4913.0 - Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, Australia, Nov 2017 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2018   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


Please note, caution should be taken when using the data in this publication. The estimates are derived from a small sample, which means many of the estimates have high Relative Standard Error's. Please refer to the Relative Standard Error's tab in each Table when using the data.

Of the 27,000 women who were interviewed in the November 2017 Labour Force survey, less than 5% had children under 2 in the same household. After screening for mothers who had given birth to these children (excluding instances of adoption, surrogacy, foster care, etc) and accounting for non-response, about 4% of the total sample of women (approx. 1000 women) responded to the Pregnancy and Employment Transitions Survey. This small survey sample results in estimates with high relative standard errors (RSEs). In many cases, these RSEs are greater than 25%, which means that the range of possible values in a 95% confidence interval around the estimate is as large as the estimate itself (ie plus or minus 50%). The ABS recommends that extra care should be taken in drawing any conclusions from these estimates.


The statistics in this publication were compiled from information collected in the Pregnancy and Employment Transitions Survey (PaETS) survey conducted throughout Australia in November 2017 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The survey collected information from women aged 15 years and over who had given birth to a child less than 2 years ago and were living with that child.

Information about survey design, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also applies to supplementary surveys, can be found in the publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).


The conceptual framework used in the monthly LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) which is available on the ABS website <https://www.abs.gov.au>.


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

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

Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for people with disabilities), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.

This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded persons living in Indigenous communities in very remote parts of Australia.

Women aged 15 years and over who had given birth to a child less than 2 years ago and were living with that child were included in the survey. The survey excluded:
    • women who were members of the Australian permanent defence forces;
    • women living in non-private dwellings;
    • visitors to private dwellings; and
    • all males.

In addition, for those women whose partner at the time of interview was not in scope of the survey (e.g. the partner was in the permanent defence forces), the details of the partner's job at November 2017 was not collected. For these partners, job details at November 2017 were classified as could not be determined.


In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


Supplementary surveys are not conducted on the full LFS sample. Since 1994 the sample for supplementary surveys has been restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the LFS sample.

The sample for PaETS is a subsample of 26,000 private dwelling households and special dwelling units included in the ABS Monthly LFS in November 2017. The final sample on which estimates are based is composed of 1,030 birth mothers aged 15 years and over, usually resident in these private and special dwellings in Australia, with at least one child less than 2 years of age living with them at the time of interview.

In cases where women had more than one child under the age of 2, data was collected in respect of the employment transitions of women around the birth of their most recent child (i.e. the youngest child).


Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling error.
    • Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all birth mothers of children aged under two years of age had been included in the survey. For further information on sampling error, see the Technical Note.
    • Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and effective processing procedures.


The estimates are based on information collected in the survey month (November) and, due to seasonal factors, may not be representative of other months of the year.


Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 2016 (cat. no. 1269.0).

From 2013, occupation data are classified according to the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0).

Also from 2006, industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 2.0) (cat. no. 1292.0).

Area data (Greater Capital City and Rest of State) are classified according to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), July 2011 (cat. no. 1216.0).


19 Labour Force Estimates have been compiled using population benchmarks based on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. At the time of publication, this issue's estimates are broadly comparable with the published labour force estimates for November 2017.

20 The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates and estimates from the supplementary surveys, (e.g. Pregnancy and Employment Transitions) are calculated in such a way as to sum to the independent estimates of the civilian population aged 15 years and over (population benchmarks). 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. These population benchmarks are updated quarterly based on Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data. The estimates from previous supplementary surveys are not normally revised to reflect the latest benchmarks, however, we have revised 2011 Pregnancy and Employment Transitions data to incorporate revised benchmarks, making 2011 comparable with 2017. The revised 2011 data is available in the 2017 Tables.

21. Due to revising benchmarks for the 2011 Pregnancy and Employment Transitions survey and to ensure usability of the data due to the small sample size, some tables which were included in the 2011 survey have been removed, with the data from those tables being collapsed and added to other tables. As a result the number of tables has been reduced from 28 in 2011 to 25 in 2017.


22 Paid Parental Leave (PPL) questions were only asked of women who either, worked in a job or business while pregnant, or, who had a job or business they were away from during their pregnancy and did not leave that job before the birth of their child.

23 Women who were employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs)) have been are classified as 'With paid leave entitlements' if they were entitled to paid sick leave and/or paid holiday leave. In all other cases, employees have been classified 'Without paid leave entitlements'.

24 Full-time or part-time status in job while pregnant after change in hours are calculated on the hours reported by women immediately before stopping work for the birth of child.

25 Other paid leave comprises of paid sick leave and any other type of paid leave, and other unpaid leave comprises of parental leave and any other type of unpaid leave.

26 Information about taking types of paid leave (paid maternity, paid holiday or long service leave) was collected for women who were employees (excluding OMIEs) in the job while they were pregnant, who were entitled to a type of paid leave. If women were not entitled to any sort of paid leave, information about unpaid leave for the birth of their child was collected.

27 Information was collected on any other paid leave taken for the birth of the child for women who were entitled to some sort of paid leave (paid maternity, paid holiday, long service leave or paid sick leave).

28 For all data items relating to personal income of women, partners and other household members, where women either did not know or refused to report:
    • their income; data are classified as 'Refusal' for estimates of income, but are included in sources of income;
    • partner's income; data are classified as 'Refusal' for estimates of income, but are included in sources of income;
    • other household members income; data are classified as 'Refusal' for estimates of income, but are included in sources of income;

29 For data items relating to combined income, for example 'Weekly income of women and partner' or 'Weekly household income', where women did not know or refused to report an individual case of income, then data for that item is classified as 'Refusal'.

30 Additionally for estimates relating to equivalised income, responses that included a refusal or a loss of income, are excluded from these estimates.


31 In analysing and interpreting the PaETS data, users should be aware that women may have difficulty in recalling the circumstances surrounding their employment over the course of a pregnancy (i.e. up to two years prior to interview). As the focus of the survey is women with at least one child less than two years old, some of the information, such as the age of the child when the woman began working after the birth, does not take account of the return to work circumstances of women, whose youngest child was born close to the time of interview, as they may not have returned to work.