6226.0.00.001 - Microdata: Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/08/2020   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All

This document was added or updated on 07/07/2021.

Data and file structure

Survey methodology

General information about the Participation, Job Search and Mobility (PJSM) survey, including summary results, are available in the publication Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6226.0).

Detailed information about the survey including scope and coverage, survey design, data collection methodology, weighting, estimation and benchmarking, estimate reliability and a glossary can be accessed from the Methodology page of the publication.


Data items

The data items included in the PJSM TableBuilder are grouped under broad headings and subheadings as shown in the image below. A complete data items list can be accessed from the
Downloads tab.



File structure

The underlying format of the PJSM TableBuilder file is structured at a single person level. This person level contains general demographic information such as age, sex and country of birth as well details about underemployed workers, persons not in the labour force, unemployed persons and educational qualifications.

When tabulating data from TableBuilder, person weights are automatically applied to the underlying sample counts to provide the survey's population estimates.


Reference year

The PJSM TableBuilder contains a mandatory field called Reference year to allow for historical analysis. By default this field will be present in any new table as per the image below:

image showing the reference year item as the default field in the table

Individual years can be removed from the table using the data item panel by selecting the required year and removing it from the table as per the image below:

Image showing how to select difference reference years

However, at least one category (reference year) of the mandatory field must be present in a table for TableBuilder to retrieve data.


Not applicable categories

Most data items included in the TableBuilder file include a 'Not applicable' category. This category generally represents the number of people who were not asked a particular question or the number of people excluded from the population for a data item when that data were derived (e.g. Hours usually worked in main job is not applicable for unemployed persons or persons not in the labour force).


From 2021, The "Not applicable" categories in each item now have a descriptive label to describe which populations are not included for the data item. For example, in the data item “Main difficulty in finding work,” the “Not applicable” category has been labelled as “Did not look for work” to indicate that only people who looked for work were asked about any difficulties in finding work.


Table populations


The population relevant to each data item should be kept in mind when extracting and analysing data. The actual population count for each data item is equal to the total cumulative frequency minus the 'Not applicable' category.

Generally, some populations can be 'filtered' using other relevant data items. For example, if the population of interest is 'Employed', any data item with that population (excluding the 'Not applicable' category) could be used.



Zero value cells

Tables generated from sample surveys will sometimes contain cells with zero values because no respondents that satisfied the parameters of a particular cell in a table were in the survey. This is despite there being people in the general population with those characteristics. This is an example of sampling variability which occurs with all sample surveys. Relative standard errors cannot be generated for zero cells.


Historical microdata in DataLab

Prior to 2014, microdata relating to labour mobility was released in a number of Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs). These files are now available in ABS DataLab

For more information about these microdata releases, refer to the following archived publications:


Back to top of the page