Australian Bureau of Statistics
6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Apr 2007
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/04/2007
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CHAPTER 9. USUALLY ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE POPULATION
9.1 ILO FRAMEWORK OF USUAL ACTIVITY
DEFINITIONS USED IN ABS SURVEYS
9.8 Measures of the usually active population are collected by the ABS in the supplementary topic to the Labour Force Survey, Labour Force Experience. The concepts and definitions underlying measures from this survey are outlined below.
9.9 The survey collects information about time spent in labour force activities, including episodes of looking for work and time spent out of the labour force, over a 12 month period. Measures of 'worked' and 'looked for work' collected in the survey are based on the respondents' own perception of their labour force status.
9.10 The survey classifies persons into various labour force states during the survey year based on a more limited set of questions than is used in surveys of the currently active. Accordingly, the terms 'worked' and 'looked for work' are used rather than the more precisely defined 'employed' and 'unemployed'. While this approach is not consistent with the international guidelines, the ILO recognises that measuring employment and unemployment as defined in the labour force framework over a long reference period may not be practical (as they depend on respondent recall in relation to retrospective measures).
9.11 The survey publication Labour Force Experience, Australia Labour Force Experience, Australia cat. no. 6206.0 presents a framework for the Labour Force Experience Survey which groups the population into three mutually exclusive groups. Using these three groups as a starting point, a framework for determining the usually active/inactive split that aligns with the international guidelines can be constructed:
9.12 These concepts are illustrated below in diagram 9.2.
9.2 ABS FRAMEWORK FOR DETERMINING USUAL ACTIVITY (AN EXTENSION OF THE LABOUR FORCE EXPERIENCE SURVEY FRAMEWORK)
9.13 Information about the usually economically active population is available from:
SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEY: LABOUR FORCE EXPERIENCE
9.14 The primary ABS data source for the usually active population is the supplementary survey to the Labour Force Survey, the Labour Force Experience Survey. This topic classifies persons into the various labour force states using the framework outlined above. For further information on the content or methodology of this survey refer to Chapter 21.5.
OTHER SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEYS
9.15 Other supplementary surveys that collect more detailed information on subgroups within the usual activity framework include: the Labour Mobility Survey, which collects information from persons who had worked during the 12 months prior to the survey reference date; and the Job Search Experience Survey, which collects information from persons who had looked for work during the 12 months prior to the survey reference date. For further information on both these surveys, see Chapter 21.7 and Chapter 21.17.
SPECIAL SOCIAL SURVEYS
9.16 The Special Social Survey, the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns also used the concepts of the usual activity framework, as outlined above, to classify persons into various 'episodes of labour market activity' which included: working; looking for work; and absence from the labour market. For further information on the content and methodology of this survey, see Chapter 24.
LABOUR FORCE SURVEY
9.17 The Labour Force Survey collects related information in its quarterly measures of job tenure (duration with current employer/business) and expectations of job tenure (expected future duration with current employer/business), thus providing complementary measures of labour market dynamics in the form of recent and potential future movements in the labour force, and a broad measure of the extent of short-term employment. For further information on the content or methodology of this survey refer to Chapter 20.
9.18 For further details contact the Labour Market Statistics Section, on Canberra (02) 6252 7206 or email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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