WHAT'S NEW IN THE LABOUR FORCE
REBENCHMARKING OF LABOUR FORCE ESTIMATES
To ensure that Labour Force estimates reflect the latest available information on population benchmarks, the Labour Force rebenchmarking policy was introduced in 2012 (see 'Rebenchmarking of Labour Force Series' in the November 2012 issue of this publication). In accordance with this policy the Labour Force estimates for the period January 2011 to March 2013 were rebenchmarked to the latest population benchmarks in the April 2013 issue. This rebenchmarking did not result in any significant revisions to the national seasonally adjusted estimates. The largest revision to these estimates was only small - an increase of 17,600 employed people in December 2012, which was less than half the standard error (37,200).
The next benchmark revision was scheduled for the October 2013 issue, with revisions to be applied from July 2011 to September 2013, with the following rebenchmark revision in the April 2014 issue. Due to the need to focus on three other major developments (the introduction of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing based population benchmarks including the 20 year recasting based on the 2011 Census, the introduction of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard and the Labour Force Content Review), the ABS will not revise the benchmarks in the October 2013 or April 2014 issues given that the revisions are expected to be minor. However, the introduction of the 2011 Census based population benchmarks in the January 2014 issue will result in the Labour Force estimates reflecting the latest population benchmarks.
The ABS will review this decision if there is a significant change in the population benchmarks prior to April 2014. Quarterly rebenchmarking will commence, as scheduled, from the July 2014 issue.
REBUILD OF THE OVERSEAS ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES SYSTEM
The ABS is currently undertaking a rebuild of the Overseas Arrivals and Departures (OAD) system. The primary aim of this project is to improve the quality of OAD data, given its importance as input to a broad range of statistical series.
OAD data is a key economic indicator, providing important information on cross-border movements. The data feed into a number of important ABS series including International Trade; National Income & Consumption; International Accounts; and the Tourism Satellite Account. It is also a major input for estimating Net Overseas Migration (NOM) and therefore the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) which is used in the Labour Force benchmarks.
The impact on Final NOM time series data will be only marginal (i.e. generally less than 30 people), which in turn results in a similarly negligible revisions to population estimates used to produce Labour Force benchmarks. However, there will be some small improvements to preliminary NOM estimates, which will likely result in small improvements to the quality of Labour Force benchmarks. Historical Labour Force data will not be specifically revised as final NOM will not be affected prior to 2011 and the small improvements after this time will be reflected in future rebenchmarking.
For further information, please refer to Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, August 2013 (ABS cat. no. 3401.0).