Australian Bureau of Statistics

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Topics @ a Glance - Labour
Labour Market Transitions


The ABS conducts a number of household surveys that are relevant to those interested in labour mobility and labour market transitions in Australia. The most commonly used estimates of changes in work are available in the Labour Mobility Survey, Labour Force Experience Survey and the Pregnancy and Employment Transitions Survey.

Labour Mobility Survey (two-yearly)
The Labour Mobility Survey collects information on about people who had a change of employer/business or some change in work in the previous 12 months. The survey is the only source of data on labour force mobility over a twelve month period and is a major source of data for analysing the dynamic nature of the labour market.
Summary results are published in Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0).
Microdata are available in a Confidentialised Unit Record File (cat. no. 6202.0.30.004).

Labour Force Experience Survey (two-yearly)
The Labour Force Experience Survey collects information on time spent in labour force activities, including episodes of working or looking for work, and time spent out of the labour force over the previous twelve months.
Summary results are published in: Labour Force Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6206.0).

Pregnancy and Employment Transitions Survey (six-yearly)
The Pregnancy and Employment Transitions Survey collects information on the employment experiences and leave taken of women with children under the age of 2 years, including some aspects of women's working experiences while pregnant and after returning to work. The data can be cross-classified by income, industry, occupation and demographic characteristics.
Summary results are published in Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, Australia (cat. no. 4913.0).
Microdata are available in a Confidentialised Unit Record File (cat. no. 4913.0.55.001).

Longitudinal Labour Force CURF
Microdata: Longitudinal Labour Force, Australia, 2008-10 (cat. no. 6602.0) contains details on the labour market participation and the transitions into and out of employment of Australians over a three year period, providing insights into how the labour market has changed over time. It is created from 36 monthly Labour Force Surveys (LFS) along with data collected from labour supplementary surveys and multipurpose household surveys run between January 2008 and December 2010. It includes a range of data to enable users to better understand the dynamics of the labour market and changes in individuals' employment, unemployment and moves in and out of the labour force.

Labour Force Survey Gross Flows (monthly)
Labour Force Survey Gross Flows refers to estimates of month-to-month labour market transitions using respondents who report their labour force status in consecutive months of the Labour Force Survey. Gross flows data enables analysis of the transition of individuals between the different labour force status (employment, unemployment, not in the labour force) and can provide a good indicator of trends and cyclical activity within the labour market.
Data on gross flows are available monthly in a datacube in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) - see GM1 - Labour Force Statistics and Gross Changes (flows) by Sex, State and Age. Estimates relate only to those people in private dwellings for whom information was obtained in successive surveys (about 80% of all people in the survey), so do not match the published labour force survey estimates in either month.

Interpreting gross flowsLabour Force, Australia
Apr 2009
Understanding movements in employmentLabour Force, Australia
Mar 2009
First job startersAustralian Labour Market Statistics
Jan 2008
Labour mobilityYear Book Australia
Changes in where people work over timeAustralian Labour Market Statistics
Oct 2006
Labour force transitionsAustralian Labour Market Statistics
Jul 2006
Job startersAustralian Labour Market Statistics
Oct 2005
Labour force experienceYear Book Australia
Labour force transitionsAustralian Social Trends
Labour mobility Year Book Australia
Labour market transitions of teenagersAustralian Labour Market Statistics
Oct 2003
Labour force experienceYear Book Australia
Changes in labour force participation across generationsAustralian Social Trends
Multiple spells of looking for workAustralian Social Trends
Changes experienced at workAustralian Social Trends
Changing employer or businessAustralian Social Trends
Changing industries, changing jobsAustralian Social Trends


Concepts, Sources and Methods
Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) describes the concepts and definitions underpinning Australian labour statistics, the data sources and the methods used in the collection and compilation of these statistics. For further information on changes in work see Chapter 21.7 Labour Mobility and Chapter 21.5 Labour Force Experience .

Understanding Labour Force is published each month in Labour Force, Australia (6202.0) and concisely explains some of the key measures and concepts from the Labour force Survey.

Information papers
Information Paper: Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review, 2012 (cat. no. 6107.0) presents the outcomes of the Labour Household Survey Content Review. It 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.

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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