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6291.0.55.001 - Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery, Jun 2008 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/07/2008   
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Data from the monthly Labour Force Survey are released in two stages. The Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) and Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003) are part of the second release, and include detailed data not contained in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) product set, which is released one week earlier.

The Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) is released monthly. Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003) includes data only collected in February, May, August and November (including industry and occupation).

Since these products are based on the same data as the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) publication, the 6202.0 Labour Force, Australia Main Features are relevant to both releases.

IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW SAMPLE DESIGN

Following each Census of Population and Housing, the ABS selects a new sample for the Labour Force Survey (LFS). This is done to ensure that the sample continues to accurately represent the distribution of the Australian population. Cost savings were made in the 2006 sample redesign by taking advantage of the sampling efficiencies related to the introduction of composite estimation. This enabled an 11% reduction in the LFS sample with only minor reductions in data quality relative to the previous design.

The new sample, based on the 2006 Census, has been phased in over the period November 2007 to June 2008. Detailed information about the new sample is provided in Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design (cat. no. 6269.0), which was released on 28 November 2007.


FORTHCOMING CHANGES


The ABS is facing a tight budget situation in 2008-09, which has led to a range of reductions in the ABS work program. One of the reductions is that from July 2008 the sample size of the LFS will be reduced by 24% when compared with the June 2008 sample implemented under the 2006 sample design.

The ABS will fully implement the sample reduction in July 2008. Implementing the full reduction in a single month will mean less common sample between June and July, and hence the standard error on movements will be slightly larger than if the reduction was phased in. However, in order to maximise the savings in 2008-09 the reduced sample needs to be fully implemented from July 2008.

The new sample, while smaller, will still be representative, with selections made in all parts of Australia. There will be increased volatility in the estimates, particularly the original and seasonally adjusted estimates, but this volatility will be random. Given the increased volatility in the original and seasonally adjusted estimates, the ABS would continue to encourage users to focus on trend estimates as the increased volatility seen in the original and seasonally adjusted estimates will be dampened through the 'trending' process.

Further information about the sample reduction was provided in the April and May issues of this publication. Last month's issue included a Technical Note outlining some changes to the population benchmarks used in producing LFS estimates. The article in the April issue highlights the reasons for the reduction, expected sample size, the impact on the quality of estimates and the impact on LFS products and associated surveys.


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