6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, Nov 2007 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/04/2008   
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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 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).


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.


The Forms of Employment Survey is the primary ABS data source on employment arrangements in the Australian labour market.

The ABS has been conducting the Forms of Employment Survey since August 1998, then in November 2001, November 2004 and November 2006. From 2006 it has been conducted annually.

The survey was redesigned in 2001 to better reflect changes in the Australian labour market. The scope of the survey was limited to people aged 15–69 years. From 2004 onwards, the scope includes all people aged 15 years and over.

A change was made in 2007 to the concept used to determine people who worked on a contract basis.


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:

Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) - refer to Appendix 2 for past articles
Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) - refer to the Cumulative list of articles for past articles
Year Book Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 1301.0) - the 'Labour' chapter includes a feature article on Forms of Employment
Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) - Chapter 21.3 Forms of Employment.


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.