LABOUR FORCE MODULE
15. The Labour Force Survey is the official source for Australian employment and unemployment statistics. It uses a comprehensive and detailed set of questions to precisely measure the numbers and certain characteristics of persons in employment and unemployment, that is the currently economically active population. The 'maximum set' of questions, as used in the Labour Force Survey, are presented in Information Paper: Questionnaires used in the Labour Force Survey, 2001 (cat. no. 6232.0).
16. In other household surveys, where labour force status is used as an explanatory or classificatory variable, it is generally not practical to determine employment and unemployment as precisely as in the Labour Force Survey. A shorter 'minimum set' of questions is used in most other ABS household surveys to produce estimates of the currently economically active population. While aggregates produced from these other surveys are designed to be consistent with the international concepts of employment and unemployment, the treatment of certain small population groups is simpler than that used in the Labour Force Survey. Consequently, there are some differences between estimates produced from the Labour Force Survey and those produced from surveys using the reduced modules.
17. The minimum question set is presented in the following section, Collection Methods. Both a reduced questionnaire module for use in personal interviews, and a self enumerated questionnaire module are included in the standard, along with a single question module that may be used in administrative data collections.
18. The development of a standard for questionnaire modules collecting labour force data (see The Labour Force Framework - Collection Methods), and for associated labour force output, ensures comparable and compatible labour force data across a variety of collections. This standard addresses definitions, classifications, coding structures, questionnaire modules and output categories to be used in household interviewer based and self-enumerated collections. The standard also discusses the primary differences between the Labour Force Survey definitions of employment and unemployment, and related labour force characteristics as obtained from the 'maximum set' of questions, and the definitions used by other household surveys, as obtained from the 'minimum set' of questions.