6248.0.55.002 - Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia, 2014-15 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/11/2015   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



1 This publication contains estimates of public sector employees and cash wages and salaries obtained from the annual Survey of Employment and Earnings (SEE).


2 The conceptual framework used in SEE 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 employment and earnings statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods 2013 (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).

3 Estimates of employee earnings presented in this publication are based on the Australian conceptual framework for measures of employee remuneration. Refer to paragraphs 30 and 31 for further details.

4 The businesses that contribute to the statistics in this publication are classified:


5 Although earnings estimates relate to the full twelve months of the financial year, employment estimates relate to the last pay period ending in June of the given year. As a result, estimates of wages and salaries per person employed may be affected by any fluctuations in employment during the reference period.

6 Financial data incorporate all units in scope of the SEE that were in operation at any time during the year.


7 All Commonwealth, State/Territory and Local government units are represented in this survey except:
  • ANZSIC class 6330 Superannuation funds;
  • ANZSIC class 7552 Foreign government representation;
  • ANZSIC 9559 Other interest group services n.e.c. with SISCA 5000 Non profit institution serving households; and
  • ANZSIC subdivision 96 Private households employing staff and undifferentiated goods- and-service-producing activities of households for own use.

8 Also excluded are the following employees who are not regarded as employees for the purposes of this survey:
  • members of the Australian permanent defence forces;
  • employees of overseas embassies, consulates, etc.;
  • employees based outside of Australia;
  • employees on workers' compensation who are not paid through the payroll;
  • directors and office holders of public sector organisations who are not paid a salary.


9 The SEE uses a sample survey methodology and collects information via web form questionnaire. Approximately 2,000 public sector employing units, selected from the ABS Business Register (ABSBR), are included in the survey

10 The statistical unit for the survey comprises all the activities of a public sector employer in a particular state or territory based on the Australian Business Number (ABN) unit or Type of Activity Unit. Each statistical unit is classified to an industry which reflects the predominant activity of the business. The statistical units are stratified by state, industry and employment size and, within each stratum, statistical units are selected with equal probability.

11 A sample redesign and small domain estimation methodology were implemented for the 2013-14 survey. Both changes improved State by Level of Government estimate. The small domain estimation methodology involves adjusting the estimation weights to ensure that benchmark totals in each State by Level of Government cell within a stratum are met. This calibration to benchmark totals draws strength from the relationship between the data items and the benchmark variable to improve the State by Level of Government estimates.


12 The Economic Units Model is used by the ABS to determine the structure of Australian businesses and other organisations. The model consists of:
  • The Enterprise Group (EG)
  • Legal Entities (LEs)
  • Type of Activity Units (TAUs)
  • Location Units.

13 The EG and LE are institutional units and the TAU and Location are producing units.

14 The LE and the TAU are the main institutional and producing units used by the ABS to produce statistical outputs.

15 Diagram 1 illustrates the nature of the relationships between the different units within the model.

Diagram 1: ABS Economic Units Model*

Diagram 1: ABS Economic Units Model
* The legal entity (LE) statistical unit is generally equivalent to a single ABN registration


16 The Legal Entity (LE) is an institutional unit covering all the operations in Australia of an entity which possesses some or all of the rights and obligations of individual persons or corporations, or which behaves as such in respect of those matters of concern for economic statistics. Examples of legal entities include companies, partnerships, trusts, sole (business) proprietorships, government departments and statutory authorities. Legal entities are institutional units. In most cases the LE is equivalent to a single ABN registration.

17 The Enterprise Group (EG) is an institutional unit that covers all the operations within Australia's economic territory of legal entities under common control. Control is defined in Corporations legislation. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.

18 The Type of Activity Unit (TAU) comprises one or more Legal Entities, sub-entities or branches of a Legal entity that can report productive and employment activities. TAUs are created if accounts sufficient to approximate Industry Value Added (IVA) are available at the ANZSIC subdivision level.

19 A Location is a producing unit comprised of a single, unbroken physical area from which an organisation is engaged in productive activity on a relatively permanent basis, or at which the organisation is undertaking capital expenditure with the intention of commencing productive activity on a relatively permanent basis at some time in the future.


20 Various classifications are applied to the units in the ABS Economic Units Model. The main classifications applied are:
  • Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO)
  • Type of Business Entity (TOBE)
  • Public / Private classification.

21 ANZSIC is used to classify the industry in which the TAU has productive activity. Further information on this classification can be found in Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).

22 SISCA provides a framework for dividing the Australian economy into institutional sectors. Further information on this classification can be found in Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).


23 The ABSBR is a list of businesses and organisations operating in Australia and is based on the Australian Business Register (ABR). Organisations are included on the ABR when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). The Commonwealth Government requires all government departments and agencies to make use of the ABR to reduce government imposed reporting load, and to use the ABN as the primary reference number for all dealings between government and business. The ABSBR is used to create frames for the various business surveys run by the ABS.

24 It is not practicable for the ABS Economic Units Model to be applied to all ABR registrants and is organised into two parts: the profiled population and the non-profiled population.

25 Profiled Population: Businesses and other organisations which are considered sufficiently complex and significant, are profiled according to the Economic Units Model. These enterprise groups typically have multiple legal entities and multiple TAUs and are among the largest contributors within industries.

26 Non-Profiled Population: Businesses and other organisations with less complex structures. They are regarded as an enterprise group with a single legal entity and a single TAU in accordance with the Economic Units Model. Information for units in the non-profiled population is largely sourced from the ABR.

27 The two populations are mutually exclusive and cover all organisations in Australia which have registered for an ABN.


28 Estimates of employee remuneration for the public sector are one of the inputs into the gross domestic product component of the Australian National Accounts, specifically compensation of employees estimates. The private sector component of compensation of employees estimates is provided by the Quarterly Business Indicators Survey which is published in Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0). For further details see Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0).


29 The SEE was not conducted in respect of 2010-11. The 2010-11 estimates of public sector employment and cash wages and salaries were produced from the Major Labour Costs Survey. However, the estimates can be compared with other years.

30 As noted in paragraph 3, estimates of employee earnings from the annual survey have been produced in accordance with the Australian conceptual framework for measures of employee remuneration. For details of this framework refer to chapter 12 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2013 (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).

31 The measure of employee earnings presented for the annual series is 'cash wages and salaries', which is regular and irregular wages and salaries in cash, including amounts salary sacrificed.

32 Care should be taken when comparing data for the public sector over time. Estimates of public sector employment and earnings can change over time due to: changes in the sample design; privatisation of public financial and public trading enterprises; changes to machinery of government, especially resulting from a change of government; and other changes to statistical unit structures, including industry classification, resulting from periodic updating of the Profiled population (refer paragraph 25).

33 Caution should be exercised when comparing estimates of numbers of employees from the SEE with those published monthly in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) as there are a number of differences between the two collections. The SEE is a business survey that collects information from a sample of public sector employers about their employees, whereas the Labour Force Survey is a household survey that collects information from the occupants of selected dwellings. The two collections use different sample design and survey methodologies and there are differences in scope and coverage. Users are directed to Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) as the primary source for official ABS estimates of employment.

34 SEE covers public sector organisations, including Commonwealth and state/territory government organisations, local government authorities, public corporations, universities, non-profit institutions controlled by the government, government marketing boards, legislative courts, municipal authorities and other statutory authorities. Organisations are classified to Level of Government by determining the institutional unit (i.e. Commonwealth, state or local government) deemed to exercise control. The estimates in this release may differ from other available information due to differences in coverage and/or the classification of organisations.


35 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.


36 The following publications contain related information: