6266.0 - Retrenchment and Redundancy, Australia, Jul 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/08/2002   
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Retrenchment and Redundancy Survey that was conducted throughout Australia in July 2001 as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who fell within the scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the 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 LFS and supplementary surveys.

Concepts, Sources and Methods

3 The conceptual framework used in Australia's Labour Force Survey 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) which is also available on this site (About Statistics - Concepts and Classifications).


4 The scope of the survey was restricted to persons aged 18-64 years and excluded the following persons:

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

5 Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with handicaps), and inmates of prisons are excluded from this supplementary survey.

6 The survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all States and Territories, but excluded approximately 80,000 persons living in remote and sparsely settled 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 produced for individual States and Territories, except the Northern Territory where such persons account for over 20% of the population.


7 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in July 2001. 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).

Reliability of the Estimates

8 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 on sampling error, 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.

Seasonal Factors

9 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.

Comparability of Time Series

10 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 1999 to take account of the results of the 1996 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates from supplementary surveys conducted from and including February 1999 are therefore based on revised population benchmarks.

11 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. The reduction in sample size means that the standard errors for this survey differ from those applicable to previous surveys.

Comparability with Monthly LFS Statistics

12 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.

Notes on Estimates

13 In the three years to 30 June 2001, there were 49,700 persons for whom sector of job from which retrenched or made redundant could not be coded or determined. These persons have been included in the private sector for the purpose of this publication.There were also an estimated 1,900 persons for whom sector of current job as at July 2001 could not be determined.

14 In order for the data collected in July 2001 to be comparable with July 1997, there were 9,300 persons who were retrenched or made redundant in the reference week and were excluded from the retrenched population. Information on these persons was collected and is available upon request.

15 Contact with an agency for employment assistance by a person who was retrenched in the three years prior to July 2001 may not necessarily be as a result of their retrenchment.

16 It was impracticable to apply the strict definitions used in the monthly LFS when obtaining information relating to labour force status of persons before retrenchment or redundancy. Respondents were simply asked 'Have you had any job at all since July 1998?'.

17 There are two Labour Force Supplementary surveys which collect information about the number of people retrenched from their job: Labour Mobility (cat. no. 6209.0) and Retrenchment and Redundancy (cat. no. 6266.0). Although both surveys present information on retrenched persons, there are important differences in methodology which limit comparability of the data.

Changes since last survey

18 In April 2001, a redesigned LFS questionnaire was introduced. This has impacted on the information presented in this publication from July 2001 as described in paragraph 19.

19 Some minor changes have been made to the definition of unemployed persons. The new definition excludes persons who were stood down and persons unavailable to start work due to temporary illness and may include some contributing family workers away from work, see Information Paper: Implementing the Redesigned Labour Force Survey Questionnaire (cat. no. 6295.0).

20 This publication contains Highest level of educational attainment which has been classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED). The ASCED is a new national standard classification which spans all sectors of the formal Australian education system; that is, School, Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education. From 2001, ASCED replaces a number of classifications used in administrative and statistical systems, including the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ). The ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education. See Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0). For further details on how highest educational attainment is determined, see Education and Work, Australia (cat. no. 6227.0).

Previous Surveys

21 This survey was previously conducted in July 1997 and published in Retrenchment and Redundancy, Australia (cat. no. 6266.0).

Next Survey

22 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in July 2005.


23 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.

Related Publications

24 Other publications and products which may be of interest include:
  • Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons, Australia cat. no. 6222.0
  • Labour Force, Australia cat. no. 6203.0
  • Labour Force Experience, Australia cat. no. 6206.0
  • Labour Mobility, Australia cat. no. 6209.0

25 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products, Australia (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.