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In this issue:
INTRODUCING THE NEW ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR STATE GOVERNMENT LIAISON
ABS Victoria would like to introduce Sophie Vassiliou as the new Assistant Director - State Government Liaison. Sophie will be responsible for developing strategic links between the ABS and Victorian Government agencies and furthering an understanding of the articulation between policy imperatives and the statistical needs of key clients.
Sophie brings valuable experience to the role with an extensive background in State Government liaison and statistical research and development in areas such as industry classifications and service industry price indexes. Sophie previously worked in the Economic and Social Statistics Unit providing advice and assistance to State Government on statistical issues and reviews associated with ABS's economic surveys and on the State Statistical Priorities process.
If you would like to discuss your statistical needs or require information about how the ABS can help you, contact Sophie Vassiliou on 03 9615 7864 or email email@example.com.
NCETS THEME PAGE
The National Centre for Education and Training Statistics (NCETS) launched its 'theme page' as part of the ABS web site on 1 February 2001.
This 'page' includes information about sources of statistics, the best people to talk to, and the latest projects being undertaken within the Centre. It also provides links to other useful national and international sites.
The 'theme page' will be updated regularly to include any new information, for example, a link was made to the Schools Australia, Preliminary statistics publication released on 12 February 2001.
It is hoped that this initiative will prove to be a useful resource for people wishing to find out what is going on in education and training statistics.
The new 'page' can be accessed at www.abs.gov.au/ncets .
Client enquiries can be sent to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
ABS STATISTICAL TRAINING
Specialist ABS staff will conduct a one-day seminar called 'Understanding Demographic Data' on 17 May 2001. Key issues to be covered during the seminar include:
For further information regarding this seminar, or regarding our regular training schedule, please contact Kathleen Horgan on (03) 9615 7400 or email email@example.com.
REGULAR STATISTICAL TRAINING PROGRAM
VICTORIAN INDICATORS OF COMMUNITY WELL-BEING
Work is progressing towards the mid-2001 release of a framework for well-being indicators for Victorian communities. Activity so far this year has focused on developing the priority topics for the indicators agreed at a meeting of senior State Government officials on 29 November 2000.
Issues papers on several of these topics were distributed for comment in March. The papers sought to clarify the concepts to be measured and presented various options for indicators. While the period for comment has now closed, the papers are available for reference from the project's page on the ABS web site (follow the links Themes/Victoria/News/Regional Indicators project).
The specific indicators to be included in the framework will be determined by the end of April, in consultation with the State Government. The ABS team will then assemble the framework, which will document the agreed concepts, statistical standards to be used, and the recommended methodology for constructing the indicators. Work on producing the indicators themselves will commence in the new financial year.
For further information on this project, contact Bruce Fraser on (03) 9615 7495 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEASURING AUSTRALIA'S PROGRESS
Measuring a nation's progress -providing information about whether life is getting better- is one of the most important tasks that a national statistical agency can take on. For almost 100 years, the ABS has been measuring Australia's progress through the multitude of statistics we publish relating to the economy, society or the environment. However, for the most part, our statistical publications have tended to focus on each of these three broad areas in isolation from the others.
Recent years have seen growing public interest in the inter-relationships between economic, social and environmental aspects of life. There have, for example, been debates about the sustainability of economic growth and a recognition that the environment is neither an inexhaustible source of raw materials nor is capable of absorbing an unlimited amount of waste.
Similarly, progress relates to social concerns - health, education and crime - and whether and how economic growth benefits those areas. Measuring Australia's Progress (MAP), is an exciting new ABS project that hopes to break new ground by considering some of the key aspects of progress side by side and discussing how they are linked with one another. In essence, the publication could be regarded as Australia's triple bottom line.
MAP will contain 15 headline indicators that summarise the state of the economy, society and the environment, so allowing readers to form their own view of Australian progress. The project has been underway for almost a year now and the ABS has received continual feedback from subject matter experts from both within and outside the ABS. During May, we will be presenting seminars throughout Australia aimed at providing those attending with an outline of the proposed content and design of the publication. It is hoped that these seminars, and the whole consultation process, will provide valuable feedback so that further improvements can be made before the publication is released in early 2002.
The Melbourne seminar will be held on Thursday May 10, 2001 from 10:30am -12noon. Those wishing to attend should contact Joseph Salvatore. If you would like further information about the project please contact me, Cristy Williams, on 02 6252 5546.
INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES COLLECTION
In 1999, a statistical review of the Industrial Disputes Collection was undertaken. Input was obtained from all major users of the data. The review investigated a wide range of issues such as the classifications used, the introduction of new data items, frequency of publication, and resource/management issues.
The recommendations arising from the review included a number of changes, notably, to change the classifications used in the collection (eg the cause of dispute classification will clearly identify disputes caused by enterprise bargaining); to continue to collect the data monthly but to release a quarterly publication; to not include a data item on 'other forms of labour action' (eg bans); and to include a new data item called 'span of action'.
It was also decided that for efficiency reasons, Industrial Disputes section would be relocated to the Perth Office of the ABS, and become part of the Labour Statistics Centre already located there. This move will take place during July and August of 2001. Implementation of the review recommendations will commence once the collection has bedded down in Perth.
