6310.0 - Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2013 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2014  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 Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey collects a range of information about employees, including weekly earnings of employees, their leave entitlements (paid holiday, paid sick, paid long service and paid maternity/paternity leave), superannuation contributions made by employer on behalf of employee, benefits and trade union membership. The collection of a range of socio-demographic and labour force characteristics makes the datasets produced from the survey extremely valuable for comparing and analysing the distribution of both weekly earnings and employment benefits across employees. Data are used in the development and review of wages and labour market policies, and in wage negotiation processes. The survey is the only reliable source of data on the distribution of trade union members by socio-demographic and labour force characteristics.


The Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership (EEBTUM) Survey is conducted annually in August as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Results from this survey are released approximately nine months after the completion of enumeration (ie. during May) in the publication Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey (cat. no. 6310.0.


Estimates from the Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership 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 Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for state and capital city/balance of state, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. Relative Standard Errors for all estimates in the publication are available in the Technical Note.


The ABS has been conducting the Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey since 1999. Prior to 1999 this publication was titled Weekly Earnings of Employees (Distribution), Australia (cat. no. 6310.0). Key changes made to the Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey include:

  • In 2013, the ability to collect information via an online form.
  • The 2009 Employee Benefits module that captured information on employment benefits received in the last 12 months was not collected in 2010. As a result a number of data items presented in the 2009 publication are not available in the 2010 publication.
  • From 2009, additional information, relating to the number of hours that a respondent's last pay period covered in their main job, was used in the imputation process.
  • A new population, 'Employees who were trade union members', is included from 2009. This population provides information about employees who were members of a trade union, not necessarily in connection with their main job.
  • The 2009 Employee Benefits module of the EEBTUM survey was redeveloped to better capture information on current employment benefits received in the last 12 months, including transport to and from work, communication and/or IT devices and child care, as well as salary sacrifice arrangements.
  • In 2007, a change was made to the concept of earnings being measured to include amounts salary sacrificed. Employees are now asked to include salary sacrifice when estimating their earnings. In previous years this was not the case.
  • Since August 2004, imputation has been used for cases where main job or second job earnings were not provided by the respondent. The current imputation method has been used since the 2005 survey.
  • A change was made in 2002 to the method used to determine whether an employee works full-time or part-time in their main job.
  • Generally, revisions are made to population benchmarks after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing (Census), however revisions were made to the population benchmarks from July 2010, including those used for the 2010 Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey, to reflect revisions to Estimated Resident Population.

For more information on changes to the survey see Chapter 21.2 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).

As foreshadowed in the information paper, Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review (cat. no. 6107.0), this is the final issue of Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia publication.

This publication will be replaced by a new publication titled Characteristics of Employment, Australia (cat. no. 6333.0). The first release of 6333.0 will be in respect of August 2014 and will be released in mid 2015.

Employee earnings measures are also available from Average Weekly Earnings, Australia (cat. no. 6302.0) and Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia (cat. no. 6306.0).


The Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership 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, Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia (cat. no. 6310.0), 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.

Additional tables in spreadsheet format with time series data are also available from the ABS website.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070 or contact Labour Force and Supplementary Survey Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.