6306.0.55.002 - Technical Manual: Employee Earnings and Hours, CURF, Australia, May 2010  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/09/2011  Final
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The EEH Survey microdata are released under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, which has provision for the release of microdata in the form of unit records where the information is not likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. Accordingly, there are no names or addresses of survey respondents on the CURF and other steps have been taken to protect the confidentiality of respondents. These include removing some data items from the CURF, reducing the level of detail shown on the CURF for some other items and slightly modifying the weights for a number of records.

Steps to confidentialise the data sets made available on the CURF are taken in such a way as to ensure the integrity of the data sets and optimise their content, while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents. Intending purchasers should ensure that the data they require, at the level of detail they require, are available on the CURF they are intending to use; data obtained in the survey but not contained in the CURF may be available in tabulated form on request. The full list of survey data items included on the CURF is provided in the Excel spreadsheet entitled 'EEH CURF Data Items List' accompanying this Technical Manual.

The CURF contains 60,271 confidentialised respondent records. Each employee record has a unique person identifier (ABSPID). Subject to the limitations of sample size and the data classifications used, it is possible to manipulate the microdata, produce tabulations and undertake statistical analyses to individual specifications.


The Expanded CURF accessed via the RADL and ABSDL contains the following files:

  • Information files - including a link to this Technical Manual in HTML format, the Data items list and frequencies;
  • SAS user files - including a SAS version of the data set, and the SAS programs that generated the SAS-formatted version;
  • SPSS user files - including an SPSS version of the data set; and
  • STATA user files - including a STATA version of the data set.


The survey was conducted on a sample of employees from a sample of employers in Australia, and as such users need to take this into account when deriving estimates from the CURF. Each employee record contains a weight (FINPRSWT), and this weight indicates how many employees in the population are represented by this employee. Where estimates are derived from the CURF, it is essential they are calculated using the weights.

An employee's chance of selection in the survey varied considerably, depending on their employer's state, sector, industry and size. If an employee's survey weight is ignored, then no account will be taken of the employee's chance of selection, and the resulting estimates may be biased.

A number of the weights in the CURF have been slightly modified from the original survey weights for confidentiality reasons. This reweighting process has not resulted in significant changes to the estimates and the statistical validity of the CURF is not affected.


Weekly earnings data items have been perturbed and are expressed as continuous data items (in whole dollars only) on the CURF. Perturbation is a process of slightly altering the reported values to prevent identification of respondents. The distribution of values is not changed significantly through perturbation and the statistical validity of aggregate data is not affected.


'Hours paid for' data items were only collected for non-managerial employees. For managerial employees, a value of '0' has been applied to all 'Hours paid for' data items in the CURF. It is therefore important to take this into account when undertaking analysis which includes the 'Hours paid for' data items.


Steps to confidentialise the data made available on the CURF are taken in such a way as to maximise the content of the file while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents. The steps taken to preserve confidentiality include:
  • omitting three data items included in previously published output - States and Territories, Sector, and Level of Government;
  • reducing the level of detail available for the Employer unit size data item (available on the CURF in two broad groups);
  • including industry data at the Division (1 digit) level only;
  • perturbating all earnings data items; and
  • modifying the weights for some records.

As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all statistics produced from the CURF with previously published statistics. However, these differences are not significant and should not diminish the value of the CURF in analysis.