3414.0 - Guide to Migrant Statistical Sources, 2011 (Edition 2)  
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Labour Mobility Survey


The Labour Mobility Survey (LMS) is conducted as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey. The survey was first conducted in November 1972 and has been conducted biennially since February 1992.

The LMS provides detailed information about people who, over a twelve month period, either had a change of employer/business in their main job, or had some change in work with their current employer/business for whom they had worked for one year or more.

Data from the survey relates to people aged 15 years and over, and provides information for those who had a change in employer/business or some change in work. A change in employer/business refers to people who were employed at the time of the survey, had ceased working with one employer/business and started working with another employer/business in relation to their main job. A change in work refers to employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises), who had been with their current employer/business for one year or more and over a twelve month period had experienced some change in work, which can include a promotion, a transfer to a different position, a change in the number of usual hours worked and/or a change in occupation. A change in work for owner managers refers to a change in the number of usual hours worked only.

The survey is the only source of data on labour force mobility over a twelve month period and (in conjunction with the Labour Force Experience Survey) is a major source of data for analysing the dynamic nature of the labour force.

Data items contained within these topics are capable of being cross classified with Data Items Relevant to Migrants and Ethnicity and other data items such as age, sex and educational attainment.



  • 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
  • Country of birth and period of arrival
    • Born in Australia
    • Born overseas
      • Arrived before 1971
      • Arrived 1971 to 1980
      • Arrived 1981 to 1990
      • Arrived 1991 to 2000
      • Arrived 2001 to survey date


A full list of data items collected for the LMS is available in Labour Mobility, Australia (cat. no. 6209.0).

Information about a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) is available at Labour Force Survey and Labour Mobility, Australia: Basic CURF, Technical Manual, Feb 2006 (cat. no. 6202.0.30.005).

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) or visit the Labour Mobility entry in the Directory of Statistical Sources.


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