6333.0.00.001 - Microdata: Characteristics of Employment, Australia, 2015  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2016  First Issue
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Survey of Characteristics of Employment (COE) presents information about the distribution of weekly earnings in main job and all jobs, employment arrangements, independent contracting, fixed-term employment and working arrangements. The collection of a range of socio-demographic and labour force characteristics makes the datasets produced from the survey extremely valuable for comparing and analysing the distribution of both weekly earnings and employment benefits across different population groups. Data are used in the development and review of wages and labour market policies, and in wage negotiation processes.


The Characteristics of Employment survey is conducted annually in August as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Results from this survey are released in the publication Characteristics of Employment, Australia (cat. no. 6333.0).


The microdata generally contains finer levels of detail for data items than what is otherwise published in other formats, for example, in Characteristics of Employment, Australia (cat. no. 6333.0). For information on the level of detail provided, please refer to the data item list in the Downloads tab.

Steps to confidentialise the data made available in TableBuilder are taken in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents selected in the survey. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from TableBuilder with other published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the microdata is available through the Survey Confidentiality Page.


The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to its surveys. However, sound survey practice requires ongoing development and maintenance to maintain the integrity of the data and the efficiency of collection. For changes between iterations of the survey, please refer to the Comparability of Time Series section in the Explanatory Notes of Characteristics of Employment, Australia (cat. no. 6333.0)

Caution should be exercised when comparing the estimates from this TableBuilder with previous surveys as some data items have changed and population groups are conceptually different.

Caution should be exercised when comparing results from the 2015 COE to previous FOE (2008–2013) and EEBTUM as the population Employees in this release is not directly comparable to the Employees population in both FOE and EEBTUM.

For information on the comparability of time series for the publication Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia (cat. no. 6310.0), see the Explanatory Notes.

For information on the comparability of time series for the publication Forms of Employment, Australia (cat. no. 6359.0), see the Explanatory Notes.

For information on the comparability of time series for the publication Working Time Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0), see the Explanatory Notes.


Detailed information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with the Characteristics of Employment Survey can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.


For more detailed information on the products and services available for this survey refer to the Introduction page.

Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wishing to access the microdata should read the How to Apply for Microdata web page, before applying for access through MiCRO. Users should also familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata web pages.

A full list of available microdata can be viewed via the List of expected and available Microdata.

Any questions regarding access to microdata can be forwarded to microdata.access@abs.gov.au or phone (02) 6252 7714.

The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.