Current Household Surveys

MONTHLY POPULATION SURVEY

CENSUS POST ENUMERATION SURVEY


MONTHLY POPULATION SURVEY (MPS)



Background
The Monthly Population Survey (MPS) has been carried out since 1960 to provide information about the Australian population and workforce on a regular basis. The nation's employment and unemployment figures are produced from this survey.

Your household is one of approximately 30,000 around Australia selected by the ABS to take part in the survey each month. It is an official survey conducted under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

The results from the MPS are used by Commonwealth and state government, industry business, trade unions and academics to make important decisions about employment, industry support and education.

What details are required?

The main component of the MPS is the Labour Force Survey (LFS). In the LFS, employed people will be asked some questions on topics such as hours worked, their occupation and the type of industry in which they work. People looking for work will be asked questions on topics such as steps taken to look for work and the length of time they have been looking for work. Retired people and people who are neither working nor looking for work will be asked some questions to clarify their current situation and future intentions.

In some months you might be asked additional questions on various topics including education, conditions of employment or child care arrangements.
A small portion of respondents will be asked about qualifications and employment outcomes, barriers and incentives to labour force participation, retirement and retirement intentions, household use of information technology, patient experience, crime and safety and household income.

The questions can usually be answered for all of your household members in a few minutes and the answers can be provided by any adult member of the household. The interview is conducted using a notebook computer

How long will I be in the survey?

You will be asked to complete our survey once every month for eight months. You have the option to register and complete the survey online for the eight months you have been selected. If you decide not register online an ABS interviewer (with an official identification card) will visit your home for the first interview. In the following months, where possible, interviews will be conducted by telephone.

Why do I have to do it for eight months?

One of the main reasons for the MPS is to measure changes in your households situation over time. To reduce burden on your household and to provide reliable information on the current status of the labour force, households are replaced every eight months. Seven-eights of the month-to-month sample is the same as the previous month.

Why is it important that all those selected take part in the survey?

The sample is designed to provide a balanced representation of all households in Australia so that the estimates made from the data reflect, as closely as possible, all households. If some households do not participate, this may result in one type of household being represented more often than another type, which may result in biases in the data.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?

Arrangements can be made for the interview to be conducted by an ABS Interviewer fluent in the language of the householder or using an interpreter.

Will respondents be paid for their time?

No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?

The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected as it can only be accessed by the interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data.

Using notebook computers helps to minimise the number of mistakes that can be made when information is being collected or processed. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. Additionally, notebook computers make it easier for interviewers to conduct the interview smoothly and speed up the interview process.

Is the survey compulsory?

The questions included in this survey are being asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information being requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Do householders have to give ABS interviewers right of entry to their home?

No. Interviewers can enter the household only by invitation from the householder; however, it would be helpful if a suitable chair and table was made available (inside or outside the house) as the interviewer will be using a notebook computer to collect the information.

Will the information provided be confidential?

The ABS privacy policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS privacy policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?

Full survey results are published monthly on the ABS website in Labour Force, Australia (cat.no.6202.0).

CENSUS POST ENUMERATION SURVEY (PES) 2016

Background
The Census Post Enumeration Survey (PES) is a short survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) after each Census to provide an independent measure of the accuracy of the Census. The survey will approach approximately 50,000 households, including those in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, selected at random from rural and urban areas across Australia.

Two survey questionnaires are used for the PES, one for the general population sample and one for the remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community sample. The questionnaires have been tailored to ensure the highest quality data is collected within the designated sample area. The remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community PES commences on 1 August and runs for 3 months until 29 October 2016; and the general population PES commences late September and runs through to late October 2016.

What is the survey used for?
The PES is designed to collect information on how many people should have been counted in the Census, how many were missed and how many were counted more than once to produce estimates of over-count and under-count. These estimates are used to:
  • derive resident population estimates for 30 June of the Census year;
  • provide users with an assessment of the accuracy of Census counts, allowing them to take this into account when using Census information; and
  • evaluate the effectiveness of Census collection procedures so that improvements can be made for future Censuses.

Accurate resident population estimates are required for a wide range of uses including the allocation of seats to states and territories in the House of Representatives of the Australian Parliament, distribution of Commonwealth payments to states and territories and demographic, social and economic studies.

What information is collected?
The PES collects information about the household and each person in the household (for example their name, sex and age). It also collects information about whether each person was included on a Census form and if so at what address, whether they could have been included on a Census form at other addresses and where they were staying on Census night.

How are households selected for inclusion in the survey?
Dwellings are selected at random across Australia so that within each State and Territory each household has a known chance of selection. Each selected dwelling represents a number of others in that area, in that State and in Australia. The information collected from each selected household is used to represent a number of others which are like them in terms of their key characteristics. The co-operation of all those selected is important to ensure all households/persons are properly represented in the survey and so are properly reflected in the survey results.

Has a survey of this type ever been conducted before?
Yes, the 2016 PES will be the eleventh in the series conducted every 5 years since 1966.

How will households be contacted?
Households will receive an explanatory letter informing them of their selection in the survey together with a flyer which outlines the survey and their role in it. Households will be offered the opportunity to register for the survey to help coordinate a convenient time for the survey interview. If a household does not register, a fully trained ABS interviewer will visit the household to explain the purpose of the survey, answer any questions they might have and make an appointment for the survey interview.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?
Where possible, an ABS Interviewer who is fluent in the language of the householder will conduct the interviewer. Otherwise, an interpreter will help to conduct the interview.

Will respondents be paid for their time?
No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?
The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected. Information collected can only be accessed by the Interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data. The Notebook computers help to reduce the number of mistakes that can be made during each interview. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. The Notebook computers also make it easier for the Interviewer to conduct the survey.

Is the survey compulsory?
The questions in the PES are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information that is requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Will the information provided be confidential?
The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps that the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS Privacy Policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?
Survey results will be available June 2017, free of charge, on the ABS website.