The relocation to Perth will not affect the timely release of the publication nor the provision of special data services for clients. The name and phone number of a new contact person for statistical enquiries related to the collection will be on the front page of the July 2001 publication.
For further information contact Margaret Livingston on (03) 9615 7678 or email email@example.com.
ABS PROPOSAL TO REVAMP PRODUCER AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE PRICE INDEX PUBLICATIONS
Currently, the approach to publishing the producer and international trade price indexes is highly fragmented with each of the partial indicators being released in a separate quarterly publication. With the recent development of publications for service industry indexes and the new stage of production (SOP) indexes, there are now 10 quarterly titles. The producer price indexes (PPI) section in Canberra is proposing to combine the current 10 quarterly titles into two ongoing quarterly publications commencing in the June 2001 quarter. One publication will contain the international trade price indexes, with the other containing the remaining producer price indexes focusing on the economy wide SOP indexes as the headline indicator.
Extensive user consultation will be conducted prior to the release of the new publications. With the March 2001 quarter release, users will be provided with a concordance between the content of each table in the old publications and its availability in either one of the new publications, an interim data report or electronic services including Ausstats.
STUDY OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC INVESTMENT IN PRIVATE NEW CAPITAL EXPENDITURE, VICTORIA
In response to needs raised by State Government, the ABS has developed preliminary estimates produced from a study of the level of foreign and domestic private new capital expenditure in Victoria. The project involved determining ownership characteristics of units in the ABS Survey of Private New Capital Expenditure (Capex) by matching them with units in the Survey of International Investment (SII). An ownership threshold of 50% was used in this study as ownership greater than this level represents significant ownership. Results show that for Victoria, approximately 30 per cent of private new capital expenditure is accounted for by foreign owned businesses. Dissections of Domestic and Foreign private new capital expenditure were also provided at broad industry level.
It is expected that more detailed country dissection will be available from the release of Australia level estimates which at the state level is subject to confidentiality restrictions. Australia level estimates will be included in the feature article of the June issue of Australian Economic Indicators (1350.0).
Further information can be obtained by contacting Marianne Durack on (03) 9615 7465.
REVIEW OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR COMPONENT OF THE SURVEY OF EMPLOYMENT AND EARNINGS
The Survey of Employment and Earnings (SEE) has been conducted since 1983. The purpose of the survey is to measure the number of wage and salary earners employed each month, and their gross quarterly earnings. Data are collected quarterly for each month in the quarter, for both the public and private sector. The key data items are published in Wage and Salary Earners, Australia (6248.0).
December Quarter 2001 will mark the last collection of the private sector component of SEE. After this date, earnings data from the private sector will be collected by the new Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys (QEWS). Employment data from the private sector will be available on an annual basis from a Labour Force Supplementary Survey.
The ABS is taking this opportunity to reassess whether the data items collected in the public sector component of the SEE collection meet user requirements and whether a separate survey collection is the most efficient way of obtaining these data. The public sector component of SEE collects data from all levels of government. These data are available by public trading enterprise, financial enterprise and general government, as a special data request.
The Public Sector SEE review will consider alternative data sources for the public sector data items, such as administrative data sources, and including the data items in another ABS survey. The review will also consider whether modifications are required to the existing survey design to accommodate the reduced target population, if a separate survey collection is considered the most efficient means of obtaining the data.
The review is intended to be completed by July 2001. It will involve extensive user consultation to ensure user needs continue to be met.
Anyone wishing to be involved in the user consultation should contact Helen Burbidge on (02) 6252 5193 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE 2001-2002 LABOUR FORCE SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEY PROGRAM
The following surveys will be conducted during 2001-2002 as supplementary surveys to the Monthly Labour Force Survey. Output from these surveys is generally available 6 months after the collection of each survey.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recognises the need for a range of statistics to monitor the social well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For this reason, an Indigenous Social Survey (ISS) is to be included in the ABS Household Survey Program, to be conducted in 2002 and then on a six yearly basis.
The ISS will collect information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, covering a range of areas such as culture, family and community, health, housing, work, education and income. In addition to providing measures of the social, cultural and economic well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the ISS will make it possible to monitor changes over time and enable comparisons to be made with Australia's non-Indigenous population.
ABS is undertaking an extensive consultation process to ensure a wide range of views and interests are considered in the development of the ISS. A Reference Group has been formed with representation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations, Commonwealth and State/Territory agencies, and research bodies. The role of this group is to provide advice to the ABS on the topics to be included, the relative importance of items within each topic, survey methodology and the output needs of users. An ISS Discussion Paper has been widely circulated and there was a round of Australia-wide meetings with interested users in February 2001.
As the survey develops, ABS will provide information on the outcomes of testing and seek views regarding the output products to be made available from the ISS.
