Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
6105.0 - Australian Labour Market Statistics, July 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/07/2011   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Review of ABS Labour Household Surveys >> Labour Force Survey Output Review

LABOUR FORCE SURVEY OUTPUT REVIEW

Introduction

The monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the most important ABS labour collection, providing timely information on labour market activity within Australia. The LFS provides information about the performance of the economy, and provides insight into people's participation in the labour force, success in finding employment and working hours.

In addition to fulfilling the survey's primary purpose of providing monthly employment and unemployment measures at the national and state/territory levels, the LFS supports estimates for regions, occupation and industry, actual and usual hours worked, educational attendance, labour force transitions (gross flows), families, relationships in household, quarterly labour underutilisation measures and aggregate monthly hours worked.

With the increasing capacity and ease of electronic publication, the ABS has significantly increased the range of products available from the LFS in recent years, to the extent that there are now in excess of 50 products, such as publication, time series spreadsheet or datacube, released routinely every month, with close to 100 products released on either a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. In an environment of increasing resource pressures it is timely to review these products to ensure relevance and value for money.

Below is a brief summary of the key aspects being considered in this review.

Current LFS Products

The current suite of LFS products under review are outlined below (and more detailed information is available on request).

Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0)

  • Main economic indicator
  • Released on a monthly basis
  • First release:
    • Australia, State/Territory level
  • Consists of electronic publication (Adobe Acrobat (pdf)), 23 time series spreadsheets and GM1 data cube (gross flows) (more details are available on request).

Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001)
  • Released on a monthly basis one week after release of 6202.0.
  • Second release:
    • Australia, State, Labour Force Dissemination Region level
  • Consists of 13 time series spreadsheets and 23 data cubes

Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003)
  • Quarterly release (data collected in quarter months; February, May, August, November), released one week after the corresponding 6202.0 release.
  • Second release:
    • Australia, State, Labour Force Dissemination Region level
    • Industry and Occupation data
  • Consists of 7 time series spreadsheets and 18 data cubes (more details are available on request).

Labour Force, Australia: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families (cat. no. 6224.0.55.001)

  • Annual release (data collected in June)
  • Consists of 5 data cubes (more details are available on request).

Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Estimates from the Labour Force Survey (cat. no. 6287.0)

  • Annual release (compilation of data from all 12 months of the year)
  • Consists of electronic publication (pdf), 8 data cubes (xls) (more details are available on request).

The Review

Maintaining a relevant product suite of LFS data which reflects changes in the Australian labour market is a constant challenge. In order to improve the presentation and relevance of LFS products, the ABS is currently undertaking a review of LFS output.

The ABS is undertaking user consultation and is seeking comments and feedback from users about the current LFS product set, specifically; what LFS data users deem critical for Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) release, and frequency of use (monthly or quarterly). Further user consultation is likely to occur to seek feedback on any proposed changes to the LFS product set. Once the review has been finalised, an information paper will be released to inform users about any upcoming changes, and the timing of implementation.

Desired outcomes of the LFS Output review include:

  • a more relevant LFS product set for Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) release based on key priorities and requirements of users;
  • a more manageable set of time series spreadsheets and data cubes;
  • smaller files for time series spreadsheets and data cubes, making it easier for users to download, to facilitate easier down loading for users; and
  • an improved presentation of LFS summary statistics on the ABS website and first page of the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) publication.

In addition to the LFS Output review, the Labour Household Surveys Review is also being conducted at the same time. The Labour Household Survey Program Review aims to make improvements to the labour household survey program to ensure content and frequency are based on key priorities and requirements. The mix of content between these surveys and information collected in the core monthly and quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS), as well as the extent to which the current LFS contains the key contemporary labour market indicators, will also be considered. Although both reviews are being carried out separately, outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Review may have implications for the LFS Output review.

Issues for consideration

There are a number of issues that are being considered for which feedback from labour statistics users is being sought. Some of the questions/issues we are exploring include:
  • what key times series spreadsheets/data cubes in the current LFS product set are deemed critical for Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), i.e. the more timely first release?
  • which data items and cross classificatory variables are considered essential?
  • are there any quarterly data that is needed on a monthly basis?
  • are there any monthly data that could be released quarterly?
  • are there key data items not covered in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0)? If so, what are they?
  • how far back is access to time series spreadsheets/data cubes required? Is it critical to access all time series data back to February 1978?
  • is the the summary commentary in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) publication read by users? Is it useful?
  • what would be the impact if the ABS moved time series spreadsheets 15 and 16 (educational status) from Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) to Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), and removed tables 13-16 from the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) publication?
  • what would be the impact if the ABS ceased producing Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Estimates from the Labour Survey (cat. no. 6287.0)?
  • the ABS is currently investigating ways of improving the quality of regional estimates. One possibility is to use estimation methods to create quarterly averages only, instead of being released monthly. Are there any concerns with this approach?
  • are there any concerns if 'social marital status' was removed entirely from the current LFS product set?

Further information

For detailed information on the LFS product suite under review, as well as for further information about the review, including information on how to provide feedback to the review team, please contact Catherine Thomas on (02) 6252 7879 or email <catherine.thomas@abs.gov.au>.

Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.