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SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)
REFORMS TO INCOME SUPPORT
In the 2005-06 Budget the Commonwealth Government announced reforms to income support eligibility and activity requirements. Changes in these programs are being implemented progressively, but many of the initiatives took effect from July 2007. While the reforms may change a person's eligibility or activity requirements for income support, the reforms have not changed the way the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts the Labour Force Survey (LFS) or the definitions used in the survey. The LFS does not ask any questions directly related to participation in labour market or income support programs. Such information is neither necessary nor sufficient to determine labour force status. Individual participants are counted as employed, unemployed or not in the labour force according to economic (work-related) activity undertaken in the survey reference period. The measurement of labour force aggregates, based on economic activity tests, is thus consistent over time and independent of changes to labour market or income support programs. The extent to which the changes to income support programs affect people's behaviours in the labour market will be reflected in labour force statistics, however the ABS is unable to estimate the impact attributable to such changes.
The estimates in this publication are based on a sample survey. Because the entire population is not enumerated, the published estimates and the movements derived from them are subject to sampling variability. Standard errors give a measure of this variability and appear on pages 28 and 29.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Bjorn Jarvis on Canberra (02) 6252 6525.
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