Impact of Townsville Floods
Flooding in Townsville in February 2019 resulted in a major disruption to the operation of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the accompanying Participation, Job Search and Mobility Survey (PJSM). As a result, there was a very low sample of responding households in the region in February.
Given the severity of these disruptions, which affected almost the entire region, and to ensure that this loss of sample did not affect data for Australia and Queensland, the ABS imputed sample for Townsville for February 2019. The imputation drew upon previous information that had been collected from people in Townsville.
During 2018, the ABS estimated that employed persons in Townsville accounted for around 1 per cent of all employed persons in Australia, around 4 per cent of employed persons in Queensland, and around 9 per cent of employed persons in the regions in Queensland outside of Brisbane.
It is also important to note that there were also a range of bushfires across Australia over the period that resulted in minor disruption to data collection activities. These did not result in any notable impacts to LFS or PJSM data.