6206.0 - Labour Force Experience, Australia, Feb 2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2011  Final
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Labour Force Experience Survey provides detailed information about the labour force activities of people aged 15 years and over during the 12 months to February of the reference year. The survey measures time spent in labour force activities, including episodes of working or looking for work, and time spent out of the labour force.

Estimates from the survey are used to monitor the extent and nature of labour force participation over an extended period and to complement estimates from the monthly Labour Force Survey in the analysis of labour market dynamics. The information is used to construct profiles of various groups within the labour force, particularly the unemployed.

Information is available on time worked during the year, whether in the labour force at some time during the year, number of employers/businesses during the year, time spent looking for work during the year, number of spells of looking for work during the year, main activity when not in the labour force, and whether had an unpaid absence from work during the year. Further information such as occupation, industry and time with current employer are available for people who were employed at February 2011.


The estimates in this publication are sourced from the Labour Force Experience Survey which is conducted biennially during February as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey. Results from this survey are released in the publication, Labour Force Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6206.0), approximately six months after the collection period.


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) sample size in February 2011 was approximately 33% higher than the sample size in February 2009. This is due to re-instatement of sample that was reduced from LFS and supplementary surveys from July 2008 to November 2009. Detailed information about the sample re-instatement is provided in Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Nov 2007 (Third edition) (cat. no. 6269.0).

Estimates from the Labour Force Experience Survey are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Relative standard error is a measure of the size of the sampling error affecting an estimate, i.e. the error introduced by basing estimates on a sample of the population rather than the full population. Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. Relative Standard Errors for all estimates in the publication are available in the Technical Note.


The ABS has been conducting the Labour Force Experience Survey since 1969. Since February 1995 the survey has been conducted biennially. Key recent changes made to the Labour Force Experience Survey include:

For more information on changes to the survey see Chapter 21.5 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) or the Explanatory Notes of the publication, Labour Force Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6206.0).


The Labour Force Experience publication contains tables with footnoted data and a Summary of Findings to aid interpretation of the results of the survey. Detailed Explanatory Notes, Technical Note and a Glossary are also included providing information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.

Further commentary is often available through articles and data published in other ABS products, including:


The main product from the survey is a PDF publication, Labour Force Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6206.0), released electronically via the ABS website. Additional data may be available on request. For a list of data items available see Appendix 1 of the publication. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors, and in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070 or contact Labour Market Statistics in Canberra (02) 6252 7206, or by email to <labour.statistics@abs.gov.au>.