6211.0 - Child Employment, Australia, Jun 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/02/2007  First Issue
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Child Employment Survey, conducted throughout Australia in June 2006 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). This is the first time the Child Employment Survey has been conducted.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks, which also apply to supplementary surveys. LFS 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 Information for this survey was collected using computer assisted interviewing (CAI), whereby responses are recorded directly into an electronic questionnaire via a notebook computer.


4 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).


5 The scope of the LFS was restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excluded the following people:

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

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

7 The scope of this supplementary survey was restricted to children aged 5 to 14 years. Information about the working patterns of each child was collected from a parent or guardian if they were resident in the same household and fully responding to the LFS. If a parent or guardian of the child was unavailable, out on scope or not fully responding to the LFS then the information was collected from another person aged 15 years or over resident in the same household who was fully responding to the LFS.

8 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded approximately 30,000 children aged 5 to 14 years living in very remote parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these children will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual states and territories, except the Northern Territory where such children account for around 30% of all children aged 5 to 14 years.


9 The estimates in this publication relate to people covered by the survey in June 2006. 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.


10 The initial sample for the June 2006 LFS consisted of 41,518 private dwelling households and special dwelling units. Of the 33,806 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 31,906 or 94% were fully responding to the Child Employment 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 9,564.


11 Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total in scope population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each sample unit. The weight is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit. The first step in calculating weights for each unit is to assign an initial weight, which is the inverse of the probability of being selected in the survey. The initial weights are then calibrated to align with independent estimates of the population of interest, referred to as 'benchmarks'. Weights are calibrated against population benchmarks to ensure that the survey estimates conform to the independently estimated distribution of the population rather than the distribution within the sample itself.


12 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 effective processing procedures.


13 The estimates are based on information collected in the survey month, with reference to the 12 months prior to interview. Enumeration may have been during school holidays or school terms, depending on the state or territory and the date of interview, which may affect recall for some questions. If enumeration had taken place in a different month estimates may have differed to those produced in this publication.


14 Occupation data are classified according to the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0).

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


Definition of employment for children

16 The definition of employment for this survey has been adapted from the LFS. Children aged 5 to 14 years were considered to be employed if they worked for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job, business, or on a farm, or worked without pay in a family business or farm at some time in the last 12 months. Throughout this publication employment is referred to as 'worked in the last 12 months'.

17 Work in the last 12 months may include:

  • paid work for an employer
  • unpaid work in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers)
  • paid work in a family business or on a farm
  • work carried out for non-household members (e.g. neighbourhood car washing, lawn mowing) for payment
  • street vending
  • busking
  • work done for payment in kind (e.g. if the child receives goods rather than cash as payment for work done)
  • paid work for non-profit organisations.

18 Work in the last 12 months excludes:
  • all household work undertaken for their household
  • unpaid work experience (e.g. done as part of the child's schooling)
  • unpaid probationary periods
  • unpaid work done for all charities and non-profit organisations.

19 All work undertaken by home-schooled children has been included under school holidays.

Characteristics of parents

20 In this publication information on the Country of birth and Labour force status of the parent(s) or guardian(s) of each child is presented in Table 2. See the Glossary for definitions of 'parent or guardian'. If the parent(s) or guardian(s) were out on scope for the LFS, or did not complete the LFS then Country of birth and Labour force status information was not collected. These children are not separately identified in Table 2.

Classification of occupation for children

21 Occupation was coded according to the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0) at the most detailed level (6 digit). The table below presents the concordance between the ANZSCO codes and the classification presented in Table 4. This alternative classification has been used to present more useful categories for the population of children because the occupations in which children tend to work differ from those in which adults tend to work.

Classification in Table 4 ANZSCO code

Technicians and Trades Workers 3
Community and Personal Service Workers 4
Carers and Aides 42
Other Community and Personal Service Workers 4 (remainder)
Clerical and Administrative Workers 5
Sales Workers 6
Labourers 8
Cleaners and Laundry Workers 81
Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers 84
Food Preparation Assistants 85
Leaflet or Newspaper Deliverer 899915
Other Labourers 8 (remainder)
Other(a) 1, 2 and 7

(a) Includes occupations in ANZSCO categories 1, 2 and 7, namely 'Managers', 'Professionals' and 'Machinery Operators and Drivers', such as 'Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers', 'Music Professionals' and 'Private Tutors and Teachers'.


22 Due to differences in the scope of the surveys, comparisons can not be made between the LFS and the Child Employment Survey in regards to employment levels (i.e. the LFS obtains information on persons aged 15 years and over, while the Child Employment Survey collects information on persons aged 5 to 14 years).


23 Caution should be exercised when comparing child employment estimates collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other collection sources. Definitions, scope of the survey, collection methodologies and survey constructions may be different, and hence not strictly comparable.


24 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided 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.


25 Other publications which may be of interest include:

26 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. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.