Redevelopment of the JSE 2011 Survey
Revision of population benchmarks
The Labour Force Survey estimates and estimates from the supplementary surveys, are calculated in such a way as to sum to independent estimates of the civilian population aged 15 years and over (population benchmarks). These population benchmarks are based on Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data. Generally, revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS following the final rebasing of population estimates to the latest five-yearly Census of Population and Housing, or when the need arises. However, the estimates from the supplementary surveys are not normally revised to reflect the latest benchmarks.
From February 2009 Labour Force Estimates have been compiled using population benchmarks based on the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Revisions were applied to the LFS population benchmarks in December 2012 and May 2013 to take into account the latest available population estimates. The latest revision undertaken in May 2013 is not reflected in the estimates presented in Job Search Experience, July 2013 (cat. no. 6222.0).
Changes to the LFS population benchmarks impact primarily on the magnitude of the Labour Force Survey estimates (i.e. employment and unemployment) that are directly related to the underlying size of the population. For more details on population benchmarks, see the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) and for details about the revisions made, see the articles in the November 2012 and September 2010 issues of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
Changes in Scope
In July 2011 the Job Search Experience Survey (JSE) was redeveloped to capture more information on a person's experience in looking for work. This relates to unemployed persons, persons who had been employed for more than a year in their current job, as well as owner managers and their reasons for starting/purchasing a business.
This change has resulted in a break in series for all current population groups:
- unemployed persons;
- employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months; and
- employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises) who started their current job in the previous 12 months.
The redevelopment also introduces two new population groups:
Users need to exercise care when comparing data about current populations in the 2011 publication with previous years as data about these population groups have changed.
- Owner managers who started their current business in the previous 12 months; and
- Persons employed for more than a year in their current job who looked for work in the previous 12 months.
New data items
Prior to July 2011, the following persons were included in the JSE survey:
- persons who started working in a new job/business, were still working in the most recently started job at the time of interview and changed employer to start that job; and
- unemployed persons.
From July 2011, in addition to the current LFS and JSE survey exclusions:
- single jobholders who were contributing family workers in their current job are excluded from the survey;
- persons who were employed for more than a year in their current job and were looking for work during the previous 12 months are included in the survey; and
- future job starters (who did not look for work) are included in the survey (estimated at 4,700 persons in 2011).
Changes to data items
As a result of the redevelopment, the following data items are included in the JSE 2011 publication:
- Whether turned down job offer/s (in current period of unemployment);
- Reasons for turning down job offer/s (in current period of unemployment);
- Main reason for turning down job offer/s (in current period of unemployment);
- Whether considered starting or purchasing a business in the last 12 months;
- Reasons for not starting or purchasing a business in the last 12 months;
- Whether started or purchased a business;
- Reasons for starting or purchasing a business;
- Main reason for starting or purchasing a business;
- Reasons for looking for other work while still employed;
- All steps taken to find other work in current period of employment;
- All difficulties in getting another job; and
- Main difficulty in getting another job.
Other changes to the Job Search Experience Survey Include
The data item 'Whether first job ever held lasting two weeks or more' has been amended to include the population of owner managers.
Persons who had been unemployed for one year or less were asked questions about time spent looking for work. Previously this was not the case. As a result of this change the data item 'Time spent looking for work in the previous 12 months' has changed.
- All data was collected from any responsible adult (ARA) in the household at the time of interview. The ARA responded on behalf of all people in the household who had taken steps to find work. Prior to 2013, information about job search experience and steps taken to find work was obtained via a personal interview with each relevant person in the household.
As a result of this change, there has been no observable statistical impact on the data.
- From December 2012 to April 2013, the ABS conducted a trial of online data collection for the LFS. Respondents in one rotation group (i.e. one-eighth of the survey sample) were offered the option of self completing their labour force survey questionnaire online instead of via face-to-face or telephone interview. From May 2013, the ABS has commenced the expansion of the offer of online collection to each new incoming rotation group. For more information see the article in the April 2013 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
A measurement strategy was used to identify impacts on the LFS data. No statistical impact has been identified to date.
- 'Job Network' was changed to 'Job Services Australia'.
- Centrelink touchscreens are no longer collected.
- a new data item was introduced 'Number of children in family aged under 15 years'.
- survey included people in very remote areas of Australia except for people living in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in very remote parts of Australia.
- a new population group was introduced Population 3, 'Employees (excluding OMIEs) who started their current job in the previous 12 months'.
- computer assisted interviewing was introduced for the Job Search Experience Survey, and was fully implemented in July 2005. The change of interviewing method did not affect estimates in any meaningful way.