6226.0 - Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia, February 2015 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/06/2016  First Issue
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1 The statistics in this release were compiled from the Participation, Job Search and Mobility (PJSM) survey conducted throughout Australia in February 2015, as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).

2 The PJSM survey combines questions from the previous Persons Not In the Labour Force (PNILF), Underemployed Workers (UEW) and Job Search Experience (JSE) surveys that were conducted throughout Australia in February 2014, as well as the Labour Mobility (LMOB) survey which was conducted throughout Australia in February 2013.

3 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).


4 The conceptual frameworks used in the monthly LFS align 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).


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

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


In addition to the LFS scope exclusions, PJSM also excludes students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons.

PJSM was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded persons living in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in very remote parts of Australia.


The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in February 2015. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied, which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one household, 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 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.

10 This survey is based on the sample introduced after the 2011 Australian Census of Population and Housing. For more information, see the Article in the May 2013 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).


11 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 effective processing procedures.


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


13 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 2011 (cat. no. 1269.0).

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

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


16 To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of information that could identify individual survey respondents while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. After perturbation, a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables. However, adding up cell values to derive a total will not necessarily give the same result as published totals.


17 The LFS estimates and estimates from the supplementary surveys, (eg PJSM) are calculated in such a way as to sum to the independent estimates of the civilian population aged 15 years and over (population benchmarks). These population benchmarks are updated quarterly based on Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data. 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, or when the need arises. However, the estimates from previous supplementary surveys are not normally revised to reflect the latest benchmarks.

18 From January 2014, Labour Force Estimates have been compiled using population benchmarks based on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. At the time of publication, this issue's estimates are broadly comparable with the published labour force estimates for February 2015.

19 Changes to the LFS population benchmarks impact primarily on the magnitude of the Labour Force Survey estimates (i.e. employment and unemployment) that are directly related to the underlying size of the population. For more details on population benchmarks, see the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), and for details about the revisions made, see the article in the January 2014 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) and the article in the November 2012 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

20 Caution should be exercised when comparing results from the 2015 PJSM to previous PNILF, UEW, JSE and LMOB surveys as the populations used in each may not be directly comparable.


21 Care should be taken when comparing the estimates from PJSM with previous years topics as PNILF and UEW were previously collected in September, JSE in July and LMOB was collected in February. Collection of data from this combined survey was undertaken in February.

Persons Not In the Labour Force

22 PNILF was first conducted in May 1975 and again in May 1977. From 1979 to 1987 the survey was collected twice a year (March and September). From 1988 to 2013 it was conducted annually in September.

23 Results of previous surveys were published in Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0); and the standard data service Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0.40.001) for 1994 and 1995 (available in hardcopy only).

24 For more information on the history of changes to PNILF, see the Explanatory Notes (cat. no. 6220.0).

Underemployed Workers

25 UEW was conducted in May 1985, 1988 and 1991. In 1994, the survey became an annual survey and until 2013 was collected each September.

26 Results of previous surveys were published in Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0); and the standard data service Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0.40.001) for 1994 and 1995.

27 For more information on the history of changes to UEW, see the Explanatory Notes (cat. no. 6265.0).

Job Search Experience

28 JSE was conducted annually in July from 2002 to 2013. Results of similar surveys on the job search experience of unemployed persons conducted in July 1984, July 1985, June 1986, July 1988, July 1990, June 1991, and annually from July 1992 to July 2001 were published in various issues of Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0).

29 Information on persons who had started work for an employer for wages or salary during the 12 months up to the end of the reference week was collected in June 1986 and two-yearly from July 1990 to July 2000 and was published in Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6245.0).

30 For more information on the history of changes to JSE, see the Explanatory Notes (cat. no. 6222.0).

Labour Mobility

31 Similar surveys were conducted in November 1972, February 1975, February 1976, annually from February 1979 to February 1992 and biennially from February 1994 to February 2012 and most recently in February 2013.

32 Results of previous surveys were published in Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0).

33 For more information on the history of changes to LMOB, see the Explanatory Notes (cat. no. 6209.0).


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

35 For example, PJSM provides data on the main reason for leaving or losing a persons last job in the previous 12 months, such as retrenchment. PJSM provides a micro analysis understanding of retrenchment dynamics for the Labour Force. To observe the frequency of the number of persons retrenched users should refer to the Labour Force quarterly retrenchment data (see Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly Feb 2016 cat. no. 6291.0.55.003).


36 The ABS definition of underemployment is consistent with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines of time-related underemployment adopted in 1998. According to these guidelines, time-related underemployment exists when the hours of work of an employed person are below a threshold, and are insufficient in relation to an alternative employment situation in which the person is willing and available to engage. More specifically, persons in time-related underemployment comprise all employed persons (as defined) who satisfy the following three criteria:
  • willingness to work additional hours - want to work more hours than they currently work. The ILO recommends that those who have actively sought to work additional hours should be distinguished from those who have not;
  • availability to work additional hours, within a specified period; and
  • worked less than a threshold (determined according to national circumstances) relating to working time.

37 The ABS underemployment framework uses a threshold (35 hours in the reference week) based on the boundary between full-time and part-time work.

38 A more detailed discussion is included in Chapter 5 of the Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


39 ABS surveys 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.


40 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:

41 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the Statistics Page on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.