1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Underemployed Workers Survey conducted throughout Australia in September 2003 as a supplement to the 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 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).
CONCEPTS, SOURCES AND METHODS
4 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in the 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) which is also available on the ABS web site (About Statistics-Concepts and Classifications).
5 The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes the following persons:
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.
- 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).
7 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded approximately 120,000 persons living in very remote parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these persons will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual states and territories, except the Northern Territory where such persons account for over 20% of the population.
8 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in September 2003. 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. 6203.0) for more details.
RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES
9 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 further 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.
10 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.
11 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).
12 Educational attainment data are classified according to Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0).
COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES
13 Revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. The 2003 Underemployed Workers Survey has been compiled using benchmarks based on the 1996 Census of Population and Housing.
14 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. Since it was introduced, this survey has been conducted on various proportional samples and therefore standard errors associated with previous surveys may vary from this survey.
15 Prior to September 1994, part-time workers who wanted more hours of work were asked whether they were available to start work with more hours within the subsequent four weeks. From September 1994, an additional question was added to also determine their availability to start work with more hours during the reference week. This question was added to the survey so that estimates of underemployment could be more easily aligned with the then current International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommendations on underemployment.
16 As part of the redesign in 2001 of the LFS questionnaire, persons who were on short-term unpaid leave initiated by the employer, are now classified as employed. This approach is consistent with ILO recommendations on formal job attachment. Analysis of data from the LFS shows that many of these persons usually worked part time, and that a number of these had a preference to work more hours. However, overall, these persons contribute only marginally to the change in part-time workers wanting more hours.
COMPARABILITY WITH LABOUR FORCE SURVEY STATISTICS
17 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.
COMPARABILITY WITH ILO DEFINITIONS
18 Comparability of the concepts and definitions used in the Underemployed Workers Survey are discussed in the Conceptual Framework on page 3. More detailed discussion is included in Labour Statistics: Concepts Sources and Methods, 2001 (cat. no. 6102.0), Chapter 5.
19 The Underemployed Workers Survey was conducted in May 1985, 1988 and 1991. In 1994, the survey became an annual survey, collected each September. 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.
20 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in September 2004.
21 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.
22 ABS publications which may be of interest include:
23 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.
Job Search Experience, Australia, cat. no. 6222.0
Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6202.0
Labour Force Experience, Australia, cat. no. 6206.0
Labour Mobility, Australia, cat. no. 6209.0
Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, cat. no. 6102.0
Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6220.0
Working Arrangements, Australia, cat. no. 6342.0
Australian Labour Market Statistics, cat. no. 6105.0
|ABS||Australian Bureau of Statistics|
|ASCED||Australian Standard Classification of Education|
|ILO||International Labour Organisation|
|LFS||Labour Force Survey|
|n.f.d.||not further defined|
|RSE||relative standard error|
|SACC||Standard Australian Classification of Countries|