6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Jan 2020 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/02/2020   
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JANUARY KEY FIGURES


Dec 19
Jan 20
Dec 19 to Jan 20
Jan 19 to Jan 20

Trend
Employed people ('000)
12976.7
12996.7
20.0
2.0%
Unemployed people ('000)
709.1
709.6
0.6
5.1%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.2
5.2
0.0 pts
0.1 pts
Underemployment rate (%)
8.5
8.5
0.0 pts
0.2 pts
Participation rate (%)
66.0
66.0
0.0 pts
0.4 pts
Monthly hours worked in all jobs ('000 000)
1,784.6
1,785.5
0.9
1.3%

Seasonally Adjusted
Employed people ('000)
12,981.9
12,995.4
13.5
1.9%
Unemployed people ('000)
694.9
725.9
31.0
7.1%
Unemployment rate (%)
5.1
5.3
0.2 pts
0.2 pts
Underemployment rate (%)
8.3
8.6
0.3 pts
0.5 pts
Participation rate (%)
66.0
66.1
0.1 pts
0.4 pts
Monthly hours worked in all jobs ('000 000)
1,789.8
1,781.8
-8.1
0.9%


EMPLOYED PEOPLE
Graph shows, in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms, the monthly uptick in the Employed People increasing steadily from approximately 11,600,000 people in December 2014 to approximately 13,000,000 people in January 2020.


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
Graph shows, in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms, the general downturn in the Unemployment Rate from 6.2 per cent in January 2015 to as low as 5.0 per cent in December 2018. In January 2020 the unemployment rate is at 5.2 per cent.


TREND ESTIMATES
  • Employment increased by 20,000 to 12,996,700 people. Full-time employment increased by 14,600 to 8,879,300 people and part-time employment increased by 5,400 to 4,117,300 people.
  • Unemployment increased by 600 to 709,600 people.
  • Unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2%.
  • Participation rate remained steady at 66.0%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased by 0.9 million hours to 1,785.5 million hours.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
  • Employment increased by 13,500 to 12,995,400 people. Full-time employment increased by 46,200 to 8,882,200 people and part-time employment decreased by 32,700 to 4,113,300 people.
  • Unemployment increased by 31,000 to 725,900 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased by 0.2 pts to 5.3%.
  • Participation rate increased by 0.1 pts to 66.1%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased by 8.1 million hours to 1,781.8 million hours.

LABOUR UNDERUTILISATION
  • The monthly trend underemployment rate remained steady at 8.5%. The monthly underutilisation rate remained steady at 13.7%.
  • The monthly seasonally adjusted underemployment rate increased by 0.3 pts to 8.6%. The monthly underutilisation rate increased by 0.5 pts to 13.9%.


NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

IssueRelease Date
February 202019 March 2020
March 202016 April 2020
April 202014 May 2020
May 202018 June 2020
June 202016 July 2020
July 202013 August 2020


ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE BUSHFIRES ON LABOUR FORCE STATISTICS


Bushfires resulted in disruption to ABS data collection operations in some regions in New South Wales and Victoria during January 2020.

In New South Wales, some areas within the 'Capital Region', the 'Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven' region and the 'Mid North Coast' region could not be included in the survey for January, accounting for around 3.3% of the total sample in the state. In Victoria, some areas within the 'Latrobe - Gippsland' region were also unable to be surveyed, accounting for around 0.8% of the Victorian sample. As a result, there was slightly higher than usual survey non-response in these areas.

The Labour Force Survey has a robust survey design, with a large sample, a high level of response, and sophisticated weighting and estimation methods. Given the scale of the bushfires, the ABS undertook additional quality assurance of January data, to ascertain whether any additional statistical methods were required to minimise the effect of a higher level of non-response on key headline Labour Force statistics.

The ABS confirmed that the disruption from the bushfires did not have a notable impact on key headline statistics and that no additional statistical interventions were required. A range of estimates were produced, as part of the additional quality assurance undertaken, including using imputation to account for the higher level of non-response. These estimates were highly consistent with the published estimates in this release. For example, the trend and seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Australia, New South Wales and Victoria were the same (to 1 decimal place), as were the size of the movements in these unemployment rates between December 2019 and January 2020.

While no notable impact was observed, it is important to note that changes in Labour Force statistics between December 2019 and January 2020 (particularly changes in hours worked) may still be slightly understated or overstated, relative to what would have been observed if the ABS had been able to collect information from the entire sample. The ABS will undertake further analysis of January 2020 data when February 2020 data has been collected.

Some region level data for New South Wales and Victoria for January 2020 will not be published inLabour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery(cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) on the 27th February. The ABS expects to resume publishing these estimates with either the release of February 2020 data (in March) or March 2020 data (in April).


NEW ABS WEBSITE AND AN UPDATED LABOUR FORCE RELEASE

The ABS is planning to launch a new website in June 2020. A Beta version of the new ABS website will be released in March, ahead of an expected switch over at June. The new website aims to provide an improved customer experience through presenting and organising our statistics in a way that is easier to find, understand and use, with improved accessibility, navigation and search features.

As part of this move to a new ABS website, we've been exploring new ways to deliver labour statistics. As advised in the December issue of this publication, a prototype Key labour market indicator page, which aims to draw together data from the range of labour market data sources to provide an overall picture of the labour market, was released at https://beta.abs.gov.au/Key-labour-market-indicators.html.

We have now also developed a prototype for a revised Labour Force publication. This prototype can be viewed at https://beta.abs.gov.au/Labour-force-beta.html. This prototype largely contains the same data as the current version of this release, but it is presented according to the more modern look and feel of the new ABS website design, with the content re-organised to make it easier to read and easier to find.

We welcome any feedback on these Key labour market indicator and Labour Force prototypes. Feedback can be provided via the feedback button at the end of each of the pages, or by emailing us directly at labour.statistics@abs.gov.au.

ROUNDING

Estimates of changes in the commentary have been calculated using un-rounded estimates, and may be different from, but are more accurate than, movement obtained from the rounded estimates. Graphs also depict un-rounded estimates.

SAMPLING ERROR

The estimates in this publication are based on a sample survey. Published estimates and movements are subject to sampling variability. Standard errors give a measure of sampling variability. The interval bounded by two standard errors is the 95% confidence interval, which provides a way of looking at the variability inherent in estimates. There is a 95% chance that the true value of the estimate lies within that interval.


MOVEMENTS IN SEASONALLY ADJUSTED SERIES BETWEEN DECEMBER 2019 AND JANUARY 2020

Monthly change
95% Confidence interval

Total Employment
13 500
-48 400 to 75 100
Total Unemployment
31 000
-7 800 to 69 800
Unemployment rate
0.2 pts
0.0 pts to 0.4 pts
Participation rate
0.1 pts
-0.3 pts to 0.5 pts



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, email client.services@abs.gov.au or contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.