6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Jun 2005  
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Contents >> Methods >> Household Surveys >> Chapter 20. Labour Force Supplementary Surveys >> 20.4. Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons


20.4.1 This survey examined the job search experience of unemployed persons, with particular focus on two key aspects - steps taken to find work, and barriers encountered in finding work. First conducted in 1976, the survey was conducted annually in July until 2001. From July 2002, the survey was combined with the biennial survey of Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience, conducted irregularly from 1982 to 2001 (see Chapter 20.13), forming the annual survey of Job Search Experience (see Chapter 20.17). Data from the survey were used in formulating policies in areas such as labour market assistance, and control and review mechanisms for unemployment benefit payments.

20.4.2 This section describes only those aspects of the methodology that are unique to this survey, and hence should be used in conjunction with the overview part of this chapter, which outlines the survey methodology used in supplementary surveys.


20.4.3 Data from the survey were published in Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0). More detailed data are available on request.

20.4.4 The main population of interest was unemployed persons. Estimates included:

Socio-demographic informationSex, age, marital status, relationship in household, family, geographic region, educational attainment, birthplace and year of arrival in Australia.
Unemployed personsWhether looking for full-time or part-time work, duration of current period of unemployment, active steps taken to find work, whether would move interstate if offered a suitable job, whether would move intrastate if offered a suitable job, number of offers of employment in past 12 months, difficulties finding work, number of spells of finding work in previous 12 months, and time spent looking for work in previous 12 months.
Unemployed persons who were employees in their full-time last job and ceased that job in the last two yearsDuration of last full-time job, industry of last full-time job, occupation of last full-time job, and reason for ceasing last full-time job.

20.4.5 Data collected in the survey were compiled according to concepts and definitions outlined in Chapter 6 (unemployment) and Chapter 15 (socio-demographic information and industry).


20.4.6 The scope of this survey was restricted to persons aged 15 and over. The standard scope restrictions for supplementary surveys outlined in the overview part of Chapter 20 also applied to this survey.


20.4.7 Personal interviews were used to collect information for the survey. Both face to face and telephone interviewing techniques were used.


20.4.8 In order to provide a high degree of consistency and comparability over time, changes to survey methods, survey concepts, data item definitions, frequency of collection, and analysis methods are made as infrequently as possible. Over the time the survey was conducted there were some changes to the scope and sample size. These changes mean that the standard errors for the survey differed over time. The effect on estimates of the change in scope is considered to have been small. Changes affecting the Labour Force Survey may also have affected this survey. Such changes are outlined in Chapter 19 and are not repeated here.

1976Initial two surveys conducted in May and November - preliminary data published in Persons looking for work, Preliminary (Ref. no. 6.56) and final data in Persons looking for work (Ref. no. 6.60).
1977Survey conducted (May).
Catalogue numbers replaced reference numbers - cat. no. 6221.0 (preliminary data) and cat. no. 6222.0 (final data).
1978Annual collection commenced (July).
1981Survey conducted in June (this year only).
1982Publication title change - preliminary data published in Characteristics of persons looking for work, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 6221.0) and final data in Characteristics of persons looking for work, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0).
1984Publication title change - preliminary data published in Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 6221.0) and final data in Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0).
1986Survey conducted in June (this year only).
1988 Preliminary publication discontinued.
1991Survey conducted in June (this year only).
1994Reduction in sample to seven-eighths of Labour Force Survey sample.
1995 Standard Data Service replaced publication format (cat. no. changed to 6222.0.40.001).
1996 Publication format replaced Standard Data Service (cat. no. changed to 6222.0).
1997 Persons living in remote and sparsely settled areas excluded from scope.
1998Change to government administration of job seeking arrangements. The former CES was split, some responsibilities being moved to Centrelink and the privatised Job Network created, causing a slight discontinuity in some estimates.
2000 Reduction in survey content (for this year only) - details of last full-time job not collected.
2001 Final survey. Replaced by Job Search Experience Survey from July 2002.


20.4.10 For further details contact the Assistant Director, Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys Section, on (02) 6252 6504.

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