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This variable describes the industries in which employed people aged 15 years and over work.
For the 2001 Census a person's industry of employment is classified based on responses to a range of questions, and in particular Questions 38 and 39, which ask for a description of the business, and the main goods produced, or main services provided. The name of the business, the employed person's occupation and main tasks and duties, may also help in classifying industry of employment.
For the 1996 Census, in addition to the above, a person's industry of employment was also classified by use of the ABS's Business Register.
The 1993 edition of the ANZSIC is used in classifying the responses given to the industry questions for the 2001 Census.
There is not necessarily any relationship between the occupation of an individual and the industry in which he/she works; for example, a van driver for an establishment designated as being in the insurance industry is employed in that industry, not in the transport industry. One establishment may employ many people in different occupations but they are all coded to the industry of the establishment.
Information on the type of industry carried out by the employer at the workplace has been gathered in each census since 1911. The name of employer and address of workplace has been collected since the 1954 Census. The inclusion of the industry topic in the Census provides a source of useful information on the regional distribution and structure of Australian industry, and allows investigation of structural change in industry over time. It also provides information on the characteristics of workers by industry (such as age, qualification and occupation), which is important for workforce studies, and the identification of migrant and other groups by industry. See also Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), Journey to Work (JTW), Working population.