6354.0 - Job Vacancies, Australia, May 2020 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/06/2020   
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SPOTLIGHT: JOB VACANCIES SURVEY METHODS DURING COVID-19

This spotlight outlines the impacts of the COVID-19 period on data collection and processing for the Job Vacancies Survey (JVS) May 2020 cycle, which had a reference date of Friday 15 May 2020.

No changes to questions or concepts
No changes were made to survey questions relating to published data items, and concepts remain consistent with previous cycles. The survey measures vacancies that are both (1) available for immediate filling on the reference date and (2) for which recruitment action has been taken.

High response
Target response rates were achieved nationally, as well as for each state and industry. To accurately account for the small number of businesses unable to respond this cycle, the existing JVS imputation processes were refined to incorporate JobKeeper information.

Changes to time series methods
Consistent with other ABS measures of labour market activity, the JVS trend series have been suspended until more certainty emerges in the underlying trend in job vacancies estimates over the COVID-19 period. Existing spreadsheets containing trend, seasonally adjusted and original data will continue to be published in the same format, however trend columns will be annotated 'not currently available due to break in time series', in line with other labour statistics releases.

During the COVID-19 period, the ABS will use forward seasonal factors to produce seasonally adjusted job vacancies estimates at the Australia level and for the public sector. Forward factor adjustments are generally better suited to managing large movements at the end point of a series and ensure that large movements do not have a disproportionate influence on the seasonal factors. Due to a non-seasonal span in the private sector series, the forward factor approach is not considered suitable and the concurrent adjustment method was retained for this series. For a more detailed discussion on the implications of unusual events on time series, see When it's not "business-as-usual": Implications for ABS Time Series.

Changes in Relative Standard Errors
The dramatic change in the number of job vacancies in the May 2020 cycle was also reflected in Relative Standard Error (RSE) increases, especially for the smaller industry divisions. This reflects the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 period, with extreme reductions in vacancies within the economy, rather than a reduction in the measurement precision of estimates.

Further information on methods
Additional information can be found in the Explanatory Notes for this release, or at labour.statistics@abs.gov.au.