Quality declaration - summary
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.
This collection presents information about the labour force status and other characteristics of families. The information is based on data collected in the national monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).
The Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families is based on data collected from the Labour Force Survey held in June each year.
The Labour Force Survey is based on a sample of private dwellings (approximately 26,000 houses, flats etc) and non-private dwellings, such as hotels and motels. The sample covers about 0.32% of the Australian civilian population aged 15 years or over. The Labour Force Survey is designed primarily to provide estimates of key labour force statistics for the whole of Australia and, secondarily, for each state and territory.
Annual family estimates are produced from the data collected in the June Labour Force Survey, but do not include people interviewed in non-private dwellings and those who were visitors to private dwellings. Those included in the estimates covered 80% of the survey sample for 2019.
Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error.
Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.
Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three (66%) that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about 19 chances in 20 (95%) that the difference will be less than two standard errors.
Standard errors are discussed further in Technical Note - Data Quality. The standard error of annual family estimates may be calculated by using the spreadsheet contained in Labour Force Survey Standard Errors, Data Cube, Feb 2014 (cat. no. 6298.0.55.001).
The ABS has been producing the Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families since November 1974.
From October 2008, the method of producing family estimates from the Labour Force Survey was improved to include the following:
- an expanded scope to include households containing permanent members of the Australian defence forces that are usually excluded from labour force estimates;
- an increased range of families in the LFS sample contributing to the family estimates; and
- improvements to the weighting method by utilising independent population benchmarks (of persons and households), ensuring the estimates more closely reflect the Australian population.
The estimates are calculated in such a way as to sum to independent counts of persons and households (benchmarks). These benchmarks are updated based on Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data. Generally, revisions are made to benchmarks following the final rebasing of population estimates to the latest five-yearly Census of Population and Housing.
For all three years in this release, estimates have been compiled using benchmarks that have been rebased to the results of the 2016 Census. These benchmarks have been revised to include the ERP data as at June 2019. For more details on population benchmarks, see the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia
(cat. no. 6202.0).
The Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families release contains a summary of findings to aid interpretation of the results. Explanatory notes, a technical note, a glossary are also included to further aid in the interpretation. Details of the methodology and concepts used are also provided in a separate Information Paper: Improvements to Family Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2008
(cat. no. 6224.0.55.002).
A number of spreadsheets are available from the Downloads tab of this publication. They present tables of estimates and their corresponding relative standard errors (RSEs).
For users who wish to undertake more detailed analysis, the underlying microdata is available in ABS TableBuilder. For more details, refer to Microdata, Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Australia
(cat. no. 6224.0.00.001). For more information see also About TableBuilder
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or via email to email@example.com.