1136.0 - A Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2009  
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Labour Market Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Telephone (02) 6252 7206


The Labour Mobility Survey collects information about people aged 15 years and over who, within the 12 months prior to the survey, either had a change of employer/business in their main job, or had some change in work with their current employer/business for whom they had worked for one year or more. The Labour Mobility Survey was most recently conducted as the February 2008 supplementary survey to the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

The Labour Mobility Survey also provides information about people who had ceased their last job, as well as duration of last and current job.


The scope of the Labour Mobility Survey was expanded in 2006 to include all people aged 15 years and over (instead of 15–69 years). Of those in-scope of the LFS, the Labour Mobility questions are asked of those who, within the prior 12 months, either had a change of employer/business in their main job, or had some change in work with their current employer/business for whom they had worked for one year or more. Data items and populations that referred to locality, which were included in previous surveys, have not been collected since the February 2004 survey.

The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over, and excludes the following people:

  • members of the Australian permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from the census and estimated populations;
  • overseas residents in Australia; and
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

The survey is conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excludes people living in very remote parts of Australia. Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for people with disabilities), and inmates of prisons are also excluded.

Reference Period

The 52 weeks up to the end of the week prior to interview.

Frequency of Collection


Method of collection

The Labour Mobility survey is conducted throughout Australia in February as a supplement to the ABS monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Information is collected from a responsible adult on behalf of household members. Trained interviewers conduct most interviews (70%) over the telephone, and the remainder are conducted face-to-face.

People who have worked with their current employer/business for less than 12 months, are asked whether they have changed their employer/business in the previous 12 months. Those who have changed employer/business are then asked if they have changed their occupation, industry, usual hours worked or employment type between their last and current employer/business.

Those who have not changed their employer/business in the previous 12 months consist of people who are working with their current employer/business for less than 12 months and reported they had not changed, and those people who have worked with their employer/business at February 2008 for one year or more.


Release schedule

The results of supplementary surveys are released approximately six months after the survey reference period.


Labour Mobility, Australia, Feb 2008 (ABS cat. no. 6209.0)
Labour Force Survey and Labour Mobility, Australia: Basic and Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record Files, Technical Manual, Feb 2008 (ABS cat. no. 6202.0.30.005)


Data are available for Australia, states and territories.

Data Service

The publication tables are available as Excel data cubes, with each table of estimates matched by a relative standard error table. Customised tables are available on request, as a charged service.

Microdata: Labour Force Survey and Labour Mobility, Basic and Expanded CURF, Australia, 2008, Feb 2008 (ABS cat. no. 6202.0.30.004) contains data from both the LFS and the related Labour Mobility supplementary survey.



State or territory of usual residence
Area of usual residence
Region of usual residence
Age group
Marital status
Relationship in household
Country of birth
Year of arrival in Australia

Highest year of school completed
Level of highest non-school qualification
Level of highest educational attainment

Labour variables
Normal labour force variables, plus
Industry of employment
Occupation in job

Historical Data

Results of similar surveys, conducted in November 1972, February 1975 and 1976, annually from February 1979 to February 1992, then biennially from February 1994 to February 2004, were published in Labour Mobility, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6209.0). Results of the biennial surveys (1994–2004) can be downloaded from the 'Past & Future Releases' tab of the electronic publication.

The introduction of ANZSCO First Edition and ANZSIC 2006 have meant that data relating to change in occupation and industry in the February 2008 survey are not comparable with previous years.