WHAT'S NEW IN THE LABOUR FORCE
The quarterly rebenchmarking scheduled for the May 2015 issues was not undertaken to minimise data changes as the new format outputs are introduced. Quarterly rebenchmarking will recommence with the August issues.
CHANGES TO LABOUR FORCE OUTPUTS
This note is essential for all clients using the Labour Force spreadsheets and data cubes.
Commencing with the June 2015 issues of this publication and the detailed quarterly publication (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003), the ABS plans to publish Labour Force spreadsheets and data cubes in new formats. Any change to this plan will be announced on Monday 6 July at the latest.
These spreadsheets and data cubes will be published in the formats presented in the Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, October 2014 (cat. no. 6292.0). Attached to the Information Paper is a version of the new format spreadsheets containing data for Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). This version contains data as at the April 2015 issue of that publication. These spreadsheets can be used to test any processes accessing these datasets. Data for the detailed monthly publication will be added when available.
While the format of the outputs will change, this will not introduce any changes to the original estimates when rounded to the nearest person, other than the Labour Force, Australia spreadsheet tables containing underutilisation data (tables 22 and 23). While testing these tables it was discovered that a small group of seasonal workers were incorrectly counted as underemployed, and therefore also as underutilised. The ending of a seasonal workers contracts (e.g. fruit pickers) because the relevant season has concluded is not considered an economic reason and therefore should not be included as underemployed. The revision will impact the quarters since the introduction of the new questionnaire for July 2014 with underemployment for this period to be revised down by between 1,100 and 5,500 persons in original terms.
In addition to the format changes, some new series will be introduced:
- Monthly underutilisation (original series only until 2017) will be included from the August 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia.
- The following new items are currently planned for release in the August 2015 issue of the detailed quarterly publication (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003):
- Educational attainment
- Educational attendance for the whole civilian population
- Volume measures of labour underutilisation
- Leave entitlements
- Sector of employment (public/ private).
The new outputs result from a review conducted in 2010-11 of the labour household survey program. The outcomes of the review were announced in 2012 but implementation has been delayed while priority was given to investigations into recent Labour Force results, the annual seasonal reanalysis and comprehensive testing of the system producing the new outputs.