For further information please contact Kevin Beere of the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics on 08 8943 2141 or email email@example.com
RECENT AND EXPECTED RELEASES
THE NEW AUSTRALIAN STANDARD CLASSIFICATION OF EDUCATION (ASCED)
The Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) is due for release on 31 July 2001. ASCED has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders and replaces the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ). ASCED is comprised of two component classifications, Level of Education and Field of Education and provides a basis for comparable administrative and statistical data on educational activities and attainment classified by level and field. The publication provides details of the conceptual basis of ASCED, the structure of the classification, definitions for all categories of level and field and concordances with other education classifications.
For further information please contact Wendy Piper 02 6252 7627 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RELEASE OF THE 2001 VICTORIAN YEAR BOOK
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the 2001 Victorian Year Book (113th ed.) on 7 March, 2001. The Victorian Year Book provides a comprehensive statistical overview of the economy and social conditions in Victoria.
The 2001 Issue includes a special celebratory Centenary of Federation feature article entitled 'Victoria: 100 Years since Federation'. The article has drawn on information from the ABS, Commonwealth and State Governments and a range of other organisations to provide a comprehensive statistical comparison of the economy and society of Victoria between 1901 and 2001. The publication also contains detailed statistical information about a wide range of subjects including information technology, regional and rural, natural resources and environment, health, population, education, housing, transport and the economy.
Copies of the 2001 Victorian Year Book (1301.2) are available in public libraries across Victoria. Copies are also available for purchase from the ABS Bookshop, Level 5, CGU Tower, 485 LaTrobe St, Melbourne; or by phone on 1300 135 070. Overseas clients please call 61 2 9268 4909.
AUSTRALIAN SOCIAL TRENDS (2001)
On June 6 2001, the ABS will release Australian Social Trends 2001 (4102.0). The publication, produced annually, since 1994, presents statistical analysis and commentary on a wide range of current social issues. As in previous editions, the 30 plus articles are organised into seven chapters, representing the following areas of social concern; population, families, health, education and training, work, income and housing.
Supporting each chapter are a set of National and State and Territory summary tables, containing key social indicators which highlight social change over the past decade and also provide a means of comparing social conditions throughout Australia. A set of international tables also enable the comparison of Australian social conditions with 18 other nations.
For further information please contact Chris Mason on (02) 6252 6214 or email email@example.com.
OCCASIONAL PAPER: THE DYNAMICS OF CHILD POVERTY IN AUSTRALIA
The Occasional Paper: The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Australia - An Application Using the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns (6293.0.00.008), is expected to be released on May 1 2001. The paper provides a description of the income dynamics of families with children and an analysis of the family characteristics of children persistently in poverty. It also analyses the transitions of children into and out of poverty, relating the pattern of changes income to characteristics such as household type and economic activity of members of the household. The paper forms part of a series of occasional papers for the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns (SEUP), a longitudinal survey tracking the employment (or unemployment) history of the same group of people (aged 15-64 years) over three years, from September 1994 till September 1997.
For further information please contact Anne Purtill on (02) 6252 6128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERNET ACTIVITY, AUSTRALIA
The ABS released the first issue the new quarterly publication Internet Activity, Australia (8153.0) on March 21 2001. The publication presents the results of a new quarterly survey of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which will help plan and track development of the online industry. The publication contains details of internet activity facilitated by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Australia. It includes characteristics and location of ISP customers and their Internet usage, and the nature of related telecommunications infrastructure. Broad level statistics include: the number of business and private Internet subscribers; ISP subscriber churn rate; the number and types of accounts offered by ISPs; the volume of traffic through ISPs to Internet subscribers; the number of lines providing Internet connectivity to subscribers; and, subscriber to infrastructure ratios etc.
The quarterly basis of the collection will provide indicative measures of growth/rationalisation of ISPs and the number of Australians and Australian businesses obtaining access to the Internet through ISPs. It will also facilitiate measurement of movements in the type and amount of infrastructure available to provide connectivity to the Internet.
For further information please contact Tim Power on (02) 6252 7895 or email email@example.com.
ILLICIT DRUG USE, SOURCES OF DATA, AUSTRALIA
Scheduled for release on July 26 2001, Illicit Drug Use, Sources of Data, Australia (4808.0) provides a comprehensive overview of sources of data measuring the impact of illicit drug use in Australia. The publication examines data available on economic, social, crime and health impacts of illicit drug use on the community. Gaps in current data collections are also identified.
For further information please contact Doylys Hartridge on (07) 3222 6236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER RECENT AND EXPECTED RELEASES
VICTORIAN STATISTICS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
VSAC is a major forum for statistical liaison between Victorian Government Agencies and the ABS. Dr Michael Kirby from the Department of Treasury and Finance chairs VSAC and is also the State representative on the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC). The following group of departmental representatives meets 2-3 times each year:
CONTACT POINTS FOR ABS VICTORIA
1900 986 400
Telephone: 1300 135 070
Overseas clients please call 61 2 9268 4909.
Fax: 1300 135 211
Bookshop, Library and Information Services
485 La Trobe Street
Melbourne Vic 3001
GPO Box 2796Y
Melbourne Vic 3001
Assistant Director - State Government Liaison
03 9615 7864
Statistics Victoria Newsletter Editors
03 9615 7590
03 9615 7492
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