6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, Nov 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/09/2002   
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Forms of Employment Survey conducted throughout Australia in November 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 monthly LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.

3 From April 2001 the LFS has been conducted using a redesigned questionnaire containing additional questions and some minor definitional changes. These changes also affect the supplementary surveys. For further details, see Information Paper: Implementing the Redesigned Labour Force Survey Questionnaire (cat. no. 6295.0) and Information Paper: Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey (cat. no. 6232.0).


4 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 the ABS web site (About Statistics-Concepts and Classifications). The International Labour Organisation's 1993 International Classification of Status in Employment (ICSE) underpins the classifications used in Australian labour force statistics to categorise employed people. According to the ICSE: "a job is classified with respect to the type of explicit or implicit contract of employment of the person with other persons or organisations. The basic criteria used to define the groups of the classification are the type of economic risk, an element of which is the strength of the attachment between the person and the job, and the type of authority over establishments and other workers which the job incumbents have or will have."


5 The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes 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).

6 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 all supplementary surveys.

7 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 that are produced for individual states and territories, except the Northern Territory where such persons account for over 20% of the population.

8 In addition to those already excluded from the LFS, persons aged 70 years and over and visitors to private dwellings were excluded from this survey.


9 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in November 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).


10 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, refer to the Technical Notes.
  • 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.


11 No attempt was made to link the 'Preference for hours' data item to any change in pay. The data item combines responses to two separate questions by two different groups of employed persons. The first question was asked of part-time workers only. It read 'Would you prefer to work more hours than you usually work'. Positive responses were classified to the 'Prefer more hours' category of this data item. The second question was asked of part-time workers who answered 'no' to the first question, and of full-time workers. It read 'Would you prefer to work more, less, or the same number of hours as you usually work'. Responses were recorded, as appropriate, against the categories 'Prefer more hours', 'Prefer less hours', 'Prefer same hours'. Employed persons who were away from work in the reference week were not asked either question.

12 Not all part-time workers who responded positively to the first question, and thus were assigned to the 'Prefer more hours' category, would have been assigned to the 'Prefer more hours' category, if asked the second question. Some may have worked a higher than usual number of hours in the reference week. This number of hours may have been more than or equal to the number of hours they would have preferred to work. Under these circumstances either the 'Prefer less hours' or the 'Prefer same hours' category would have been assigned had they been asked the second question.


13 Occupation data are classified according to the ASCO Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0).

14 Industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).

15 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).


16 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

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


18 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.

19 Core LFS series from April 1986 to March 2001 have been revised on the basis of the redesigned LFS questionnaire. Supplementary survey data have not been revised.


20 Results of previous surveys on employment arrangements have been published in :
  • Forms of Employment, Australia, 1998, cat. no. 6359.0
  • Employment Arrangements and Superannuation, Australia, 2000, cat. no. 6361.0


21 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided 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.


22 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in November 2004.


23 Other publications which may be of interest include:
  • Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6203.0
  • Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2001, cat. no. 6102.0

24 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.