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6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Apr 2007  
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Contents >> Concepts and Sources >> Chapter 10. Other Measures of the Economically Active Population

CHAPTER 10. OTHER MEASURES OF THE ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE POPULATION

INTRODUCTION

10.1 This chapter addresses a number of ABS statistics relating to the economically active population which were not discussed elsewhere. Previous chapters have discussed the concept of economic activity
Chapter 2, and measures of the currently active population (Chapters 3 to 7) and of the usually active population Chapter 9. Concepts underlying the statistics included in this chapter supplement those discussed earlier. They are explained somewhat more briefly because they are discussed in depth in other ABS publications; or are self explanatory; or are ancillary to the main concepts.

LABOUR FORCE GROWTH

10.2 Statistics on labour force entry and exit provide information on labour force growth. Major sources of labour force growth occur through the entry of leavers from educational institutions and from net overseas migration. In addition, some persons re-enter the labour force after a period of absence (e.g. persons who have been looking after children). Reasons for departure from the labour force include, but are not restricted to:

    • retirement from work;
    • withdrawal from work to gain educational qualifications; and
    • withdrawal from work to care for children.

In addition, persons wanting to work may withdraw from job search because they believe jobs are not available (discouraged job seekers - see
Chapter 7 for further information on this topic). Departures from the labour force may be either temporary or permanent.

10.3 The surveys outlined below examine subsets of entries to and/or exits from the labour force in detail.

SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEY: TRANSITION FROM EDUCATION TO WORK


10.4 Data on the transition from education to work are collected in the supplement to the Labour Force Survey, the Education and Work Survey. Information collected includes estimates of numbers of persons entering the labour force after leaving educational institutions, including those who have found work. For more information on this topic refer to
Education and Work, Australia (cat. no. 6227.0).

MIGRANTS

10.5 Information on the labour force status of migrants is collected in the supplement to the Labour Force Survey, the Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants Survey. Results are published in
Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia (cat. no. 6250.0).

10.6 In addition to information contained in the Labour Force Survey supplementary survey, the ABS also publishes statistics on net overseas migration in
Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0). For this collection, migrants are defined as permanent residents of Australia (i.e. they have permanent resident status) who were not born in Australia.

SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEY: RETIREMENT AND RETIREMENT INTENTIONS


10.7 Information on retirement from work is collected, from persons aged 45 years or over who have at some time worked two weeks or more, in the Retirement and Retirement Intentions topic, conducted every two years as part of the Multi-Purpose Household Survey. The following definitions apply to this survey:
    • intend to retire from full-time work - those persons who indicated that they intend to give up working or looking for full-time work;
    • intend to retire from the labour force - those persons who indicated that they intend to give up all labour force activity, i.e. working or looking for work;
    • partial retirement - persons who had retired from full-time work or looking for full-time work, and were working or looking for part-time work;
    • retired from the Labour Force - persons who had retired from work or looking for work of more than 10 hours per week, and did not intend to work at any time in the future. These persons are considered fully retired. Persons who have never worked more than 10 hours per week are also treated as fully retired; and
    • retired from part-time work - persons who had ceased part-time labour force activity, i.e. working or looking for work of 10-34 hours per week, and who did not intend to work or look for work of 10-34 hours per week at any time in the future.

10.8 For more information on the content and methodology of this survey, refer to
Chapter 22.2.

OTHER DATA SOURCES

10.9 Other sources of labour statistics related to labour force entry and exit that are discussed in other chapters are outlined below. For more information on these statistics please refer to the chapter's referenced:
    • Labour Force Survey Chapter 20 - data relevant to exits and entries include gross flows statistics which provide information on movements between 'in the labour force' and 'not in the labour force';
    • The supplement to the Labour Force Survey, Persons Not In the Labour Force Survey Chapter 21.10 - data relevant to exits and entries include information on reasons not in the labour force and on work preferences;
    • The supplement to the Labour Force Survey, Labour Force Experience Survey Chapter 21.5 - data relevant to exits and entrance include information on labour force experiences over a 12 month period, including time spent working, looking for work, and neither working nor looking for work;
    • The supplement to the Labour Force Survey, Job Search Experience Survey Chapter 21.17 - data relevant to exits and entries includes information on duration of unemployment, main difficulties in finding work, steps taken to find work and duration of looking for work; and
    • Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation Chapter 22.1 - data relevant to exits and entries include information on barriers to labour force participation, reasons for not being available to work (more) and reasons not looking for (more) work.

