6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, Nov 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/05/2005   
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Forms of Employment Survey (FOES) that was conducted throughout Australia in November 2004 as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who were in scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) 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 Information for this survey was collected using computer assisted interviewing (CAI), whereby responses are recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer.

5 The change of interviewing method is not expected to have affected the estimates in any meaningful way.


6 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS 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. 6102.0.55.001) which is available on the ABS web site (Methods, Classifications, Concepts & Standards).


7 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
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

8 Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes ( e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.

9 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded approximately 120,000 persons living in very remote 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.

10 This survey is restricted to employed persons aged 15 years and over who are not contributing family workers in their main job.


11 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in November 2004. 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. 6202.0) for more details.


12 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.

13 The initial sample for the November 2004 LFS consisted of 40,756 private dwelling households and special dwelling units. Of the 33,338 private dwelling households and special dwelling units that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. households selected in the survey which had no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), approximately 31,312 or 93.9% were fully responding to the Forms of Employment survey. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwelling households and special dwelling units (after taking into account scope, coverage and subsampling exclusions) was 31,500.


14 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 more information see the Technical Note.
  • 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.


15 The estimates are based on information collected in the survey month, and, due to seasonal factors, may not be representative of other months of the year.


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

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

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


19 Persons who said 'yes' to either of the following:

  • whether entitled to paid holiday leave;
  • whether entitled to paid sick leave;
    are categorised as 'with leave entitlements'. In all other cases, Employees are categorised as 'without leave entitlements'. In FOES 2004, there were 64,300 persons who did not know whether they were entitled to paid holiday leave and paid sick leave in their main job.

20 Persons who were away from work during the reference week were included in the 'Less than 1 hour/no hours' category for the data item 'Hours worked in main job in the reference week'. For FOES 2004, there were 505,700 persons who were away from work in the reference week.


21 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 2004 to take account of the results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates from supplementary surveys conducted from and including February 2004 are therefore based on revised population benchmarks.


22 The FOES 2001 was conducted on a more restricted age scope (15-69 years inclusive) than the 1998 and 2004 surveys which collected information from persons aged 15 and over.

23 In FOES 2001, persons working for payment in kind were excluded from the survey. This group has been included in the 2004 survey.


24 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.


25 The FOES was first conducted in August 1998 and again in November 2001. Results of previous surveys on employment arrangements have been published in:

  • Forms of Employment, Australia (cat.no.6359.0)
  • Employment Arrangements and Superannuation, Australia (cat.no.6361.0).


26 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in November 2010.


27 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely 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.


28 ABS publications which may be of interest include:

  • Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0)
  • Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2001 (cat. no. 6102.0)
  • Australian Labour Market statistics (cat. no. 6105.0).

29 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (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.