6302.0.55.002 - Information Paper: Changes to Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Aug 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/11/2009  First Issue
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This information paper describes changes that will be made to the quarterly Survey of Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) from the August 2009 reference period onwards. The paper covers the implementation of the new Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006. This is complementary to more general information papers, cat.no.1295.0 and 1295.0.55.001, which outlined plans for the release and adoption of ANZSIC 2006 across a range of statistics produced by the ABS.

The ABS will be introducing other changes which coincide with the sample redesign for the implementation of the ANZSIC 2006 classification and these are outlined in this paper. Mock-ups of the publication and time series spreadsheets as they will appear in the August 2009 publication are available from the Downloads tab of this information paper. A concordance between the current and new time series identifiers is available in the 'Explanatory Notes' tab, Appendix 1.


Implementation of ANZSIC 2006

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) provides a basis for the standardised collection, analysis and dissemination on an industry basis of economic data.

In 2002, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Statistics New Zealand commenced a review to maintain the currency and relevance of ANZSIC. The review found that since the release of the original classification in 1993, there had been significant changes in industrial and business activities in both Australia and New Zealand. The 2006 edition of ANZSIC was released in February 2006. An electronic version of the ANZSIC 2006 classification is available free of charge from the ABS website, titled Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat.no.1292.0).

ANZSIC 2006 involved a substantial review of the classification, including extensive consultation with internal and external users, and alignment with the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC). Consequently, ANZSIC 2006 provides a more contemporary and internationally comparable industrial classification system than its predecessor (ANZSIC 1993). For example, a range of new economic activities have been recognised.

Lists of the 1993 and 2006 ANZSIC industry divisions are provided below. It is important for users of industry data to note that the review of ANZSIC involved substantial change to the structure below industry division level. While many of the divisions in ANZSIC 2006 have the same name as the divisions in ANZSIC 1993, the grouping of activities below this level can be quite different. Users are advised to refer to the full concordance to understand the degree of change below the division level.

One of the impacts of the redevelopment of the ANZSIC is an increase in the number of industries at each level of the classification. ANZSIC 2006 separately identifies 19 divisions, compared with 17 in ANZSIC 1993.

A new Information media and telecommunications division has been introduced. It groups units mainly engaged in the creation and storing of information products for dissemination purposes; transmitting information products using analogue and digital signals; and providing transmission and storage services for information products. This has been identified as a rapidly growing sector in the Australian and New Zealand economies since the last review. The proposed International Standard Industry Classification (ISIC) Rev. 4 and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2002 also recognise these activities in a separate division.

The very large and diverse Property and business services division in ANZSIC 1993, together with some other services, have been rearranged into three new divisions in ANZSIC 2006: Rental, hiring and real estate services; Professional, scientific and technical services; and Administrative and support services. The three separate divisions again align with the proposed ISIC Rev. 4 and NAICS 2002.

The Survey of Average Weekly Earnings only produces industry estimates based on ANZSIC divisions.

Table 1. The new divisional structure for ANZSIC 2006 used in AWE outputs

Division Title

B Mining
C Manufacturing
D Electricity, gas, water and waste services
E Construction
F Wholesale trade
G Retail trade
H Accommodation and food services
I Transport, postal and warehousing
J Information media and telecommunications
K Financial and insurance services
L Rental, hiring and real estate services
M Professional, scientific and technical services
N Administrative and support services
O Public administration and safety
P Education and training
Q Health care and social assistance
R Arts and recreation services
S Other services

Table 2. ANZSIC 1993 division structure used in AWE outputs

Division Title

B Mining
C Manufacturing
D Electricity, gas, water supply
E Construction
F Wholesale trade
G Retail trade
H Accommodation, cafes and restaurants
I Transport and storage
J Communication services
K Finance and insurance
L Property and business services
M Government administration and defence
N Education
O Health and community services
P Cultural and recreational services
Q Personal and other services

Survey Frame Changes and Sample Redesign

The sample for AWE, like most Australian Bureau of Statistics business surveys, is selected from the ABS Business Register which is primarily based on registrations to the Australian Taxation Office's Pay AS You Go Withholding scheme. The population is updated quarterly to take account of new businesses, businesses that have ceased employing, changes in industry and employment levels and other general business changes.