LABOUR MARKET DYNAMICS

10.10 Most labour statistics focus on points in time (for example the size and structure of the labour force). Statistics on labour market dynamics focus on changes over time, and relate mainly to the experiences of individuals, both in and out of the labour force.

SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEY: LABOUR MOBILITY

10.11 The purpose of the supplement to the Labour Force Survey,
Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0), is to provide information on job mobility and job tenure. The survey collects information from persons aged 15 years and over who worked at some time during the previous 12 months, and either had a change of employer/business in their main job, or had some change in work with their current employer/business. This survey is a major source of data for analysing the dynamic nature of the labour force. For more information on the content and methodology of this survey, refer to Chapter 21.7.

OTHER DATA SOURCES


10.12 Other sources of labour statistics related to labour market dynamics that are discussed in other chapters are outlined below. For more information on these statistics please refer to the chapter's referenced.
    • Labour Force Survey Chapter 20 - gross flows data provide information on movements between labour force states including movements between employment and unemployment;
    • The supplement to the Labour Force Survey, the Labour Force Experience Survey Chapter 21.5 - data relevant to labour market dynamics include information on time spent working, looking for work, and neither working nor looking for work;
    • The supplement to the Labour Force Survey that focuses on unemployment, the Job Search Experience Survey Chapter 21.17 - data relevant to labour market dynamics include the job search experiences of the unemployed and recent job starters.
    • Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns Chapter 24 - data relevant to labour market dynamics include information on labour force activities undertaken over a three year period, including information on periods of work, looking for work and absences from the labour force.

SUPERANNUATION

10.13 Detailed information on superannuation provision and income is collected in the Special Social Survey, the Survey of Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation. Information on employers' contributions to superannuation funds on behalf of their employees is also collected in the ABS business survey, the Survey of Major Labour Costs.

SURVEY OF EMPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS RETIREMENT AND SUPERANNUATION

10.14 Information collected includes: details of the type of superannuation coverage people have; the levels of contributions; reasons for not contributing to superannuation; superannuation account balances; and the amounts of and uses of lump sums received from superannuation. The following definitions apply to this survey:
    • Superannuation account - an individual's holdings in a superannuation fund.
    • Superannuation fund (also known as a superannuation scheme or superannuation plan) - any fund, association or organisation set up for the purpose of providing benefits for members on their retirement, or in other specified circumstances.
    • Superannuation coverage - a set of categories describing the types of contributions being made to superannuation (for those who are working or who intend to work in the future, i.e. pre-retirement) or whether any benefit has been received from superannuation (for those who are not working and do not intend to work in the future, i.e. who are retired). The categories used are:
            • Working or intending to work in the future
                  Personal or spouse contributions only
                  Personal or spouse and employer or business contributions
                  Employer or business contributions only
                  Has superannuation, but no contributions being made
                  Has no superannuation
            • Not working and not intending to work in the future
                  Not receiving income from superannuation or annuities and no lump sum received
                  Receiving income from superannuation or annuities or has received a lump sum

10.15 For more information on the content and methodology of this survey, refer to
Chapter 23.

SURVEY OF MAJOR LABOUR COSTS

10.16 The Survey of Major Labour Costs collects information on employers' superannuation contributions as a component of total labour costs. Information collected relates only to employer-funded contributions; contributions by employees are excluded. Readers should note that due to the different funding arrangements adopted in the public and private sectors, estimates of superannuation are not directly comparable between the sectors - see
Chapter 12 for further information. For more information on the content and methodology of this survey, refer to Chapter 28.

FURTHER INFORMATION

10.17 For further details contact the Labour Market Statistics Section, on Canberra (02) 6252 7206 or email <labour.statistics@abs.gov.au>.


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