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8557.0 - Security Services, Australia, 1998-99  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2000   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

INTRODUCTION

This publication presents results, in respect of the 1998–99 financial year, from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey of businesses in the security services industry. For the purposes of this survey the security services industry was defined as businesses mainly engaged in providing security, protection and private enquiry services. The industry excludes police services and businesses mainly providing locksmith services, alarm installing or manufacturing and wholesaling of alarms.


SIZE OF INDUSTRY

At the end of June 1999, there were 1,714 businesses in the security services industry. The provision of static guard/crowd control services was the main activity of 811 (47%) businesses, while the provision of mobile patrol services was the main activity of 420 businesses. Of the remaining businesses, 368 were mainly involved in private investigative and enquiry services, 54 businesses in security monitoring services and 26 businesses in cash-in-transit/armoured car services.

The industry generated $1,395 million of income during 1998–99 and had total employment of 31,752 persons.


SOURCES OF INCOME

During 1998–99, the total income of the security services industry was $1,395 million. Income from security services accounted for 96% of this industry income.


EXPENDITURE

Total expenses of the security services industry during 1998–99 were $1,304 million. Labour costs of $756 million represented 58% of total expenses of the industry. Payments to sub-contractors for security services was $206 million.


EMPLOYMENT

At the end of June 1999 there were 31,752 persons working in the security services industry.


PROFITABILITY

In 1998–99, the operating profit before tax of the industry was $90 million, which represented an operating profit margin of 6.5%.


1 KEY FIGURES
Value
Businesses by main security activity
Cash-in-transit / armoured car service
no.
*26
Mobile patrol service
no.
420
Static guard/crowd control service
no.
811
Security monitoring service
no.
54
Private investigator / enquiry service
no.
368
Other security services
no.
*35
Total
no.
1,714
Locations at end June
Capital city and suburbs
no.
1,412
Other
no.
571
Total
no.
1,984
Employment at end June
no.
31,752
Income
Income from security services
$m
1,339.2
Other income
$m
55.6
Total
$m
1,394.8
Expenses
Labour costs
$m
756.2
Payments to sub-contractors for security services
$m
205.9
Other expenses
$m
341.5
Total
$m
1,303.6
Operating profit before tax
$m
89.7
Operating profit margin
%
6.5

Copyright Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2000


EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents results, in respect of 1998–99, from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey of 852 businesses mainly engaged in providing security and investigative services.


SCOPE

2 The scope of the survey was all employing businesses recorded on the ABS business register and classified to Class 7864, Security and Investigative Services, of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). Class 7864 includes businesses mainly engaged in providing protection or private enquiry services, other than police forces and government security agencies. Businesses mainly providing locksmith services, alarm wholesaling and security equipment installation services were not included in the survey.


IMPROVEMENTS TO COVERAGE

3 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABS business register, and the omission of some businesses from the business register. The majority of businesses affected and to which the adjustments apply are small in size.

4 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses in the estimates in the periods in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the business register. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

5 Further adjustments have been made for businesses which had been in existence for several years, but, for various reasons, were not previously added to the ABS register. The ABS is remedying these omissions.

6 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication 'Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997' (Cat. no. 1357.0).


STATISTICAL UNIT

7 The unit for which statistics were reported in the survey was the management unit. The management unit is the highest-level accounting unit within a business or organisation, having regard to the required level of industry homogeneity, for which a set of accounts is maintained. In most cases it coincides with the legal entity owning the business (i.e. company, partnership, trust, etc.). However, in the case of large diversified businesses, there may be more than one management unit, with each coinciding with a 'division' or 'line of business'. A division or line of business is recognised where separate and comprehensive accounts are compiled for it.


REFERENCE PERIOD

8 Data contained in the tables in this publication relate to all security and investigative services businesses which operated in Australia at any time during the year ended 30 June 1999. Counts of businesses include only those businesses that were operating at 30 June 1999.


RELIABILITY OF THE DATA

9 The estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling error.

10 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample of businesses in the surveyed population. Consequently, the estimates in this publication are subject to sampling variability, that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if all units had been included in the survey. One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included.

11 There are about 2 chances in 3 that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if a census had been conducted, and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.

12 Sampling variability can be measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the percentage errors likely to have occurred due to sampling, and this avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate.

13 The following table contains estimates of RSEs for a selection of the statistics presented in this publication.


RELATIVE STANDARD ERRORS FOR TABLE 1, KEY FIGURES
RSE
%

Businesses by main security activity
Cash-in-transit / armoured car service
37
Mobile patrol service
8
Static guard/crowd control service
5
Security monitoring service
21
Private investigator / enquiry service
9
Other security services
32
Total
3
Locations at end June
Capital city and suburbs
3
Other
6
Total
2
Employment at end June
2
Income
Income from security services
2
Other income
4
Total
2
Expenses
Labour costs
2
Payments to sub-contractors for security services
5
Other expenses
2
Total
2
Operating profit before tax
2
Operating profit margin
2

Copyright Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2000

14 As an example of the above, an estimate of total income for the security services industry is $1,394.8 million and the RSE is 2%, giving a SE of $27.9 million. Therefore, there would be 2 chances in 3 that, if all units had been included in the survey, a figure in the range of $1,366.9 million to $1,422.7 million would have been obtained, and 19 chances in 20 (i.e. a confidence interval of 95%) that the figure would have been within the range of $1,339.0 million to $1,450.6 million.

15 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur because of deficiencies in the register of units from which the sample was selected, non-response, and imperfections in reporting by respondents. Inaccuracies of this kind are referred to as non-sampling errors and they may occur in any collection, whether it be a census or a sample. Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems, and appropriate methodology.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

16 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

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