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6209.0 - Labour Mobility, Australia, February 2013 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/08/2013   
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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.


The Labour Mobility Survey provides detailed information about people aged 15 years and over who, within the 12 months to February of the reference year, either had a change of employer/business in their main job, or had some change in work with their current employer/business, for whom they had worked for one year or more. While the scope of the survey includes people aged 15 years and over who were working at some time in the 12 months to February 2013, much of the data focuses on people who were working at February 2013.

The survey is the only source of data on labour force mobility over a twelve month period and is a major source of data for analysing the dynamic nature of the labour force.

Information is collected on whether a person has had a change in employer/business or a change in work in the past 12 months. The types of change collected include change in occupation (Major occupation group, Minor occupation group), change in industry (industry Division, industry Subdivision) , change in employment type, change in usual hours worked, and whether promoted and/or transferred. Other data collected includes reasons for ceasing last job, whether had paid leave entitlements and demographic characteristics.


The Labour Mobility Survey was conducted biennially during February from 1992 to 2012, as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey. It was conducted again in February 2013. Results from this survey are released in the publication, Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0).


Estimates from the Labour Mobility Survey are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the size of the sampling error affecting an 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 because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data.

The Labour Mobility Survey was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for state and capital city/balance, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. RSEs for all estimates in the publication are available in the Technical Note.

In 2008 only, the RSEs for the estimates were published in 'direct' form and were released in spreadsheet format as an attachment to Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0). For all other editions of the Labour Mobility Survey including the current edition, a statistical model has been produced which relates the size of estimates to their corresponding RSEs, and this information is displayed via a 'standard errors of estimates' table provided in the Data Quality (Technical Note).

The February 2013 Labour Mobility Survey was collected from six-eighths of the LFS sample. In December 2012, the ABS commenced a trial of on-line electronic data collection. Respondents in one LFS rotation group (i.e. one-eighth of the survey sample) were offered the option of completing their labour force survey questionnaire on-line instead of a face-to-face or telephone interview. This group was not offered the Labour Mobility Survey. For more information on the trial of on-line electronic data collection see the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) and the article in the April 2013 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). As a result of the smaller sample, the standard errors for the February 2013 Labour Mobility Survey will be greater than for previous cycles. See the Technical Note for the standard errors.


The survey is the only source of data on labour force mobility over a twelve month period and is a major source of data for analysing the dynamic nature of the labour force.

The conceptual framework used for this survey is described in Chapter 21.7 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 conducted the first Labour Mobility Survey in November 1972. From February 1992 to February 2012 the survey has been conducted biennially. Given the delay in implementing changes to the labour household survey program, the Labour Mobility Survey was conducted again in February 2013. For more information see Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review, 2012 (cat. no. 6107.0).

The weighting process for the 2010 and 2012 Labour Mobility Surveys have been updated and the data has been revised. Information about the updated weights can be found in Labour Mobility, Australia 2013 Appendix 1. On 30 August 2013 spreadsheets with the 2010 and 2012 estimates will be attached to this 2013 edition of the publication.

Other changes made to Labour Mobility Survey over time include:

For more information on changes to the survey see Chapter 21.7 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) or the Explanatory Notes of the publication, Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0).


The Labour Mobility 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.

Further commentary is often available through articles and data published in other ABS products, including:

Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0) is released electronically via the ABS website as a PDF publication and spreadsheets. Additional data may be available on request (subject to data quality). For a list of data items available see Appendix 3 of the publication. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors, and in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

A Basic Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) was released for the 2006 Labour Mobility Survey. For 2008, 2010 and 2012 both a Basic and Expanded CURF are available for the Labour Mobility Survey. See Microdata: Labour Force and Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0.30.004) for more information. The revision to the weights for 2010 and 2012 (see Appendix 1 for more information) effects the 2010 and 2012 CURFs as published in Microdata: Labour Force and Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0.30.004). The only change to the CURFS is to the Labour Mobility Survey weights. This revision does not effect the Labour Force Survey weights. A CURF will not be produced for the 2013 survey.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070 or the Labour Market Statistics section in Canberra on (02) 6252 7206, or via email to <>.

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