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LATEST NEWS

Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review
Changes to Average Weekly Earnings
Labour Force Survey
Australian Labour Market Statistics
Recently Released Labour Publications
Upcoming Labour Releases
Recent Conferences, Workshops and Events


OUTCOMES OF THE LABOUR HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS CONTENT REVIEW

In July 2012, the ABS released Information Paper: Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review, 2012 (cat. no. 6107.0), which presents the outcomes of the recently completed Labour Household Survey Content Review. The review aimed to improve the relevance of data released, maximise the coherence of interrelated topics and minimise the duplication of content. The scope of the review included the LFS, labour supplementary surveys and labour MPHS topics. Consideration was given to the program's continued relevance in contemporary labour market indicators, its ability to meet emerging priorities, and the relationships between content of the LFS, the supplementary surveys and MPHS topics.

The information paper outlines the intended changes to the Labour Force Survey and the labour supplementary surveys resulting from the review, as well as a timeframe for their implementation. More details are available from the publication.


CHANGES TO AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS

The frequency of the average weekly earnings series is changing from quarterly to biannual in 2012. The May 2012 publication will be the last quarterly issue (released in August 2012), with the November 2012 publication the first produced on a biannual basis (released in February 2013). From 2013 onwards, AWE data will be produced twice a year relating to the May and November quarters. This was first advised to users in the May 2011 issue of Average Weekly Earnings (cat. no. 6302.0), providing a fifteen month notice period to ensure AWE users have sufficient notice of the change. The collection methodology will not change - data will be collected for the reference week ending the third Friday of the third week of the middle month of the quarter, and released on the same basis as before for the two remaining quarters.

An assessment of the feasibility of releasing seasonally adjusted and trend estimates determined that seasonal factors remain present and can be calculated on a biannual basis. However, it should be noted that calculating seasonally adjusted and trend estimates using only two points of measurements each year, rather than the four points available in a quarterly survey, will likely result in a change in the level of these series.

An information paper containing further details about these changes was released on 16 April 2012 and is available on the ABS website. Please see: Information Paper: Changes to Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, April 2012 (cat. no. 6302.0.55.002).

If you would like further information about the forthcoming changes to Average Weekly Earnings statistics please contact the Manager, Survey of Average Weekly Earnings on Perth (08) 9360 5304.


Release of Average Weekly Cash Earnings Series

The average weekly cash earnings series inclusive of salary sacrifice has been released since the May 2011 issue of Average Weekly Earnings, Australia (cat. no. 6302.0) and is available on the ABS Website Downloads tab of this release, under the data cubes heading. An information paper titled Information Paper: Release of Average Weekly Cash Earnings Series (cat. no. 6302.0.55.003) was released on 21 July 2011 outlining the background to the series, the classifications and time periods to be released, and where to find the data on the website.
LABOUR FORCE SURVEY

The monthly Labour Force Survey is one of the most important ABS labour collections, providing timely information on labour market activity within Australia. The LFS provides insight into the economy, and also provides insight into other people's lives, their participation in the labour force, and success in finding employment and working hours.

The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) provides summary results of the monthly Labour Force Survey including estimates of employed and unemployed people classified by sex, full-time/part-time status, state/territory and some age groups. In addition, the release also provides data on labour force transitions (gross flows), underemployment and underutilisation measures on a quarterly basis, and aggregate monthly hours worked.

More information on labour force survey estimates can be found in the article 'Understanding Labour Force' which is published every month in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).


Labour Force time series spreadsheets and data cubes

First release time series spreadsheets are available, by accessing Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

Second release monthly time series spreadsheets and data cubes are available by accessing Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001).

More detailed time series spreadsheets and data cubes (providing industry and occupation data, for example) are released in February, May, August and November each year, and are available through Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003).

AUSTRALIAN LABOUR MARKET STATISTICS

Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) provides information about the latest developments in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour statistics program, highlighting new and upcoming releases of ABS labour data or changes to these series.

It presents analyses of labour market issues, and resources on how to understand and interpret labour market statistics. The frequency of Australian Labour Market Statistics changed from quarterly to irregular in July 2012. It will continue to include data tables on employment type, volume measures of labour underutilisation, and extended labour force underutilisation.


RECENTLY RELEASED LABOUR PUBLICATIONS

Underemployed Workers

In March 2012, the ABS released Underemployed Workers, Australia, September 2011 (cat. no. 6265.0), which presents information about the characteristics of underemployed workers aged 15 years and over. The number of underemployed workers is an important component of underutilised labour resources in the economy, along with the number of unemployed and some people with marginal attachment to the labour force. A range of information is presented on underemployed workers including the number of hours usually worked, number of preferred hours, steps taken to find work with more hours, and difficulties finding work with more hours.

Of the 11.5 million employed people in September 2011, there were 786,700 underemployed workers. The average number of extra hours preferred per week was 14.1 hours, with 56% of all underemployed part-time workers preferring to work full-time.

More details are available from the publication.


Persons Not in the Labour Force

In March 2012, the ABS released Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, September 2011 (cat. no. 6220.0) which presents information about people aged 15 years and over who are not in the labour force: that is, neither employed or unemployed. The data measure the potential supply of labour not reflected in employment and unemployment statistics, as well as the characteristics of that potential supply.

In September 2011, 33% of the civilian population aged 15 years and over were not in the labour force. Of those, 60% were women, 22% wanted to work and 40% were aged 25-64 years.

More details are available from the publication.


