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CHANGES IN 2010
DEVELOPMENT OF THE 2009 EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
In 2009, questions relating to employee benefits were redeveloped to better capture information on current employment benefits that employees received in the last 12 months. As a result, new data items presented in the 2009 publication include, 'Employment benefits received from current employer in the last 12 months', 'Salary sacrifice arrangements in last pay period', 'Whether salary sacrificed to superannuation in last pay period' and 'Whether salary sacrificed to superannuation in last 12 months'.
Additional data items on employees' educational qualifications are presented in the 2009 publication. These are 'Level of highest educational attainment', 'Level of highest non-school qualification' and 'Highest year of school completed'. Further data items collected in 2009 include: 'Whether paid a set amount or by the hour'; 'Whether earnings varied from one pay period to the next'; 'Whether usually works paid or unpaid extra hours or overtime'; 'Whether guaranteed a minimum number of hours of work'; 'Whether paid full adult rate of pay'; 'Number of weeks of paid holiday leave entitled to'; 'Whether able to accrue paid holiday leave'; 'Number of weeks of paid maternity/paternity leave' and 'Whether taken paid study leave in the last 12 months'.
In 2009, information on 'Number of dependent children under 15 years of age' and 'Superannuation coverage' was not collected. Information was collected on 'Number of children in family aged under 15 years' and 'Whether employer makes contributions into a superannuation scheme on behalf of employee'. As a result of this change, there is a break in series. Users therefore need to exercise care when comparing data with previous years.
In 2009, a new population 'Employees who were trade union members' is included in the publication. This population differs from the existing population 'Employees who were members of a trade union in their main job' in that all employees are asked the question 'Do you belong to a trade union'? Respondents who answered 'Yes' to this question comprise the population, 'Employees who were trade union members'. This group of employees are then asked 'Is this in connection with your main job'? Those who responded 'Yes' to this question comprise the population 'Employees who were members of a trade union in their main job'. In addition, new data items on trade union membership are presented in the 2009 publication. These are, 'Trade union membership', 'Length of current trade union membership', 'Duration since previously a trade union member' and 'Previous trade union membership'.
FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME WORKERS
Prior to 2002 'full-time or part-time employees in main job' was derived from a self perception question in which all employees were asked 'Is your job full-time or part-time?'. Following the redesign in 2001 of the LFS questionnaire, actual hours worked in main job in the reference week is now collected. From August 2002, data on hours worked in main job are now used to derive full-time or part-time status of employees in main job.
This approach is consistent with the method used in the LFS to derive full-time or part-time status in all jobs. For further details see Glossary entries 'Full-time employees in main job' and 'Full-time workers' in the Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership publication.
Information relating to main and second job earnings that were not provided by respondents have been imputed. Where this was the only information missing from the record, a value has been imputed based on answers provided from another respondent with similar characteristics (referred to as the donor). Donor records were selected for main job imputation by matching information on sex, age, state or territory of usual residence and labour force characteristics (full-time or part-time in main job, industry, occupation, hours worked in main job, number of hours that a respondent's last pay period covered in their main job) of the person with missing information. Donor records were selected for second job imputation by matching information on sex, age, state or territory of usual residence, area of usual residence and owner manager status. Depending on which values are to be imputed, donors are chosen from the pool of individual records with complete information for the block of questions where the missing information occurs.
In 2004, imputation was conducted for main job earnings only. Prior to 2004, imputation was not used, hence employees whose weekly earnings could not be determined were excluded from estimates of mean and median weekly earnings.
The differences between the imputation method used in 2004 and the current imputation methods are that the donors records are now matched, where possible, on a finer level of detail, including but not limited to, sex, state, and age of respondent, whereas in 2004 they were not. These changes in methodology are expected to have improved the imputed earnings data at the unit record level, but should not have much impact on aggregate estimates.
From 2005, imputation has been conducted for both main and second job earnings.
From 2009, additional information relating to the number of hours that a respondent's last pay period covered in their main job, was used in the imputation process.
From 2007, as a result of a change in the concept of earnings being measured, employees were asked to include salary sacrifice when estimating their earnings in their main job, and for multiple jobholders, in their second job. In previous years, there has not been any explicit reference to the treatment of salary sacrifice, yet it is probable that some employees were already including amounts of salary sacrifice in their estimates of earnings, depending on how their pay was reported. As a result of this change there has been a break in series.
REVISION OF POPULATION BENCHMARKS
The Labour Force Survey estimates, and estimates from the supplementary surveys, are calculated in such a way as to sum to independent estimates of the civilian population aged 15 years and over (population benchmarks). These population benchmarks are based on Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data. Generally, revisions are made to population benchmarks after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing (Census), however revisions were made to the population benchmarks from July 2010, including those used for the 2010 Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey, to reflect revisions to ERP. 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 September 2010 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
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