6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2010 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2011   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



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 Forms of Employment (FOES) survey provides information on some of the key factors relating to the nature of employment arrangements in the Australian labour market. The survey also presents information about different types of employment which can be cross-classified by characteristics such as hours worked, industry and occupation and demographic characteristics.


The FOES survey is collected annually during November as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey. Results from this survey are released approximately six months after the completion of enumeration (ie. during May) in the publication Forms of Employment, Australia(cat. no. 6359.0).


The LFS sample size in November 2010 was approximately 6% higher than the sample size in November 2009. This is due to the re-instatement of sample that was reduced from the LFS and supplementary surveys from July 2008 to November 2009. Detailed information about the sample re-instatements is provided in Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Nov 2007 (Third edition) (cat. no. 6269.0).

Estimates from the Forms of Employment Survey are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Relative standard error (RSE) 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.

The Forms of Employment Survey was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for state and capital city/balance, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. RSEs for all estimates in the publication are available in the Technical Note.


While the LFS provides the official estimate of persons in the labour force, the FOES provides further information on the characteristics of these people. Summary information is also collected in the Labour Force Survey on a quarterly basis.

The ABS has been conducting the FOES regularly since 1998. Key changes to the FOES include:
    • revision of population benchmarks;
    • changes in the scope of the survey;
    • revision of data items;
    • the redevelopment of the 2008 FOES to better capture information of independent contractors, other business operators and employees with/without paid leave entitlements. In 2008, information was also collected of people who found their current job through a labour hire firm/employment agency, which the ABS plans to collect again in November 2011.

For more information on changes to the survey see Chapter 21.3 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


The Forms of Employment publication contains tables 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, Forms of Employment, Australia (cat.no. 6359.0), 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 Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.