1376.0 - Local Government and ABS (Newsletter), Dec 2004
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/12/2004
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About this newsletter
Local Government and ABS is a quarterly newsletter created by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) aimed at helping the Local Government Sector use statistics to assist with planning and other community servicing decisions.
The specific aims of this newsletter are to:
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Recent analysis of women's employment in urban, rural and regional Australia
To assist in the comparison of patterns of women's employment across selected regions of Australia, the ABS has recently released analysis of data from the 2001 Population Census.
For the purposes of this analysis, the following geographic categories were used to compare women's employment patterns in urban and rural areas:
The main features of this analysis are available free of charge.
Alternatively, the report
Perspectives on Regional Australia - Women's Employment in Urban, Rural and Regional Australia
can be purchased on-line by selecting catalogue number 1380.0.55.001 from the list of available publications.
For more information, contact Mark Nowosilskyj by phone on (08) 8237 7358 or by email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Improvements in regional labour force data
The ABS has recently improved the quality of regional estimates of labour force status (numbers employed, numbers unemployed, total labour force, unemployment rate).
Regional estimates of labour force status are available on a monthly basis for 77 Labour Force Survey (LFS) regions. The LFS regions were established to meet user interest for small area data from the Labour Force Survey, and data for these regions is available back to October 1982.
LFS estimates of employed, unemployed and not in the labour force are calculated to add up to independent estimates (or benchmarks) of the usually resident civilian population aged 15 years and over.
Before the February 2004 survey, population benchmarks in the LFS were classified by state/territory of usual residence, capital city/rest of state, age and sex. In addition to these benchmarks, from February 2004 the Labour Force Survey uses population benchmarks for LFS regions by sex. LFS estimates at the region level were revised back to January 1999 with the release of the February 2004 data. This has improved the quality of estimates for LFS regions, without compromising the quality of the estimates at national, state and territory levels.
Maps of the LFS regions are available and can be accessed from the Labour theme page.
Government and other organisations use labour market data for LFS regions to monitor the level of regional activity, assess regional development issues, and to inform the development of employment policies and programs. Some agencies are interested in the broad trends for regions as part of assessing the state's economic performance.
Data for LFS regions is discussed in the feature article Labour Force Survey Regions which was included in the July 2004 edition of Australian Labour Market Statistics, Australia (Cat no. 6105.0).
For more information, contact Peter Bradbury by phone on (02) 6252 6565 or by email : email@example.com
Proposed output strategy for 2006 Census of Population and Housing
The ABS has recently released a paper informing users of the proposed strategies for 2006 census products and services, and to seek their views on them.
With the development of technology, in particular the Internet, and the growing sophistication of the user community, the ABS intends to recast its range of products and services for the 2006 census. In particular :
Census of Population and Housing ABS Views on Census Output Strategy 2006 (Cat no. 2009.0)
which is available for free.
Based upon the results of this consultation, the ABS will develop specific proposals for the 2006 Census Output program, including the development of prototypes for 2006 census products and services. Details of these prototypes will be circulated for comment in mid 2005.
Do you need help with designing or conducting a collection or using statistical products?
If this sounds like you, then the handbook of the National Statistical Service (NSS) may help. The NSS handbook can also be accessed from the homepage of the NSS website.
This handbook outlines the issues that need to be addressed when:
The handbook also includes:
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Initiating the Statistical Activity
Chapter 3 Designing the Statistical Activity
Chapter 4 Data Collection and Data Extraction
Chapter 5 Data Processing
Chapter 6 Statistical Analysis and Interpretation
Chapter 7 Dissemination of Statistics
Chapter 8 Evaluating the Statistical Activity
Appendix 1 - Phases of the Statistical Cycle
Appendix 2 - Data Management
Appendix 3 - Standards and Classifications
Appendix 4 - Confidentiality and Privacy
Appendix 5 - Information Development Plans
Appendix 6 - Statistical Skills
Appendix 7 - Quality Declaration and Assessment
Appendix 8 - Project Management
For more information contact Rex Porter by phone on (08) 8237 7416 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What's happening in Local Government Finance?
Electronic forms for the annual data collection, conducted cooperatively by the ABS and the Department of Local Government and/or Local Government Grants Commission in each state, have now been dispatched for all jurisdictions. Whilst return dates are different in each state, data for the earlier states have started to be received by the ABS via the Department of Local Government and/or Grants Commission.
The main focus of the Local Government Statistics Unit (LGSU) over the next few months will be processing the data received in time for use in the ABS National Accounts. Given the tight deadlines involved , the LGSU encourages all councils to return their forms to their respective Department of Local Government/Grants Commission at the earliest possible time, but at latest by the respective due dates on the form. To assist in the quality assurance processes the LGSU performs on the data, the ABS would also encourage all councils to complete the relevant comments section of the form to report any unusual activity which has occurred.
Other than use in the National Accounts, the data are also used by various researchers/organisations for research/policy work and are generally available on request.
The LGSU has completed the survey of financial information for the September quarter cycle. The LGSU was able to reduce the form by some 87 data items per council per quarter. Along with this, as a result of implementing a new collection methodology, the unit has implemented a system to rotate most councils in and out of the survey, thus reducing the burden which may be placed on councils who had previously always been in the survey. Some 49 councils which had previously always been selected were able to be rotated out of the sample with a new selection of councils rotated in. It is expected that most councils (other than the particularly large councils around the country) will only stay in the survey for a maximum of two years. This is one issue in step with the overall strategy of the LGSU to manage the burden the ABS places on councils in our request for data.
The data from the quarterly collection are also used by the ABS in the compilation of Australia's quarterly National Accounts.
The LGSU has been meeting with a number of local government related bodies in recent times. The LGSU has met with representatives of the Australian Local Government Association and the Local Government Association of Queensland relating to a number of projects aimed at improving coordination of the collection of data from councils.
Starting in January 2005, the LGSU will be commence investigations to determine what data are available for the Local Government sector. The project will involve preliminary investigation and description of ABS and non-ABS sources of data in the field of Local Government statistics. This will assist in the development of a Local Government Information Development Plan (IDP).
An IDP is an agreement, developed as a collaborative effort between key stakeholders, that defines the suite of information required to support policy in a particular field of statistics. IDPs aim to obtain agreement between key stakeholders about areas where further development/coordination is needed in a field of statistics. Long term, the aim of establishing an IDP is to improve the quality, coverage and use of statistics within a particular field of statistics.
More information about IDPs can be found in Appendix 5 of the handbook of the National Statistics Service. There is an article on the handbook earlier in this newsletter.
Director: Sean Thompson email@example.com (07) 3222 6257
Asst Director: Dean Bloom firstname.lastname@example.org (07) 3222 6404
Links to previous editions of Local Government and ABS
Local Government and ABS Edition 7 September 2004
Local Government and ABS Edition 6 June 2004
Local Government and ABS Edition 5 March 2004
Local Government and ABS Edition 4 December 2003
Local Government and ABS Edition 3 September 2003
Local Government and ABS Edition 2 June 2003
Local Government and ABS Edition 1 March 2003
Newsletter contact details
This newsletter is one way to help improve communication between the ABS and the Local Government Sector. New ABS initiatives to assist local government organisations will be announced in this newsletter as they evolve. We would like your views and suggestions about this newsletter so that it remains useful and assists you to understand and use ABS statistics. Please email comments to email@example.com, or by telephone on (08) 8237 7416.
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