3414.0 - Guide to Migrant Statistical Sources, 2011 (Edition 2)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2011   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation


Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation (BILFP) data are compiled from the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS), conducted throughout Australia during the 2008-09 financial year (from July 2008 to June 2009) as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey. Similar data were also collected in the 2006-07 financial year (excluding August and September 2006) and between August 2004 and June 2005. The BILFP data series focuses on people who are 18 years and over who are either not employed or work less than 16 hours a week. The data collected provide information on the potential labour force and the characteristics of that potential labour force.

BILFP data are used to obtain a better understanding of the factors that influence people to join or leave the labour force. By knowing the barriers people face to joining the labour force or taking up (more) employment, a range of incentives to labour force participation can be indirectly identified.

Topics covered by the BILFP data include education; unpaid activities; labour force characteristics; current main job details; previous job details; and information about persons who want to work (more), who are available to work (more), who are looking for (more) work, and the difficulties of finding (more) work. Other topics include current details income; partner's income details; household income; superannuation contributions; and retirement and retirement intentions. Data items within these topics are capable of being cross classified with Data Items Relevant to Migrants and Ethnicity.

BILFP data were collected as a topic within the MPHS along with the Retirement and Retirement Intentions topic.



  • Country of birth
    Note: Country of birth is collected as a core data item in the Labour Force Survey. Although individual country of birth is collected, standard outputs for this data item are usually aggregated to one of the following formats:
    • Born in Australia
    • Born overseas
      • Born in main English-speaking countries
      • Born in other than main English-speaking countries
    • Born in Australia
    • Born overseas
      • Oceania and Antarctica
      • North-West Europe
      • Southern and Eastern Europe
      • North Africa and the Middle East
      • South-East Asia
      • North-East Asia
      • Southern and Central Asia
      • Americas
      • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Period of arrival
    • Born overseas
      • Arrived before 1971
      • Arrived 1971 to 1980
      • Arrived 1981 to 1990
      • Arrived 1991 to 2000
      • Arrived 2001 to survey date
      Note: Year of arrival collected in single years

The following data items contain the variable 'Difficulties with language or ethnic background':
  • All reasons not looking for work/more hours
  • Main reason not looking for work/more hours
  • All difficulties finding work/more hours
  • Main difficulty finding work/more hours


A full list of data items collected for BILFP is available in Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Australia (cat. no. 6239.0). This list applies to the data compiled from the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS).

Further details on scope, geographic coverage, data availability and publications, methodology, classifications and concepts are available in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service.

Phone: 1300 135 070
Fax: 1300 135 211
Post: Client Services, ABS, GPO Box 796, Sydney 2001
Email: client.services@abs.gov.au