8415.0 - Mining Operations, Australia, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/06/2006   
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1 Over time, the ABS's annual data of industry performance have generally included measures of employment.

2 There are three main purposes for estimating employment:

  • to generate statistics by business size range, employment being a frequently used and well understood measure of business size; estimation of employment for each business is a prerequisite for categorising businesses for this purpose
  • to show the relative importance of each industry as an employer
  • to provide measures of labour input and labour productivity.

3 One implication of the use of Business Income Tax (BIT) data in these statistics is that no direct measure of employment is available for those units which contribute to the estimates through the BIT source. This is because the ATO does not collect information about employment numbers. Unlike financial variables, which have a direct relationship to the data available from the BIT files, employment data are not amenable to being modelled using the same techniques. This characteristic became increasingly apparent as the mining industry data for 2001-02 and 2002-03 were being prepared for release.

4 Hence, the previous issue of this publication, which presented estimates for the mining industry for 2001-02 and 2002-03, did not include employment estimates. Since then, further work has been undertaken to devise a suitable methodology. As a result, employment estimates (produced using the current statistical infrastructure) have been restored to this issue. These estimates have been calculated for the two prior years, as well as for 2003-04. These time series are presented in table 1.1 at the national level, and in table 3.1 for states and territories.

5 In estimating employment for units whose data are sourced from the BIT files, the new methodology takes into account :

  • whether a business is recorded as paying wages and salaries
  • whether a business is an incorporated entity
  • whether a business is a sole proprietorship
  • for those businesses that are partnerships of individuals, industry averages (derived from the ABS's Labour Force Survey) are used to estimate the number of partners per partnership
  • for those businesses that are partnerships of businesses, the number of partners per partnership is zero.

6 For each business, an estimate of employee numbers is derived from its value of wages and salaries (if any) using industry averages. For unincorporated businesses, these employee numbers are then added to the estimate of working proprietors or partners to produce an estimate of the total employment of the business. These estimates are then aggregated to the directly collected data to produce the estimates included in this publication.

7 This methodology may be subject to refinement over time as further data become available.

8 For further information about employment estimates included in this publication please contact John Ridley on (02) 9268 4541 or john.ridley@abs.gov.au.