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INSIGHTS FROM THE ORIGINAL DATA
The detailed decomposition of each of these movements is included in the data cube 'Insights From the Original Data'.
In considering the three components of the sample, it is important to remember that the matched common sample describes the change observed for the same respondents in December and November, while the other two components reflect differences between the aggregate labour force status of different groups of people.
While the rotation groups are designed to be representative of the population, the outgoing and incoming rotation groups will almost always have somewhat different characteristics, as a result of the groups representing a sample of different households and people. The design of the survey, including the weighting and estimation processes, ensures that these differences are generally relatively minor and seeks to ensure that differences in characteristics of rotation groups do not affect the representativeness of the survey and its estimates. Monthly estimates are always designed to be representative of their respective months, regardless of the relative contribution of the three components of the sample.
INCOMING ROTATION GROUP
In original terms, the incoming rotation group in January 2019 had a lower employment to population ratio (63.6% in December, down to 61.0% in January 2019) than the group it replaced, and was lower than the ratio for the entire sample (61.7%).
The full-time employment to population ratio of the incoming rotation group was lower than the group it replaced (43.6% in December, down to 42.6% in January 2019), and was lower than the ratio for the entire sample (42.8%).
The unemployment rate of the incoming rotation group was 1.0 pts higher than the whole sample (6.4%, compared to 5.4%), and it replaced a group with a lower rate (4.1%). Its participation rate was below that of the sample as a whole (65.2%, compared to 65.3%), and below the group it replaced (66.3% in December 2018).
OUTGOING ROTATION GROUP
In looking ahead to the February 2019 estimates, the outgoing rotation group in January 2019, which will be replaced by a new incoming rotation group in February 2019, has a higher employment to population ratio (62.8% in January 2019) than the sample as a whole (61.7%) in original terms. The full-time employment to population ratio (43.8%) is higher than the ratio for the entire sample (42.8%).
The unemployment rate for the outgoing rotation group in January 2019 is lower than the whole sample (4.5%, compared to 5.4%). The participation rate for the outgoing rotation group in January 2019 is higher than the sample as a whole (65.7%, compared to 65.3%).
THE IMPORTANCE OF TREND DATA
As the gross flows and rotation group data are presented in original terms they are not directly comparable to the seasonally adjusted and trend data discussed elsewhere in the commentary, and are included to provide additional information for the original data. Since the original data are unadjusted, they have a considerable level of inherent sampling variability, which is specifically adjusted for in the trend series. The trend data provides the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market and is the focus of the commentary in this publication.
ROTATION GROUP ANALYSIS FOR STATES AND TERRITORIES
In recent months, a number of users of this information have asked whether the ABS also undertakes state and territory rotation group analysis, given the above summaries generally focus analysis for the entire sample and the related national estimates.
In addition to analysis across the entire sample, the ABS also undertakes similar analysis for the responding sample in each state and territory each month, and highlights where there is a notable change for users to be aware of. For example, in the release of July 2018 data, on 16 August 2018, the ABS noted that “the rotation group effects in July 2018 were most pronounced in Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT.”
As for its reporting for the entire sample, where the ABS has not highlighted a notable incoming rotation group effect, any larger changes should therefore be considered to reflect a broader change across the sample.
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