Job Search Experience

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    The Job Search Experience survey examines the job search experience of unemployed persons, with particular focus on two key aspects - steps taken to find work, and barriers encountered in finding work. It also provides information about employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months, the steps taken to attain work and their current job details.


    Data from the survey are used in formulating policies in areas such as labour market assistance, and control and review mechanisms for unemployment benefit payments.


    This survey is conducted as part of the Monthly Population Survey, which comprises the Labour Force Survey and, in most months, a supplementary survey topic.

    Scope - Labour Force Survey

    The Labour Force Survey includes all persons aged 15 and over except:

    • members of the permanent defence forces;
    • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated populations;
    • overseas residents in Australia; and
    • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia.

    Scope - Job Search Experience (JSE)

    The JSE survey also excludes students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons. The survey only covers those who were unemployed in July and persons employed in July who started their current job in the previous 12 months.

    Coverage - Labour Force Survey

    In the Labour Force Survey, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection. The chance of a person being enumerated at two separate dwellings in the one survey is considered to be negligible.

    Persons who are away from their usual residence for six weeks or less at the time of interview are enumerated at their usual residence (relevant information may be obtained from other usual residents present at the time of the survey).


    Conceptual framework

    The survey presents data on the two populations: Unemployed persons and Employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months.

    Main outputs

    Population 1: Unemployed persons
    Population 2: Employed persons who started that job in the previous 12 months

    State or territory of usual residence
    Area of usual residence
    Region of usual residence
    Marital status
    Relationship in household
    Country of birth and period of arrival

    Age group (years)
    Level of highest educational attainment
    Level of highest non-school qualification
    Highest year of school completed
    Highest non-school educational qualification and whether qualification obtained overseas or in Australia
    Number of jobs started in previous 12 months
    Steps taken to find work/attain job
    Whether looking for full-time or part-time work
    Number of hours of work sought
    Duration of current period of unemployment
    Whether registered with Centrelink as a job seeker
    All steps taken to find work
    Active steps taken to find work
    Active steps taken to find work while registered with Job Network employment agency
    Whether registered with a Job Network employment agency
    Number of offers of employment in the current period of unemployment
    All difficulties in finding work
    Main difficulty in finding work
    Number of spells of looking for work in the previous 12 months
    Time spent looking for work in the previous 12 months
    Whether has ever worked
    Status in employment in last job
    Occupation of last job
    Industry of last job
    Whether worked full-time or part-time in last job
    Duration of last job
    Reason for ceasing last job
    Whether has job to go to lasting two weeks or more
    Whether out of work prior to starting last job
    Whether first job ever held
    All steps taken to attain job
    Whether jobseeker approached employer
    Whether had prior knowledge that job was available
    Role of job network in job attainment
    Month started job
    Duration of looking for work before being offered job
    Occupation of current job
    Full-time or part-time status of current employment
    Whether prefers to work more hours that usually works


    Demographics: State, Area, Region, Sex, Marital Status, Relationship in Household, Period of Arrival and Age.

    Country of Birth: The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC).

    Occupation: Australian Standard Classification of Occupations Second Edition (ASCO SE).

    Industry: Australia and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).

    Educational attainment: Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED).

    Other concepts (summary)

    Not applicable

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Part of State Metropolitan
    Part of State Extra-Metropolitan

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Not all data available for all areas.


    Frequency comments


    Initial collection: Job Search Experience, July 2002. Collected annually.

    Job Search Experience was the combination of two collections: Job search Experience of Unemployed Persons (cat. no. 6222.0) which was last run in July 2001 and Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience (cat. no. 6245.0) which was last run in July 2000.


    Data availability comments

    Publication Job Search Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6222.0)

    10/02/2004 04:33 PM