6209.0 - Labour Mobility, Australia, Feb 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/10/2008   
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Labour Mobility Survey provides detailed information about people aged 15 years and over who, in the 12 months to February of the reference year, had a change in employer/business or had some change in work. While the scope of the survey includes people over the age of 15 years who were working at some time in the 12 months to February 2008, much of the data focuses on people who were working at February 2008.

The survey is the only source of data on labour force mobility over a twelve month period and (in conjunction with the Labour Force Experience Survey) is a major source of data for analysing the dynamic nature of the labour force.

Information is available on whether a person has had a change in employer/business or a change in work in the past 12 months. The types of change collected include change in Major occupation, in industry Division, in employment type or in usual hours worked and whether promoted and/or transferred. Other data collected includes reasons for ceasing last job, whether had paid leave entitlements and demographic characteristics.


The Labour Mobility Survey is conducted biennially during February as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey. Results from this survey are released in the publication, Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0) eight months after the collection period.


Estimates from the Labour Mobility Survey are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the size of the sampling error associated with an estimate, i.e. the possible error introduced by basing estimates on a sample of the population rather than the full population. Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data.

The Labour Mobility Survey was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for state and capital city/balance, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. Prior to 2008, a statistical model was produced that relates the size of estimates to their corresponding RSEs, and this information was displayed via a 'standard errors of estimates' table. The model was available in the Technical Note of the publication, Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0). RSEs for 2008 Labour Mobility Survey estimates are published for the first time in 'direct' form and are released in spreadsheet format as an attachment to Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0).


The conceptual framework used for this survey is described in Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0). The statistics in this survey are comparable with other labour statistics produced by the ABS.

The ABS conducted the first Labour Mobility Survey in November 1972. Since February 1992 the survey has been conducted biennially.

Key changes made to Labour Mobility Survey include:
  • revision of population benchmarks
  • changes in the scope of the survey
  • revisions made in 2006 and 2008
  • new occupation and industry classifications implemented in 2008.

    For more information on changes to the survey see Chapter 21.7 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) or the Explanatory Notes of the publication, Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0).


    The Labour Mobility publication contains tables with footnoted data and a Summary of Findings to aid interpretation of the results of the survey. Detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and a Glossary are also included providing information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.

    Further commentary is often available through articles and data published in other ABS products, including:
  • Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) - refer to the Cumulative List of Articles for past articles
  • Year Book, Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) - refer to the 'Labour' chapter.


    The main product from the survey is a PDF publication, Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0), released electronically via the ABS website. Additional data may be available on request. For a list of data items available see Appendix 2 of the publication. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors, and in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

    A Basic Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) was released for the 2006 Labour Mobility Survey. From 2008, both a Basic and Expanded CURF will be available for Labour Mobility Survey. See Labour Force Survey and Labour Mobility, Australia: Basic Confidentialised Unit Record File, Technical Manual (cat. no. 6202.0.30.005) for more information.

    For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070 or the Labour Market Section in Canberra on (02) 6252 7206.