5204.0 - Australian System of National Accounts, 2005-06  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/11/2006   
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Spotlight on National Accounts
Implementing New Estimates of Hours Worked into the Australian National Accounts
Other Releases


On 15 November 2006, the ABS will release the first issue of a new product, Spotlight on National Accounts (cat. no. 5202.0). Spotlight on National Accounts will consist of a relatively short piece of analysis that will focus on a particular theme. The themes to be explored aim to:

  • Provide users with increased understanding of the national accounts and associated ABS products
  • Provide statistical information on the underlying causes of certain economic phenomena
  • Inform users of improvements to concepts, sources and methods used in the National Accounts.

Producing Spotlights on National Accounts based on these aims will help expand users understanding of the compilation of the national accounts and their relationship to other statistics published by the ABS.

The first Spotlight on National Accounts will focus on 'Broader measures of progress other than Gross domestic product (GDP)'.

Spotlight on National Accounts will be a web-based product released on an irregular basis. The web-base nature of the product will allow hyper-linking to more detailed information currently available on the ABS website.

It is anticipated that over the next 12 months there will be four to six releases of Spotlight on National Accounts. The future topics may include an overview of the Household saving ratio, analysis of quarterly Labour productivity and a description of Mining related statistics.


The Information Paper: Implementing New Estimates of Hours Worked into the Australian National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0.55.003) has been released concurrently with the 2005–06 release of this publication. The ABS publishes indexes of hours worked in annual and quarterly national accounts. These indexes capture underlying trends in hours worked and are derived from estimates of hours actually worked by employed people. The ABS Labour Force Survey (LFS) provide the basic data from which these indexes are constructed. The hours worked indexes published in the National Accounts are important indicators in their own right as well as being fundamental building blocks required to estimate the indexes of labour productivity and multifactor productivity that are also updated and published annually in the this publication. Improving these measures is a key part of the ongoing productivity research program to expand and enhance ABS productivity measures.

Over the past year, the ABS has considered options for improving the methodology used for estimating total hours worked and average hours worked per employee. This work has focused on improving the annual measures of both total and average hours worked.

This paper describes both the previous and new methods used for estimating hours worked and gives an overview of the effect of the change on the hours worked index and related productivity indexes.


Related national accounts products to be released in the remainder of 2006 include:

Australian National Accounts, State Accounts, 2005–06 (cat. no. 5220.0) on 10 November

Information Paper: Changes to Spreadsheets for the Annual National Accounts on 27 November

Research Paper: A Supply and Use Model for Editing the Quarterly National Accounts, Australia (cat. no. 5258.0) on 1 December

Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0) on 6 December

Australian National Accounts: Financial Accounts (cat. no. 5232.0) on 22 December.