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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 May and June, 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.
MANAGING COVID-19 IMPACTS ON THE INCOMING ROTATION GROUPS
With the suspension of face-to-face interviewing late in March 2020, and given the relative decrease in response in the incoming rotation group in April and May, the ABS boosted the size of sample for the June incoming rotation group. This resulted in an increased response level for the incoming rotation group in June, to around the same level as pre-COVID-19 rotation groups, with overall response remaining high.
The ABS has undertaken detailed sample decomposition analysis for the incoming rotation groups in April, May and June. All rotation groups have been used in the June 2020 Labour Force estimates, with an extra weighting treatment used to account for a small increase in non-response bias.
This weighting treatment will continue to be reviewed each month, as new data becomes available, and will result in some revisions to previous estimates. Revisions to estimates for May are most pronounced for Queensland estimates.
INCOMING ROTATION GROUP
In original terms, the incoming rotation group in June 2020 had a higher employment to population ratio than the group it replaced (60.0% in June 2020, compared to 58.5% in May 2020), and was higher than the sample as a whole (59.4%). The incoming rotation group had a higher full-time employment to population ratio than the group it replaced (41.3% in June 2020, compared to 41.2% in May 2020), and was higher than the sample as a whole (40.7%).
The incoming rotation group had a higher unemployment rate than the group it replaced (7.9% in June 2020, compared to 6.5% in May 2020), and was higher than the sample as a whole (7.2%). The incoming rotation group had a higher participation rate than the group it replaced (65.1% in June 2020, compared to 62.6% in May 2020), and was higher than the sample as a whole (64.0%).
OUTGOING ROTATION GROUP
In looking ahead to the July 2020 estimates, in original terms, the outgoing rotation group in June 2020, that will be replaced by a new incoming rotation group in July 2020, had an employment to population ratio in June 2020 of 58.9%, lower than the sample as a whole (59.4%). The outgoing rotation group in June 2020 had a lower full-time employment to population ratio (39.8%) than the sample as a whole (40.7%).
The outgoing rotation group in June 2020 had a lower unemployment rate (6.8%) compared to the sample as a whole (7.2%). The outgoing rotation group in June 2020 had a lower participation rate (63.2%) compared to the sample as a whole (64.0%).
COMPARABILITY WITH SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
As the gross flows and rotation group data are presented in original terms they are not directly comparable to the seasonally adjusted 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 usually specifically adjusted for in the trend series. While trend data usually provides the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market, in times of large changes in the labour market, seasonally adjusted data provides a better estimate of the most recent months. The ABS has temporarily suspended the trend series, until labour market indicators become more stable, see; 'Suspension of trend series and changes to seasonal adjustment during the COVID-19 period'.
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