Information about employment was obtained about persons aged 15 years and over using a short-form version of the questions used in the ABS Monthly Labour Force Survey. Use of the reduced set of questions may have resulted in small differences in classification of labour force status and full-time/part-time employment, compared with the results that would have been derived had the full standard question module be used.
Some of the employment items below (e.g. occupation, industry, working arrangements), relate to the respondent's main job. For respondents who had more than one job at the time of the interview, main job was defined as the paid job in which they usually worked the most hours.
Labour force status
Persons were classified as either employed, unemployed or not in the labour force based on criteria relating to whether the person had a job in the week prior to interview, whether those who did not have a job were actively seeking work, and whether those actively seeking work were available to start work.
- Employed persons were those aged 15 years and over who reported that in the preceding week they had worked in a job, business or farm, or who had a job but were absent during that week. Includes people who reported they had a job but who also reported they usually worked no hours.
- Unemployed persons were those aged 15 years and over who were not employed in the reference week, who actively looked for work some time during the previous four weeks and were available to start, or waiting to start within the following four weeks.
- Persons not in the labour force were those aged 15 and over who were not employed or unemployed, as defined.
Labour force status is categorised as:
Status in employment
- employed full-time (if usually work 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs);
- employed part-time (if usually worked less than 35 hours a week (in all jobs);
- unemployed looking for full-time work (actively seeking full-time work in last 4 weeks);
- unemployed looking for part-time work (actively seeking part-time work only in last 4 weeks); and
- not in the labour force.
This item refers to a respondent's position in relation to the main employment (job) in the enterprise in which they work and is determined by the following criteria:
- whether a person works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration (employee);
- whether a person operates their own economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade, and hires one or more employees (employer);
- whether a person operates their own economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade and hires no employees (Own Account Worker); and
- whether a person works in an economic enterprise operated by a relative without remuneration (Contributing Family Worker).
Four output categories are described below.
- Employee: A person who works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages, salary, a retainer fee by their employer while working on a commission basis, tips, piece-rates or payment in kind.
- Employer: a person who operates their own economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade, and hires one or more employees.
- Own Account Worker: a person who operates their own economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade and hires no employees.
- Contributing Family Worker: a person who works without pay in an economic enterprise operated by a relative.
This item refers to the working or payment arrangements of the respondent in their current main job. Data are recorded as reported by respondents against the following categories:
- unpaid voluntary work;
- own business/partnership;
- commission only;
- commission with retainer;
- family business without pay;
- payment in kind;
- paid by piece/item produced;
- wage/salary earner; and
For this survey, occupations have been classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), First Edition, Revision 1, 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0)
and the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0 (past release)
. An occupation is a collection of jobs that are sufficiently similar in their title and tasks, skill level and skill specialisation, which have been grouped together for the purposes of classification. An occupation code was assigned, based on the description of the type of work performed by the respondent in their main job.
The major groups of occupations according to ANZSCO are:
- managers and administrators;
- technicians and trades workers;
- community and personal service workers;
- clerical and administrative workers;
- sales workers;
- machinery operators; and
- drivers and labourers.
For most output purposes, occupation is classified to these eight major groups or to sub-major group level (see Appendix 3: ABS Standard Classifications
of this Users' Guide).
Industry of employment
For this survey, industry of main job was office coded to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 1.0) (cat. no.1292.0)
based on the description provided by the respondent of the business or activity carried out by their business/employer, and the name of the business/employer. Industry was classified to the 3 digit Group level of the ANZSIC, and details can be made available at this level on request, although for many groups observations in the survey are relatively few, and therefore the reliability of that data would be significantly reduced.
For most output purposes, industry is classified to the following divisions:
- agriculture, forestry and fishing;
- electricity, gas and water supply;
- wholesale trade;
- retail trade;
- accommodation, cafes and restaurants;
- transport and storage;
- communication services;
- finance and insurance;
- property and business services;
- government administration and defence;
- health and community services;
- cultural and recreational services; and
- personal and other services.
For more details on industry classifications, see Appendix 3: ABS Standard Classifications
of this Users' Guide.
This item was coded for respondents who were wage and salary earners or owners of a limited liability company in their main job, and refers to the sector (public or private) in which their business/employer operates.
- The public sector includes all government entities including local, state and federal government departments, non-market non-profit institutions that are controlled and mainly financed by government, and corporations and quasi-corporations that are controlled by government.
- The private sector includes all institutions that employ people who are not controlled by government.
Refers to reported hours usually worked (in all jobs) per week by persons currently employed. Hours in single units are recorded, but are grouped for standard outputs, as follows:
Type of shift work
- No hours or less than 1 hour;
- 1-15 hours;
- 16-24 hours;
- 25-34 hours;
- 35-39 hours;
- 40 hours;
- 41-48 hours; and
- 49 hours or more.
Recorded for employed persons who reported doing any shift work in their main job, in the 4 weeks prior to interview. Categories available are:
Duration of unemployment
- rotating shift which changes periodically;
- regular evening, night or graveyard shift;
- regular morning shift;
- regular afternoon shift;
- irregular shift;
- split shift (2 distinct periods per day);
- on call; and
Derived for persons classified as unemployed at the time of the survey. This item refers to the period from the time a person began looking for work or was stood down, to the end of the survey reference week. For persons who began looking for work while still employed, the item refers to the period from the time the person last worked full-time for two weeks or more until the end of the reference week. The item is a continuous variable, measured in completed weeks.
For standard output, periods are grouped as follows:
- Less than 4 weeks;
- 4 to less than 8 weeks;
- 8 to less than 13 weeks;
- 13 to less than 26 weeks;
- 26 to less than 52 weeks; and
- 52 weeks or more.
Long-term unemployment is defined as unemployment for a period of 52 weeks or more.
Defence Force Service
Respondents were asked whether they had ever served in the Australian Defence Force and were classified as:
This page last updated 4 April 2013