A sample redesign of AWE was undertaken to incorporate the new ANZSIC 2006 industry classification as the industry structure of ANZSIC 2006 is different to that of ANZSIC 1993. The ABS is also implementing some other statistical changes to improve survey frames at the same time as surveys adopt ANZSIC 2006. Employment benchmarks on the business survey frame have been updated to reflect more up-to-date information for use in stratification and estimation. There have been some changes to the Standard Institutional Sector Classification (SISCA), Public/Private and level of Government classifications and invalid industry and SISCA codes have been corrected for the ANZSIC 2006 frame.

The sample redesign, classification and the statistical changes will impact on:
  • the population of businesses included
  • the way these businesses are grouped together for sampling purposes
  • the sample selected
  • the weighting of individual units
  • the industries used to present the statistics

The AWE sample was redesigned to accommodate and exploit all of these changes. Because of the improved groupings of businesses for sampling purposes under ANZSIC 2006, the sample size has fallen from around 5,500 to around 5,200 businesses, with no loss to survey accuracy. It was not possible to include all the same businesses in both the current and ANZSIC 2006 samples due to the statistical changes introduced. There were just over 3,000 units that were selected under both samples.

Impact on Time Series

The survey frame changes and sample redesign introduced to the average weekly earnings series will result in a shift in level of the series from ANZSIC 1993 to ANZSIC 2006 estimates. The difference in the level of the two series has been measured and backcast into the historical series to make a time series of estimates on an ANZSIC 2006 basis. Because of the extent of the changes to level estimates, quarterly and annual percentage change movements for the ANZSIC 2006 AWE series will not be identical to those under ANZSIC 1993. Differences at the State, Sector and Australia levels are generally insignificant and within current released standard errors for each series.



The changes described above will be implemented in the August 2009 edition of Average Weekly Earnings, Australia (cat.no.6302.0) to be released on 19 November 2009 and will present industry statistics on an ANZSIC 2006 basis for the first time.

From the period August 2009, average weekly earnings industry series will only be produced for ANZSIC 2006 industry divisions.

All existing data series based on ANZSIC 1993 that are currently available from the ABS website will still be accessible to users via earlier releases of the AWE publication after the transition to ANZSIC 2006, however, users should note that the series based on ANZSIC 1993 will not be updated after the May 2009 release.

Availability of Backcast Series

The August 2009 edition of Average Weekly Earnings, Australia will contain some backcast time series data. Each table will contain data for the usual number of earlier time periods for comparison. Published data will be available from the August period 1994 on an ANZSIC 2006 basis on the ABS website. Series below publication level will only be available on an ANZSIC 2006 basis from the August period 2009.

Standard errors for backcast series will only be available from the May period 2009 when data on ANZSIC 2006 basis was collected for the first time.

Examples of Outputs for August 2009

A complete sample publication (with tables) and a complete set of sample spreadsheets for the first release of the ANZSIC 2006 data in respect of the August period 2009 is available via the 'Downloads' tab from the ABS website for this publication. All changes outlined in this paper are incorporated. Please note that all the time series identifiers associated with these tables are different to those previously released.

A list of identifiers for the time series spreadsheets can be found in Appendix 1 of this Information Paper.


For further information on the changes to be introduced or specific information on Average Weekly Earnings please contact Tony Carolan, AWE Dissemination Manager, on telephone (08) 9360 5304.

For more information on the ANZSIC 2006 and its implementation across a range of ABS statistics, please contact Celia Quiatchon, ANZSIC Implementation Manager, on telephone (02) 6252 5604 or email c.quiatchon@abs.gov.au