6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Feb 2012
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/03/2012
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STANDARD ERRORS

STANDARD ERRORS

The estimates in this publication are based on information gained from the occupants of a sample survey of dwellings. Because the entire population is not surveyed, the published estimates are subject to sampling error. The most common way of quantifying such sampling error is to calculate the standard error for the published estimate or statistic. For more information, see paragraphs 25 to 27 of the Explanatory Notes.

LEVEL ESTIMATES

To illustrate, let us say the published level estimate for employed persons aged 15-19 years is 700,000 and the associated standard error is 9,200. The standard error is then used to interpret the level estimate of 700,000. For instance, the standard error of 9,200 indicates that:

• There are approximately two chances in three that the real value falls within the range 690,800 to 709,200 (700,000 + or - 9,200)
• There are approximately nineteen chances in twenty that the real value falls within the range 681,600 to 718,400 (700,000 + or - 18,400).

The real value in this case is the result we would obtain if we could enumerate the total population.

The following table shows the standard errors for this month's level estimates.

 AUSTRALIA NSW Vic. Qld SA WA Tas. NT ACT Males Females Persons Aged 15 years and over Employed Full time '000 20.7 21.0 15.4 6.7 10.0 2.7 4.0 2.4 27.3 19.5 32.9 Part time '000 14.2 13.1 10.0 5.0 6.8 2.0 1.2 1.6 10.8 17.4 21.3 Total '000 22.6 25.5 17.5 7.8 10.9 3.2 4.7 2.5 29.5 27.1 37.1 Unemployed Looking for f/t work '000 8.7 7.4 6.8 2.9 3.3 1.4 0.7 0.8 10.5 8.6 13.7 Looking for p/t work '000 5.5 5.1 4.2 1.8 2.3 0.8 0.4 0.7 5.2 7.0 8.8 Total '000 10.4 9.0 7.6 3.3 4.1 1.6 0.9 1.1 11.8 11.2 16.4 Labour force '000 22.9 26.3 18.0 8.0 11.0 3.3 4.9 2.5 30.2 27.9 37.8 Not in labour force '000 21.3 23.7 15.4 7.1 10.5 3.1 3.5 2.3 24.7 29.3 34.5 Unemployment rate Looking for f/t work pts 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.3 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.2 0.3 0.2 Looking for p/t work pts 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.6 1.0 1.4 1.2 0.5 0.3 0.2 Total pts 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.7 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.1 Participation rate pts 0.4 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.8 2.8 0.8 0.3 0.3 0.2 Aged 15-19 years Employed Full time '000 3.5 2.6 2.7 1.0 1.8 0.5 0.3 0.4 4.6 3.6 5.5 Part time '000 4.4 3.9 3.6 1.6 2.1 0.7 0.4 0.6 5.0 6.0 7.5 Total '000 5.4 4.5 4.5 1.9 2.8 0.8 0.5 0.7 6.5 6.6 9.0 Unemployed Looking for f/t work '000 3.1 2.7 2.9 0.8 1.5 0.5 0.2 0.4 4.1 3.4 5.3 Looking for p/t work '000 3.0 3.2 2.4 1.2 1.6 0.6 0.2 0.3 3.7 4.0 5.5 Total '000 4.5 4.3 4.0 1.5 2.2 0.8 0.4 0.5 5.6 5.2 7.7 Labour force '000 6.0 5.2 5.1 2.1 3.1 1.0 0.6 0.8 7.2 7.2 10.1 Not in labour force '000 8.4 6.6 5.1 2.5 3.5 0.9 0.8 0.8 8.5 8.0 11.9 Unemployment rate Looking for f/t work pts 3.3 4.3 3.5 5.7 3.5 6.6 5.8 7.3 2.0 3.0 1.7 Looking for p/t work pts 2.0 2.3 1.9 2.7 2.7 4.1 4.6 3.5 1.6 1.2 1.0 Total pts 1.8 2.1 1.9 2.5 2.1 3.6 3.6 3.4 1.3 1.2 0.9 Participation rate pts 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.9 2.0 2.8 3.7 3.3 0.9 1.0 0.7 Unemployment to population ratio - looking for f/t work pts 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.9 1.5 1.5 1.6 0.5 0.5 0.4

