LABOUR STATISTICS NEWS
TRANSITION TO ONLINE SELF-COMPLETION OF THE LABOUR FORCE SURVEY
The ABS is currently transitioning to online collection of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). A trial of online electronic self-collection from one rotation group (i.e. one-eighth of the survey sample) has been undertaken since December 2012, and the expansion of the offer of online collection commenced in May 2013. Online collection involves respondents being offered the option of self completing the survey on-line in place of a face-to-face or telephone interview. Interviewer collection (both face-to-face and via telephone) continues to be available for those respondents where online collection is inappropriate for operational, technological or personal reasons.
The expansion of the offer of online self-completion in the LFS is coinciding with the roll-out of the new Labour Force Survey sample, which is being introduced over four months - May 2013 to August 2013. Two rotation groups (i.e. one-quarter of the survey sample) are being introduced each month in order to minimise any impact on the key estimates of implementing the new sample. To enable comparisons of those offered the survey online and those who are not, online self-completion is initially being offered to 50% of each incoming rotation group.
ABS will use information collected in the LFS over the transition period to gain an understanding of any potential impacts on the key labour force estimates resulting from the introduction of online self-completion. Subject to the findings of these analyses, the ABS intends to progressively increase the offer to 100% of each incoming rotation group from September 2013. In the long term, it is proposed that online self-completion will become the primary form of collecting LFS data.
More information is available in the April 2013 issue of Labour Force Australia (6202.0): Transition to online collection of the Labour Force Survey.
NEW LABOUR FORCE SURVEY SAMPLE DESIGN
Every five years the ABS reviews the LFS sample design to ensure that the sample continues to accurately represent the Australian population. The new Labour Force Survey sample, using information collected in the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, is currently being phased in. The introduction of the new sample commenced in May 2013, with two rotation groups (i.e. one-quarter of the survey sample) being introduced each month in order to minimise any impact on the key estimates of implementing the new sample. The new sample design includes the separation of the samples for the Monthly Population Survey (including the Labour Force Survey) and for Special Supplementary Surveys, and uses the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) for sample selection and output.
For further information see Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, May 2013 (cat. no. 6269.0), which was released on 30 May 2013
REBENCHMARKING OF LABOUR FORCE ESTIMATES
To ensure that labour force series maintain coherence with the latest population estimates into the future, the ABS has moved to a process of regular revisions of the LFS population benchmarks. Such revisions were implemented into the LFS in the November 2012 and April 2013 issues, and relate to estimates for the period July 2008 to October 2012 and January 2011 to March 2013, respectively.
The next benchmark revision will be released on 7 November 2013 in the October issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) revising estimates from July 2011 to September 2013. In early 2014, the LFS population benchmarks will be revised to take account of the 2011 Census based ERP. Following this, the ABS will revise the LFS population benchmarks on a quarterly basis.
NEW LABOUR MARKET MICRODATA AVAILABLE
The ABS recently released several microdata products from the Labour Statistics Program.
The 2010–11 Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation and Retirement and Retirement Intentions topics were released on TableBuilder on 28 May 2013. TableBuilder is an online tool for creating tables and graphs from ABS survey data. The data in this product can be used to obtain a better understanding of the factors that influence people to participate (more) in the labour force and the hours they work, and obtain a better understanding of retirement trends and issues facing older Australians. For more information see Microdata: Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Retirement and Retirement Intentions, July 2010 to June 2011 (cat. no. 6238.0.55.001).
The May 2012 Employee Earnings and Hours confidentialised unit record file was released on 4 June 2013, and enables users to tabulate, manipulate and analyse data on the composition and distribution of earnings and hours of employees and whether their pay is set by award, collective agreement or individual arrangement. For more information see Microdata: Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, May 2012 (cat. no. 6306.0.55.001).
In December 2012, the ABS released the Longitudinal Labour Force CURF. These products provide data on labour force status, employment status, hours worked, underemployment status, duration of unemployment, not in the labour force (NILF) status, retirement status, as well as relevant standard demographic, family, educational, and other details and characteristics. For more information see Microdata: Longitudinal Labour Force, Australia 2008-10 (cat. no. 6602.0).
REVIEW OF LABOUR BUSINESS SURVEY COLLECTIONS
Since the last comprehensive review of Employee Earnings and Hours statistics in 1999 there have been a number of changes to industrial relations legislation and, more generally, the structure of the labour market and nature of working arrangements have also changed considerably. Therefore, the ABS has commenced a review of the Industrial Disputes statistics and was previously advised in the March issue of the Industrial Disputes, Australia, March 2013 (cat. no. 6321.0.55.001) released in June.
An important element of the review will be to understand the contemporary and potential future data requirements of users. Consultation with key users occurred in June and early July 2013. Once the review is complete, information about any changes to the Industrial Disputes statistics will be communicated to users. If you would like to contribute to the review, please contact Kirsty Leslie at email@example.com.
Employee Earnings and Hours
The Employee Earnings and Hours has been conducted since 1974 and is currently conducted biennially. The most recent Employee Earnings and Hours was conducted in respect of May 2012, with the next survey scheduled for May 2014.
The ABS is currently reviewing the survey to ensure that the content reflects the current and emerging industrial relations environment and continues to meet the critical data needs of key users. Consultation process will be conducted regarding the potential improvements and the relative priorities of the suite of data that are currently collected in Employee Earnings and Hours survey against any potential new items. If you would like to contribute to the review, please contact Kirsty Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RELEASE OF 2013 ISSUE OF LABOUR STATISTICS: CONCEPTS, SOURCES AND METHODS
In May 2013 an updated version of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods was released. It provides a comprehensive discussion and description of the concepts and definitions underpinning Australian labour statistics and the data sources and methods used in the collection and compilation of these statistics. It explains what the statistics measure, how the various measures relate to each other and how they are produced. It also discusses the factors influencing their accuracy and reliability.
To ensure that the concepts used and the references are relevant and current, chapters of this publication will be updated periodically.
For further information see Labour statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2013 (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).
CHANGES TO LABOUR TOPICS @ A GLANCE PAGE
The Labour Topics @ a Glance page on the ABS website has recently been revised, and now organises labour statistics topics thematically, making it easier to find data and information on the various aspects of the labour market. The Labour Topics @ a Glance provides a guide to the full range of ABS statistics on the labour market, as well as links to the latest data releases.
To find Topics @ a Glance, go to <http://www.abs.gov.au> [Topics @ a Glance > People > Labour].