8175.0 - Counts of Australian Business Operators, 2011 to 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2013   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Counts of Australian Business Operators (CABO) includes information from two data sources.

The Forms of Employment Survey (FOES) collects a range of information on some of the key factors relating to the nature of employment arrangements in the Australian labour market. The survey also presents information about different types of employment which can be cross-classified by characteristics such as hours worked, industry and occupation and demographic characteristics.

The Australian Census of Population and Housing (Census) is the official count of population and dwellings and collects details of age, sex, and other characteristics of the population. The Census aims to measure the number and key characteristics of people in Australia on Census Night. All people in Australia on Census Night are in scope, except foreign diplomats and their families. Visitors to Australia are counted regardless of how long they have been in the country or how long they plan to stay. Australian residents not in the country on Census Night are out of scope of the Census.

This publication provides occupation and industry data for people aged 15 years and over who are employed.


The FOES is conducted annually during November as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The data in the this release, the Counts of Australian Business Operators, relates to November 2012.

The Census and Statistics Act requires the Australian Statistician to conduct a Census of Population and Housing on a regular basis; since 1961 a Census has been held every 5 years. The 2011 Census is the 16th national Census for Australia and was held on the night of 9 August 2011. For the 2011 Census, the Working Population Profile, which included components of the data contained in the Counts of Australian Business Operators publication, was release on the 20 November 2012.


Estimates from the FOES are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the size of the sampling error affecting an estimate, i.e. the error introduced by basing estimates on a sample of the population rather than the full population. Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data.

The FOES was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for state and capital city/balance, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. RSEs for all estimates in the publication are available in the Technical Note (T1, T2).

The Australian Census of Population and Housing is self-enumerated. This means that householders are required to complete the Census form themselves. The Census form may be completed by one household member on behalf of others. Error can be introduced if the respondent does not understand the question, or does not know the correct information about other household members. Self-enumeration carries the risk that wrong answers could be given, either intentionally or unintentionally. Therefore the Census data presented in the CABO publication may be subject to non-sampling error. While these data are not subject to sampling error users should be aware of the issue of undercount which impacts on Census (estimated at approximately 1.7%).

It should be noted that the issue of undercount in the 2011 Census is not an issue particular to the production of business operator counts. It is an issue which relates to Census data per se, and can be associated with the scope, coverage, timing, measurement of underlying concepts and methodologies used in the 2011 Census. The ABS has published an article which examines these issues in more detail.

For further information, refer to the paper entitled Census of Population and Housing - Details of Undercount, 2011 (cat. no. 2940.0).


This is the second release of Counts of Australian Business Operators. As such, time-series analysis is not possible and users should exercise caution when making comparisons with previous ABS business operators data.

Information on coherence within the FOES data can be found in the more detailed Forms of Employment (cat. no. 6359.0) publication.

Information on the coherence within the Census data can be found in the more detailed Census of Population and Housing releases.


The more detailed Forms of Employment (cat. no. 6359.0) publication contains tables and a Summary of Findings to aid interpretation of the results of the survey.

Detailed information relating the Census is contained within the Census of Population and Housing releases.


The main product from compilation product is the PDF publication, Counts of Australian Business Operators, Australia (cat. no. 8175.0), released electronically via the ABS website. Additional data may be available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors, and in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070.