MOVEMENT ESTIMATES

The following example illustrates how to use the standard error to interpret a movement estimate. Let us say that one month the published level estimate for females employed part-time in Australia is 1,890,000; the next month the published level estimate is 1,900,000 and the associated standard error for the movement estimate is 11,900. The standard error is then used to interpret the published movement estimate of 10,000. For instance, the standard error of 11,900 indicates that:
• There are approximately two chances in three that the real movement between the two months falls within the range - 1,900 to 21,900 (10,000 + or - 11,900)
• There are approximately nineteen chances in twenty that the real movement falls within the range - 13,800 to 33,800 (10,000 + or - 23,800).

The following table shows the standard errors for this month's movement estimates.

 AUSTRALIA NSW Vic. Qld SA WA Tas. NT ACT Males Females Persons Aged 15 years and over Employed Full time '000 14.0 11.2 10.1 3.8 6.5 1.7 1.3 1.7 17.7 12.9 22.5 Part time '000 8.7 7.4 6.1 2.8 4.0 1.2 0.6 1.0 7.8 11.7 13.9 Total '000 16.7 13.6 13.4 5.5 8.1 2.1 1.4 1.9 19.4 17.6 27.3 Unemployed Looking for f/t work '000 8.8 7.2 7.6 2.8 3.7 1.3 0.6 1.0 10.7 8.8 14.0 Looking for p/t work '000 5.5 5.0 4.4 1.8 2.5 0.8 0.3 0.7 5.4 7.2 9.0 Total '000 10.5 8.9 8.9 3.3 4.2 1.6 0.7 1.2 12.0 11.5 16.9 Labour force '000 17.2 14.1 14.4 5.8 8.4 2.2 1.5 2.0 20.1 18.2 28.2 Not in labour force '000 16.0 13.0 12.3 5.2 7.3 2.1 1.2 2.0 15.4 19.4 25.6 Unemployment rate Looking for f/t work pts 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.2 0.3 0.2 Looking for p/t work pts 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.6 1.0 1.4 1.2 0.5 0.3 0.3 Total pts 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.7 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.1 Participation rate pts 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.8 0.7 0.2 0.2 0.2 Aged 15-19 years Employed Full time '000 2.7 2.0 2.2 0.8 1.5 0.4 0.3 0.4 3.6 2.9 4.2 Part time '000 3.6 3.0 2.9 1.2 1.8 0.5 0.3 0.5 4.1 4.6 5.7 Total '000 4.2 3.4 3.4 1.4 2.2 0.6 0.4 0.6 5.0 5.1 6.7 Unemployed Looking for f/t work '000 3.2 2.8 3.1 0.8 1.8 0.5 0.3 0.4 4.3 3.5 5.5 Looking for p/t work '000 3.1 3.2 2.6 1.2 1.7 0.6 0.2 0.4 3.9 4.1 5.6 Total '000 4.5 4.3 4.2 1.5 2.3 0.8 0.3 0.6 5.7 5.4 7.9 Labour force '000 4.5 3.7 3.7 1.5 2.4 0.7 0.4 0.6 5.4 5.5 7.3 Not in labour force '000 5.2 4.1 3.5 1.6 2.3 0.7 0.5 0.6 6.0 5.7 7.9 Unemployment rate Looking for f/t work pts 3.5 4.7 3.7 5.8 3.8 7.6 6.3 8.1 2.2 3.2 1.8 Looking for p/t work pts 2.0 2.3 1.9 2.9 2.6 4.4 4.3 3.8 1.7 1.2 1.0 Total pts 1.9 2.2 1.9 2.7 2.2 3.9 3.9 3.7 1.3 1.2 0.9 Participation rate pts 1.0 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.5 2.0 2.4 2.5 0.7 0.8 0.5 Unemployment to population ratio - looking for f/t work pts 0.7 0.8 1.0 0.8 1.2 1.6 1.7 1.6 0.6 0.5 0.4