contains statistics from the Major Labour Costs (MLC) survey, which is a sample survey of employers conducted for the 2015-16 financial year. The survey is designed to obtain information from employers about the main labour costs incurred as a consequence of employing labour.

3 MLC estimates are a key input to the gross domestic product components of the Australian National Accounts. Outputs are also used by a range of users in monitoring the cost of labour, in wage determination, and for employment, prices and income policy development.


5 The Major Labour Costs survey is conducted irregularly, with the last publication being for the 2010-11 financial year.


6 Information for the MLC survey is collected via web form questionnaires from a sample of approximately 7,000 employers selected from the ABS Business Register. The employer sample selected is stratified to ensure adequate representation of the population.

7 There are two principal sources of error in surveys, sampling error and non-sampling error. Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise non-sampling error by the careful design and testing of questionnaires, detailed checking of the reported data and direct follow up with providers where significant errors are detected.

8 Sampling error occurs when a sample or subset of the population is surveyed rather than the entire population. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all of the population in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if the whole population had been included in the survey.


9 Descriptions of the underlying concepts of MLC statistics and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).

10 Care should be taken when comparing estimates in this release with estimates from previous MLC releases. The MLC survey is designed to produce an accurate 'snapshot' of data at a point in time. It should not be used to compare estimates over time, due to factors such as changes in methodology, accounting standards and sample composition.

11 In addition to MLC, the ABS produces earning statistics from a number of different sources (both household and employer surveys) which provide a wide range of data for a variety of purposes. The decision on which data to draw upon depends on the purpose and type of analysis to be undertaken. For further information on these other sources, please refer to the feature article Understanding Earnings in Australia Using ABS Statistics published in Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2013 (cat. no. 6310.0).


12 The estimates from the MLC survey are only available as original series and are not seasonally or trend adjusted.

13 The reference period covered by the collection was, in general, the twelve months ended 30 June 2016. Where businesses were unable to supply information on this basis, an accounting period for which data can be provided was used for data other than those relating to employment counts. As a result, the estimates can reflect trading conditions that prevailed in periods outside the twelve months ended June 2016.

14 Labour Costs, Australia (cat. no. 6348.0) contains Explanatory Notes, a Glossary and a Technical Note which provide further information about data sources, terminology and other technical aspects of the series.


15 Labour Costs, Australia (cat. no. 6348.0) is available electronically from the ABS website.

16 No further data breakdowns are available other than what is published on the ABS website.

17 For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.