ABS responds to "Rates not based on real unemployment figures" (Letters to the editor, AFR, 11/07/2013, p43)

ABS figures use international standards

To the editor, Australian Financial Review,

The ABS labour force survey definition of unemployment is based on agreed international statistical definitions, contrary to the opinion of Marcus L'Estrange (letters to the editor, AFR 11 July 2013). ABS unemployment rates are therefore comparable to other countries such as the United States, Canada and many other countries.

The ABS produces a range of measures about the labour market in addition to the unemployment rate, including employment levels, underemployment and labour underutilisation. The ABS encourages all users, such as government and industry, to use the full suite of labour statistics to base their decisions.

Brian Pink
Australian Statistician
11 July 2013