500TH ISSUE OF 6202.0
The release of January 2018 estimates marks the 500th issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). While the Labour Force Survey began, as a quarterly survey, in November 1960, the first publication dedicated solely to the results from the Labour Force Survey began with the release of the February 1969 issue of The Labour Force (cat. no. 6203.0).
During 1972, a new sample design based on the results from the 1971 Census was introduced into the Labour Force Survey. This process resulted in delays to the publication of estimates for November 1972 and February 1973. In order to provide timely estimates for these two periods, the ABS published The Labour Force, Preliminary Statement (cat. no. 6202.0) on 28 May 1973. This new publication featured a summary of preliminary estimates from the November 1972 and February 1973 surveys, months ahead of the full report.
Producing a preliminary publication ahead of the full quarterly report proved to be so popular that the ABS continued to publish Labour Force results in this manner on a quarterly basis until November 1977.
In February 1978 the frequency of the survey and publications increased to monthly and the Labour Force Survey was given greater prominence as the official national measure of unemployment.
Given this prominence, increasing emphasis was placed on the release of 6202.0, and the content of this publication expanded considerably over time. This eventually culminated in the 6203.0 publication, increasingly considered a lesser second release publication, being discontinued in February 2003, after 337 issues. The 6202.0 publication was renamed “Labour Force” in the April 2003 issue and is now the primary source for results from the Labour Force Survey.
To mark this special milestone, the ABS has produced special edition PDFs containing images of the front page of all 500 issues of 6202.0.