2008.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, Australia, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/08/2015   
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This topic classifies people aged 15 years and over as being employed, unemployed or not in the labour force, during the week before Census night. Information about the labour force participation levels is essential for a wide range of social and economic policy and planning purposes.


Information on labour force status, and status in employment, has been obtained in every Census since 1911. In recent Censuses, respondents were asked to answer a series of questions from which labour force status was derived.

Since the 1996 Census, a question about availability of the person to start work has been included so that counts of unemployed people in the Census are more comparable with data collected in the ABS Monthly Labour Force Survey.

A change has been made to the wording of the initial question for the 2016 Census for simplification and to improve data quality. Specifically, the reference to full-time and part-time working arrangements has been removed from the question itself (previously 'Last week, did the person have a full-time or part-time job of any kind?') and incorporated into the appropriate dot point instruction.

For the 2016 Census, the question about active job seeking has been re-formatted slightly to emphasise and clarify the 'active' component.


The following questions are from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.

Image: questions 34, 35, 36 and 37 from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.
Image: questions 46 and 47 from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.