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MAY KEY FIGURES
MAY KEY POINTS
TREND ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)
In October 2003, the ABS began the progressive implementation of computer assisted interviewing (CAI) into the LFS. Under CAI, interviewers record responses directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a laptop computer.
For the period October 2003 to January 2004 the CAI method was used on a random 10% sub-sample of survey interviews. The remaining 90% of interviews each month were conducted using the traditional 'pen and paper' method.
The sub-sample of survey interviews conducted using the CAI method was increased to 40% in February 2004 in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and remained at 40% in March 2004. In the remaining states and the Northern Territory, the proportion of interviews using the CAI method stayed at 10% for February and March 2004. The CAI method was used for 40% of interviews for all states and territories in April and May 2004, and will increase to 70% in June 2004.
Implementation of the CAI interviewing method is not expected to affect published estimates in any meaningful way. Nonetheless, the ABS is monitoring the situation carefully and has conducted a range of analyses on each month's data. These analyses have confirmed that any effect that the change in interview method may have had on survey responses to date has not materially affected the aggregate estimates for any month.
Subject to further analysis continuing to confirm that the change in method is not having a significant impact on survey estimates, the ABS intends to progressively increase the use of CAI. Users will continue to be informed of the progress of CAI implementation, including the results of further analyses, through updates in this publication.
The trend estimate of unemployed persons fell rapidly from 920,800 in September 1993 to 728,200 in July 1995. The trend estimate then rose to 771,600 in February 1997, before falling to 584,000 in September 2000. After rising to 685,700 in October 2001, the trend estimate has generally fallen to stand at 569,300 in May 2004.
The trend unemployment rate fell rapidly from 10.7% in August 1993 to 8.1% in July 1995. The trend estimate then rose slowly to 8.4% in February 1997, before falling to 6.1% in September 2000. After rising to 7.0% in September 2001, the trend estimate has generally fallen to stand at 5.6% in May 2004.
EMPLOYED PERSONS: TREND ESTIMATES
From a low of 4,392,700 in December 1992, the trend estimate of employed males rose to 5,054,100 in September 2000. The trend then fell to 5,030,700 in February 2001, before generally rising to stand at 5,364,600 in May 2004.
MALES EMPLOYED FULL TIME
From a low of 3,939,500 in November 1992, the trend estimate of males employed full time rose to 4,216,000 in April 1996. After remaining stable for a year, the trend then rose to 4,400,700 in August 2000. The trend then fell to 4,336,500 in July 2001, before generally rising to stand at 4,579,200 in May 2004.
MALES EMPLOYED PART TIME
The trend estimate of males employed part time has risen 64% over the last 10 years, rising from 479,700 in May 1994 to 785,300 in May 2004.
The trend estimate of employed females rose from 3,244,700 in December 1992 to 4,247,400 in March 2003, with strong growth before mid 1995 and in late 2002. The trend estimate then fell to 4,220,200 in July 2003, before rising to stand at 4,304,900 in May 2004.
FEMALES EMPLOYED FULL TIME
Apart from a flat period between mid 1995 and mid 1997, the trend estimate of females employed full time rose from 1,865,500 in August 1992 to 2,266,400 in March 2001. The trend then decreased to 2,216,500 in February 2002, before generally rising to stand at 2,334,300 in May 2004.
FEMALES EMPLOYED PART TIME
The trend estimate of females employed part time has risen steadily over the last 10 years. The May 2004 trend estimate of 1,970,600 is 38% higher than the May 1994 estimate of 1,422,900.
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