6354.0 - Job Vacancies, Australia, May 2013 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2013   
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1 This publication contains quarterly estimates of job vacancies based on information obtained from the quarterly Job Vacancies Survey (JVS).

2 The JVS was suspended following the May 2008 survey and was reinstated for the November 2009 survey.


3 As a result of JVS being suspended, there is a gap in all series: original, seasonally adjusted and trend, for five periods between August 2008 and August 2009 inclusive. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) cannot produce reliable estimates by collecting this missing data retrospectively, and has not been able to fill the gap using other data sources. However, modelled data for the gap period have been used in the production of trend time series data (see paragraphs 26 to 29 for further details).


4 Descriptions of the underlying concepts of Australia's job vacancies statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


5 The survey covers all employing organisations in Australia (public and private sectors), except:

  • enterprises primarily engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishing;
  • private households employing staff; and
  • foreign embassies, consulates, etc.

6 All job vacancies of organisations covered in the survey are in scope, except those:
  • in the Australian permanent defence forces; and
  • located outside Australia.


7 The JVS uses a sample survey methodology and collects information via telephone interviews. Approximately 5,000 employers, selected from the ABS Business Register, are included in the survey.

8 The statistical unit for the survey comprises all the activities of an employer in a particular state or territory based on the Australian Business Number (ABN) unit or Type of Activity Unit (TAU). Each statistical unit is classified to an industry which reflects the predominant activity of the business. The statistical units are stratified by state, industry division and employment size, and within each stratum, statistical units are selected with equal probability.

9 The sample for JVS, like most ABS business surveys, is selected from the ABS Business Register which is primarily based on registrations to the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) Pay-As-You-Go Withholding scheme. The population is updated quarterly to take account of new businesses, businesses that have ceased employing, changes in industry and employment levels and other general business changes.


10 A number of improvements were introduced into JVS in November 2009 including:
  • undertaking a sample redesign to incorporate the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 which provides a more contemporary industrial classification than ANZSIC 1993;
  • updating employment benchmarks on the business survey frame to reflect more up-to-date information for use in stratification and estimation;
  • correcting invalid industry and Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) codes on the business survey frame; and
  • incorporating changes to the SISCA, Public/Private and level of Government classifications.

11 These changes impacted on:
  • the population of businesses included;
  • the way these businesses are grouped together for sampling purposes;
  • the sample selected;
  • the weighting of individual units; and
  • the industries used to present the statistics.

12 The JVS sample was redesigned to accommodate and exploit all of these changes. Because of the improved groupings of businesses for sampling purposes under ANZSIC 2006, the sample size was reduced from around 5,200 to around 5,000 businesses, with no loss to survey accuracy.


13 The sample redesign and survey frame changes introduced in November 2009 are likely to have resulted in a shift in the level of the series from ANZSIC 1993 based estimates in May 2008, to ANZSIC 2006 based estimates in November 2009. Normally the ABS can provide a measure of the impact of a sample redesign by running a parallel sample on both bases for one or more cycles. However, due to the suspension of the JVS from August 2008 to August 2009 inclusive, any impact resulting from the sample redesign and survey frame changes can not be measured. Therefore caution should be used when comparing estimates from November 2009 onwards with estimates for May 2008 and previous periods.


14 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABS Business Register to describe the characteristics of businesses (and other organisations, including government departments), and the structural relationships between related businesses. The units model is also used to break groups of related businesses into relatively homogeneous components that can provide data to the ABS. The units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations, as follows:

ATO Maintained Population

15 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and are then included on the ATO Australian Business Register. Most of these businesses have simple structures, in which case the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO Maintained Population, and the ABN unit is used for these businesses as the statistical unit for all economic collections.

ABS Maintained Population

16 For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own structure through direct contact with each business. These businesses constitute the ABS Maintained Population. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse businesses and the statistical units model described below is used for these businesses.

17 Enterprise Group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts, and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.

18 Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising (i) a single legal entity or business entity, or (ii) more than one legal entity or business entity within the same Enterprise Group and in the same institutional sub-sector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) sub-sector).

19 Type of Activity Unit (TAU): The TAU comprises one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry sub-division (and the TAU is classified to the relevant sub-division of ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry sub-division.


20 From November 2009, industry statistics presented are on the basis of the ANZSIC 2006 edition. This edition replaced the 1993 edition which had been in use since 1994. The 2006 edition of ANZSIC was developed to provide a more contemporary industrial classification system taking into account issues such as changes in the structure and composition of the economy, changing user demands and compatibility with major international classification standards.

21 Industry data up to May 2008 are only available on an ANZSIC 1993 basis.

22 For more information on the new industry classification, refer to Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).


23 Seasonal adjustment is a means of removing the estimated effects of normal seasonal variation from the series so that the effects of other influences can be more clearly recognised. Seasonal adjustment does not aim to remove the irregular or non-seasonal influences which may be present in any particular series. Influences that are volatile or unsystematic can still make it difficult to interpret the movement of the series even after adjustment for seasonal variation. This means that quarter-to-quarter movements of seasonally adjusted estimates may not be reliable indicators of trend behaviour.

24 Seasonal adjustments factors for November 2009 onwards are computed using the ABS standard method of concurrent adjustment. For the five periods August 2008 to August 2009 inclusive, where survey estimates are not available, modelled data have been used in this adjustment, which follows the same seasonal pattern observed in 2007/2008.

25 In the private sector estimates, seasonality has weakened in recent years to the extent that the end of the series shows no seasonality. As a result, the published seasonally adjusted estimates for the private sector for February and May 2008 and from November 2009 onwards are the same as the corresponding original estimates.


26 Seasonally adjusted estimates can be smoothed to reduce the impact of irregular or non-seasonal influences. Smoothed seasonally adjusted series are called trend estimates.

27 The ABS considers that trend estimates provide a more reliable guide to the underlying direction of the data, and are more suitable than either the seasonally adjusted or original estimates for most business decisions and policy advice.

28 Due to the suspension of JVS in 2008/2009, it was not possible to produce trend estimates for the first three periods following the reinstatement of the survey in November 2009. The trend series was reintroduced from the August 2010 release, with trend data available from November 2009 onwards.

29 Modelled data, at the Australia by sector level only, have been used in the calculation of the trend estimates for the three cycles either side of the gap period (see paragraph 3) and mainly impact the May 2008 and November 2009 trend estimates. The modelled data, which is for the gap period from August 2008 to August 2009 inclusive, are not part of the JVS series and are not available for release from this publication.


30 Estimates are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. For information on the reliability of estimates see the Technical Note.


31 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications:


32 Estimates have been rounded and discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals. Estimates of percentage change have been calculated using unrounded estimates, and may be different from, but are more accurate than, movements obtained from calculating percentage change using the rounded estimates presented in this publication.