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Topics @ a Glance - Service Industries Statistics
Outcome of Annual Service Industries Survey Program Review

The Annual Service Industry Forward Work Program was recently considered by the senior managers responsible for ABS economic statistics. The process included an assessment of all known requirements in light of a number of criteria:
    1. The need and relative priority for information to support the development and monitoring of government policy. This includes consideration of the relative significance of the industry to the economy, the rate of change of the industry, the volatility of the industry (and the impact of that volatility on the economy), and the importance of the industry relative to social and environmental dimensions;
    2. The frequency with which the information is required;
    3. The breadth of support for inclusion of a particular industry and the relative importance of the uses;
    4. The workload imposed on respondents, and their capacity to provide the required information;
    5. The extent to which the information needs are already met or cannot be met by some other means such as administrative data sets, or other providers in the National Statistical System; and
    6. International reporting requirements.

Pragmatic issues of ABS capacity and methodological feasibility also needed to be considered.

The general view was that priority requirements go beyond current service industry survey resources, and additional capacity will need to emerge. We were asked to investigate the feasibility of using alternative data sources, such as the extended use of administrative data, to meet information needs. Opportunities to secure additional resources for the survey program also needed to be explored. In addition, the ABS is currently reviewing its annual economic survey strategy and demands on the service industries survey program need to be considered in this wider context.

For these reasons, a decision was made to limit the release of the survey program to 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09.

The final work program for 2006-07 will include surveys of the following industries:
    • Cafe's & Restaurants;
    • Accommodation;
    • Film & Video Production + Television;
    • Music and Theatre Production; and
    • Performing Arts Venues.

The proposed work program for 2007-08 includes surveys of the following industries:
    • Pubs, Taverns and Bars;
    • Clubs (Hospitality);
    • Public Libraries;
    • Museums; and
    • Legal Practices.

The proposed work program for 2008-09 includes surveys of the following Community Services industries:
    • Nursing Homes;
    • Aged Care;
    • Child Care;
    • Residential Care; and
    • Non Residential Care.

As is normal practice, the survey program will be continually assessed to ensure it reflects priorities. If further priorities emerge, these will be assessed against the criteria given above in close consultation with stakeholders.

The broad development of the 2006-07 surveys has commenced in consultation with key stakeholders.

If you have any queries or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Melanie Taylor on (02) 6252 7495 or

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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