6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Feb 2019 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/03/2019 Released Today  
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FEBRUARY KEY FIGURES


Jan 19
Feb 19
Jan 19 to Feb 19
Feb 18 to Feb 19

Trend
Employed persons ('000)
12,742.2
12,762.8
20.6
2.3%
Unemployed persons ('000)
671.3
673.1
1.8
-7.3%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.0
5.0
0.0 pts
-0.5 pts
Underemployment rate (%)
8.2
8.1
0.0 pts
-0.4 pts
Participation rate (%)
65.6
65.6
0.0 pts
0.0 pts
Monthly hours worked in all jobs ('000 000)
1,764.4
1,767.0
2.6
1.9%

Seasonally Adjusted
Employed persons ('000)
12,758.8
12,763.4
4.6
2.3%
Unemployed persons ('000)
676.0
664.3
-11.7
-9.5%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.0
4.9
-0.1 pts
-0.6 pts
Underemployment rate (%)
8.1
8.1
-0.1 pts
-0.4 pts
Participation rate (%)
65.7
65.6
-0.2 pts
-0.1 pts
Monthly hours worked in all jobs ('000 000)
1,766.8
1,769.9
3.1
2.2%


EMPLOYED PERSONS


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE




FEBRUARY KEY POINTS

TREND ESTIMATES
  • Employment increased 20,600 to 12,762,800 persons. Full-time employment increased 12,300 to 8,743,400 persons and part-time employment increased 8,200 to 4,019,300 persons.
  • Unemployment increased 1,800 to 673,100 persons.
  • Unemployment rate remained steady at 5.0%.
  • Participation rate remained steady at 65.6%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 2.6 million hours to 1767.0 million hours.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
  • Employment increased 4,600 to 12,763,400 persons. Full-time employment decreased 7,300 to 8,742,700 persons and part-time employment increased 11,900 to 4,020,700 persons.
  • Unemployment decreased 11,700 to 664,300 persons.
  • Unemployment rate decreased 0.1 pts to 4.9%.
  • Participation rate decreased 0.2 pts to 65.6%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 3.1 million hours to 1769.9 million hours.

LABOUR UNDERUTILISATION
  • The monthly trend underemployment rate decreased less than 0.1 pts to 8.1%. The monthly underutilisation rate decreased less than 0.1 pts to 13.1%.
  • The monthly seasonally adjusted underemployment rate remained steady at 8.1%. The monthly underutilisation rate decreased 0.1 pts to 13.0%.


NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES
IssueRelease Date
March 2019 18 April 2019
April 2019 16 May 2019
May 201913 June 2019
June 201918 July 2019
July 201915 August 2019
Aug 201919 September 2019


IMPACT OF TOWNSVILLE FLOODS IN FEBRUARY 2019

Flooding in Townsville in February 2019 resulted in a major disruption to the operation of the Labour Force Survey. As a result, there was a very low sample of responding households in the region in February.

Given the severity of these disruptions, which affected almost the entire region, and to ensure that this loss of sample did not affect data for Australia and Queensland, the ABS imputed sample for Townsville for February 2019. The imputation drew upon previous information that had recently been collected from people in Townsville.

The imputation will be re-assessed once March data has been collected from Townsville, at which point the ABS may revise the data for February. Consequently, regional level data for Townsville (and totals for rest of Queensland) for February 2019 will not be published in Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) on the 28th March. The ABS expects to resume publishing these estimates for Townsville with the release of March data in April 2019.

The imputation may have resulted in a slight overestimation of hours worked in Queensland in February 2019, given hours worked in Townsville may have been lower during the floods. The ABS does not currently have information on the extent of this impact.

Users of the matched sample analysis should also exercise some caution when looking at Queensland data between January and February, given the effect of the imputation for Townsville.

During 2018, the ABS estimated that employed persons in Townsville accounted for around 1 per cent of all employed persons in Australia, around 4 per cent of employed persons in Queensland, and around 9 per cent of employed persons in the regions in Queensland outside of Brisbane.

It is also important to note that there were also a range of bushfires across Australia over the period that resulted in minor disruption to data collection activities. These did not result in any notable impacts to Labour Force data.


NEW LABOUR FORCE SURVEY SAMPLE

As previously highlighted, the ABS began phasing in a new sample design in July 2018. The incoming rotation group in February 2019 completes that process, with all eight rotation groups now being drawn from the Address Register and revised sample frame. An information paper titled Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Jul 2018 (cat. no. 6269.0) was released on 30 July 2018 with detailed information on the new sample.

The ABS has monitored the quality of the estimates over the period the sample is phased in, and no impact on the data has been detected.


TRANSITION TO 2016 ASGS

The completion of the move to the Address Register in February 2019 completes the transition of the sample to the 2016 Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). The changes between the 2011 ASGS and 2016 ASGS at the SA4 level are minor, with one key exception. The 2016 ASGS supports the ‘WA outback’ being split into ‘WA outback – North’ and ‘WA outback – South’.

The ABS is still assessing whether Labour Force data can support estimates for these two regions. In the meantime, these regions will continue to be published as ‘WA Outback (North and South)’. The ABS has not revised Labour Force data for any of the changes at the SA4 level.


ANNUAL SEASONAL RE-ANALYSIS

The Annual Seasonal Re-analysis (ASR) of the Labour Force series will be conducted on estimates up to February 2019, and published with March data on 18th April 2019. The seasonally adjusted and trend estimates in March data will reflect adjustments made as a result of this re-analysis.

While combined seasonal factors for the complete time series are estimated each month, the parameters and prior corrections are reviewed annually at a more detailed level than is possible in the monthly processing cycle. The annual seasonal re-analysis takes into account each additional year's original data and assesses the appropriateness of seasonal adjustment parameters and prior corrections. In particular, this annual seasonal re-analysis will review the parameters for the highly seasonal periods of December and January.


REVIEW OF DETAILED LABOUR FORCE DATA - QUARTERLY EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT AND SECTOR DATA

The ABS is currently reviewing the usage of Labour Force data contained within the detailed monthly and quarterly releases (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001 and cat. no. 6291.0.55.003), with an initial focus on quarterly educational attainment data and quarterly public and private sector data.

As part of this review, the ABS has explored the feasibility of producing information on public and private sector employment in the Australian Labour Account. For further information on this, including some illustrative estimates, can be found here.

The ABS is keen to hear from users of educational attainment and sector data, at labourforce@abs.gov.au, including how you use the data, the extent to which current data meet your requirements, and whether sector data would be a useful addition to the Australian Labour Account.


ROUNDING

Estimates of changes in the commentary have been calculated using unrounded estimates, and may be different from, but are more accurate than, movement obtained from the rounded estimates. Graphs also depict unrounded estimates.


SAMPLING ERROR

The estimates in this publication are based on a sample survey. Published estimates and movements are subject to sampling variability. Standard errors give a measure of sampling variability. The interval bounded by two standard errors is the 95% confidence interval, which provides a way of looking at the variability inherent in estimates. There is a 95% chance that the true value of the estimate lies within that interval.


MOVEMENTS IN SEASONALLY ADJUSTED SERIES BETWEEN JANUARY 2019 AND FEBRUARY 2019

Monthly change
95% Confidence interval

Total Employment
4 600
-56 200
to
65 400
Total Unemployment
-11 700
-49 100
to
25 700
Unemployment rate
-0.1 pts
-0.3 pts
to
0.1 pts
Participation rate
-0.2 pts
-0.6 pts
to
0.2 pts



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, email client.services@abs.gov.au or contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.