1144.0 - Directory of Mining Statistics, 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/12/2006   
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Contents >> Mining - Employment >> Labour Force Survey

Labour Force Survey

Contact Officer
Labour Force Estimates
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Locked Bag 10

Telephone: Canberra 02 6252 6525
Facsimile: Canberra 02 6252 7784
Email: client.services@abs.gov.au
Web site: <www.abs.gov.au>

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a monthly survey which collects information about the labour force status and other characteristics of the usually resident civilian population aged 15 and over. Estimates of employment, unemployment, unemployment rate and labour force participation rate are published.

LFS data are a key element of labour market and other economic information provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The principal objective is to facilitate the analysis and monitoring of social and economic aspects of the Australian labour market and working-age population. This objective is achieved by providing timely statistics of the size and characteristics of the civilian labour force gained from the LFS and associated supplementary surveys.

The LFS provides a measure of the currently economically active population (i.e. the labour force). The labour force is so defined as to be conceptually equivalent to the pool of labour available for the production of economic goods and services as defined for System of National Accounts measures of economic output. The System of National Accounts is an international standard for presenting national accounts.

The labour force framework classifies the population into three mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories: employed, unemployed and not in the labour force. The employed and unemployed categories together make up the labour force, or the currently active population. The third category (not in the labour force) represents the population not currently economically active.

The survey is based on a multistage area sample of private dwellings (currently about 30,000 houses, flats, etc.) and a list sample of non-private dwellings (hotels, motels, etc.), and covers about 0.5% of the population of Australia. The information is obtained from the occupants of selected dwellings by specially trained interviewers.

Main data detail
Data items available include:

  • civilian population aged 15 and over by sex;
  • labour force status;
  • age (single years for persons aged 15 to 24 years);
  • marital status;
  • hours worked;
  • average hours worked;
  • full-time/part-time workers;
  • participation rates;
  • attendance at school or tertiary education institution;
  • country of birth;
  • year of arrival in Australia; and
  • duration of unemployment.

Some estimates are available in original, seasonally adjusted and trend terms.

Estimates for employed persons classified by Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) Division, occupation and status in employment are available for each February, May, August and November.

Geographic coverage
While the LFS is designed primarily to produce reliable estimates at the national, state and territory levels, it also delivers estimates for a number of regions within states - there are 77 such regions across Australia. However, some estimates for regions within states may not be available due to confidentiality restrictions and the reliability of the estimates.

Frequency of data availability

Reference period
The reference period is the week starting on the Monday and ending on the Sunday preceding the interview week. Interviews generally commence on the first Monday between the sixth and the twelfth of each month. Interviews are conducted over two consecutive one-week periods. Consequently there are two reference weeks for each survey.

Historical data
Data are available on a monthly basis from February 1978.

Products and services available

  • Special data services are available on request.

Example of information available

Aug 2001
Nov 2001
Feb 2002
May 2002


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