Forms of Employment

In April 2012, the ABS released Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2011 (cat. no. 6359.0) which presents information about the nature of employment arrangements in the Australian Workforce. It will also include information about different types of employment which can be cross-classified by characteristics such as hours worked, industry and occupation, and demographic characteristics.

Of the 11.4 million employed people in November 2011, 7.1 million were employees with paid leave entitlements and one in 5 Australian workers were casual employees.

More details are available from the publication.


Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership

In April 2012, the ABS released Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2011 (cat. no. 6310.0), which presents information about the distribution of weekly earnings of employees, their entitlement to core employment benefits such as paid leave (paid holiday, paid sick, paid long service and paid maternity/paternity leave), superannuation contributions made by employer on behalf of employee, and trade union membership.

Of the 9.9 million employees in August 2011, 70% were full-time employees in their main job. The mean weekly earnings was $1056 and 18% were trade union members.

More details are available from the publication.



UPCOMING LABOUR RELEASES

Average Weekly Earnings

In August 2012, the ABS will release Average Weekly Earnings (cat. no. 6302.0). The May 2012 publication will be the last quarterly issue and the November 2012 publication the first produced on a biannual basis. This publication contains estimates of average weekly ordinary time earnings and average weekly total earnings for full-time adult employees and average weekly total earnings for all employees, classified by sector and state or territory and by industry at the Australia level, for males, females and persons..


Labour Mobility

In September 2012, the ABS will release Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0). This publication provides information about people aged 15 years and over who, within the 12 months to February 2012, either had a change of employer/business in their main job, or had some change in work with their current employer/business, for whom they had worked for one year or more.


Job Vacancies

In September 2012, the ABS will release Job Vacancies, Australia (cat. no. 6354.0). This publication presents estimates of the number of job vacancies with state and territory and industry dissections.


Education and Work

In November 2012, the ABS will release Education and Work, Australia (cat. no. 6227.0). This publication presents selected information on participation in education, highest educational attainment, transition from education to work and current labour force and demographic characteristics for the civilian population aged 15-64 years. Characteristics reported on include: type of educational institution attended or attending; level and main field of education of current study and highest level and main field of educational attainment. Information on unsuccessful enrolment, and deferment of study, is included for persons not studying in the survey year. Data on apprenticeships are also provided. Limited information is also included for persons aged 65-74 years who are in the labour force or marginally attached to it. Some of the statistical tables are presented in time series format.


Industrial Disputes

In December 2012, the ABS will release Industrial Disputes, Australia (cat. no. 6321.0.55.001). This publication presents number of disputes, employees involved, working days lost and working days lost per 1,000 employees in industrial disputes involving stoppages of work of 10 days or more, classified by state, industry, cause of dispute, working days lost per employee involved and reason work resumed.


Employment and Earnings, Public Sector

In December 2012, the ABS will release Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia (cat. no. 6248.0.55.002). This publication presents estimates of number of public sector employees and cash wages and salaries by level of government by state. It also presents estimates of number of public sector employees and cash wages and salaries by industry for Australia.

RECENT CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS

Introduction to Labour Statistics Training

This course is designed for anyone who uses or needs to understand ABS Labour Statistics. The course provides an overview of the range of concepts and issues associated with ABS labour statistics. It explores the data produced by both household and employer based collections, and highlights the range of products available to access labour-related data.

Courses are currently being scheduled for delivery in 2012 for most state/territory capital cities. To register interest in a course, please refer to the ABS Training page or contact Deepa Wright on (02) 6252 7919 or email <labour.statistics@abs.gov.au>


ABS Labour Statistics Advisory Group, Canberra, 9 November 2011

On 9 November 2011, the ABS met with the Labour Statistics Advisory Group. Advisory Groups are important to the Bureau as a means of getting feedback from the expert and user community on current and planned developments in the ABS. By drawing on the advice, comments and concerns of the Advisory Group members, the ABS will improve the relevance and usefulness of the labour statistics program.

The meeting discussed likely directions arising out of the recent review of the labour household survey program, as well as an update on a range of developments in the ABS labour statistics program.


50 Years of Labour Force Statistics

November 2011 marked an important milestone for the ABS - 50 years of the Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys program. The anniversary was marked with a special article, Fifty Years of Labour Force: Now and Then, and a seminar. The seminar held on 9 November, featured Professor Bob Gregory from the Research School of Economics at ANU, Mr Richard Denniss from the Australia Institute and the Australian Statistician, Mr Brian Pink. Speakers reflected on the Labour Force survey and its place in Australia, in the past and into the future. Celebrations continued in true 50th birthday style with an afternoon tea, including a 50 years of Labour Statistics cake.


Centre of Full Employment and Equity Conference

This conference, incorporating the 13th Path to Full Employment Conference and the 18th National Unemployment Conference, was held at the University of Newcastle from 7-8 December 2011. This is an annual conference held by the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (known as CofEE) - an official research centre at the University of Newcastle.

For more information please visit the conference website.


Australian Labour Market Research Workshop

The Australian Labour Market Research Workshop (ALMR) was held at the University of Canberra, ACT from 6-7 February 2011. This is an annual conference designed to share high quality research on labour economics and labour relations and to promote informed debate among economists about current labour market issues in Australia. The 2011 workshop was supported by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and hosted by the Centre for Labour Market Research (CLMR). The purpose of the meeting is to disseminate high quality research in labour economics and labour relations and to promote informed public debate about current labour market issues.



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