6206.0 - Labour Force Experience, Australia, Feb 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/07/2005   
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Labour Force Experience survey (LFE) that was conducted throughout Australia in February 2005 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who were in scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.

3 From April 2001, the LFS has been conducted using a redesigned questionnaire containing additional questions and some minor definitional changes. These changes also affect the supplementary surveys. For further details, see Information Paper: Implementing the Redesigned Labour Force Survey Questionnaire (cat. no. 6295.0) and Information Paper: Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey (cat. no. 6232.0).


4 Information for this survey was collected using computer assisted interviewing (CAI), whereby responses are recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer.

5 The change of interviewing procedure since the 2003 survey, which was conducted using the 'pen and paper' method, is not expected to have affected the estimates in any meaningful way.


6 The conceptual framework used in Australia's 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 web site <https://www.abs.gov.au> (Methods, Classifications, Concepts & Standards).


7 The scope of the LFS is restricted to people 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 census and estimated populations
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

8 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.

9 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded approximately 120,000 people living in very remote parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these people will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual states and territories, except the Northern Territory where such people account for over 20% of the population.

10 In addition to those already excluded from the LFS, people aged 70 years and over and visitors to private dwellings are excluded from this survey.


11 The estimates in this publication relate to people covered by the survey in February 2005. 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.


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

13 The initial sample for the February 2005 LFS consisted of 40,967 private dwelling households and special dwelling units. Of the 33,339 private dwelling households and special dwelling units that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. households selected in the survey which had no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), approximately 31,250 or 93.7% were fully responding to the Labour Force Experience survey. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwelling households and special dwelling units (after taking into account scope, coverage and subsampling exclusions) was 46,292.


14 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:

  • Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For more information 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 supervision of interviewers and efficient processing procedures.


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


16 Occupation data are classified according to the ASCO - Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0).

17 Industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).

18 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).


19 The data items 'Level of highest educational attainment', 'Level of highest non-school qualification', 'Highest year of school completed' and 'State or territory of usual residence 12 months ago' included in the 2003 publication have been omitted from this publication, as this information was not collected in the 2005 survey. Information on educational qualifications, cross classified by labour force status, can be obtained from the survey of Education and Work, which is conducted in May each year as a supplement to the ABS monthly LFS.


20 From 2003, the data item 'number of employers/businesses during the year' has been derived differently from previous surveys. Prior to 2003, where they could be identified, multiple jobs of multiple job-holders were excluded from this data item. From 2003, all employers/businesses held by all persons are now included.

21 Revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. The last such revision was made in February 2004 to take account of the results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates from supplementary surveys conducted from and including February 2004 are therefore based on revised population benchmarks.


22 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of this supplementary survey and that of the LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.


23 Results of similar surveys, conducted in February 1969, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, annually from February 1979 to February 1989, annually from March 1990 to March 1994, and in February 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003 have been given in previous issues of the publication Labour Force Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6206.0) and the Standard Data Service Labour Force Experience on Hardcopy, Australia (cat. no. 6206.0.40.001).


24 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in February 2007.


25 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


26 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:

  • Career Experience, Australia, cat. no. 6254.0
  • Job Search Experience, Australia, cat. no. 6222.0
  • Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6202.0
  • Labour Mobility, Australia, cat. no. 6209.9
  • Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2001, cat. no. 6102.0
  • Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6220.0
  • Australian Labour Market Statistics, cat. no. 6105.0.

27 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <https://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.