Employment and Unemployment Patterns (Survey of)

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    The Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns (SEUP) is a longitudinal survey which collected labour market data from the same individuals over a number of years. The three reference periods are 5/9/1994 to 3/9/1995 for wave 1; 4/9/1995 to 1/9/1996 for wave 2; and 2/9/1996 to 31/8/1997 for wave 3.


    The objectives of the survey were to provide information on the dynamics of the labour market, and, more specifically, to assist in the assessment of the impact of labour market assistance initiatives in alleviating the extent of joblessness in the Australian economy (such as Job Compact). The survey tracked the labour market outcomes of a sample of jobseekers over time. The information has been used by Commonwealth departments responsible for policy and program development in employment, education and training, and income support, as well as those with a wider responsibility for economic and social policies, by researchers from academic and and social welfare organisations, as well as a number of applications within the ABS.


    The survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all States and Territories in Australia. The survey included only persons aged 15-59 years living in private dwellings, which are houses, flats, home units and any other structures used as private places of residence. Included were all usual resident household members who were staying at the selected dwelling on the night of the interview or who would be staying at the dwelling during the interview period. Excluded are: overseas residents in Australia; certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments; and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependents) stationed in Australia.


    Conceptual framework

    The SEUP collected data in reference to three population groups.

    Population 1 - Jobseekers. These are unemployed persons, part-time workers looking for a job with more hours, and others indicating a desire to join the labour force in the near future. The purpose of this group was to facilitate the study of differences between the outcomes of Labour Market participants and those of 'similar' groups not participating in the Job Compact.

    Population 2 - General population reference group. This group consists of a random sample of the population aged 15 to 59. It has been included because of the need to have a reference group of the general population so that the outcomes of various programs can be assessed in the context of general labour market conditions.

    Population 3 - Labour Market Program participants. A sample of persons who commenced a Job Compact job placement and/or commenced a training program between July 1994 and February 1995. This group was included to ensure that the initial sample included a sufficient number of Job Compact participants.

    The following diagram summarises the composition of the Jobseeker population

    Main outputs

    A range of survey outputs describe the labour market activities of the population subgroups, over the three year period. focusing on how population cohorts' activities and situations change. Outputs focus on the characteristics of persons, their episodes of labour market activity, labour market support, and income support, and transitions between different labour market states.


    Standard ABS classifications are used for a wide range of variables. Data availability depends on the confidentiality and reliablility of the data.

    Other concepts (summary)

    Not applicable

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Section of State

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    The survey covers urban and rural areas across all States and Territories.

    Remote and sparsely settled areas in Northern Territory and Queensland are excluded,


    Frequency comments

    The SEUP is a longitudinal survey conducted in each of 1995, 1996 and 1997. There are currently no plans to repeat the survey.

    24/4/95 to 7/7/95 - phase 1 (recruitment) collection period
    18/9/95 to 3/11/95 - phase 2 (wave 1) collection period
    23/9/96 to 1/11/96 - Wave 2 collection period
    29/9/97 to 25/10/97 - Wave 3 collection period


    Data availability comments


    6286.0 Australia's Employment and Unemployment Patterns - Final Edition Released 19th October 1998

    6289.0 Australia's Employment and Unemployment Patterns, First Results - Release Date: 12th May 1997

    6293.0.00.001 Occasional Paper: A Risk Index Approach to Unemployment - An Application using the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns - Release Date: 8th February 1999

    6293.0.00.002 Occasional Paper: Labour Market Programs, Unemployment and Employment Hazards - Release Date: 8th February 2000

    6293.0.00.003 Occasional Paper: Job Quality and Churning of the Pool of the Unemployed - Release Date: 18th November 1999

    6293.0.00.004 Occasional Paper: The Dynamics of Labour Market State and Benefit Receipt - Release Date: 6th October 2000

    6293.0.00.005 Occasional Paper: Labour Market Outcomes of Low Paid Adult Workers - Release Date: 17th March 2000

    6293.0.00.006 Occasional Paper: Labour Market Dynamics in Australia - An Application using the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns - Release Date: 23rd October 2000

    6293.0.00.007 Occasional Paper: Dynamics of Earned Income in Australia - An Application using the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns - Release Date: 22nd February 2001

    6293.0.00.008 Occasional Paper: The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Australia - An Application using the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns - Release Date: 27th May 2002

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