This topic provides information about the occupation of employed people aged 15 years or over, in the main job they held in the week before Census Night.
Information about occupation is required for a wide range of social and economic policy and planning purposes. Detailed occupation data is needed to analyse current and potential imbalances in the supply and demand for labour with varying skills at the national, regional and local area levels. Occupation data are also used to provide measures of socioeconomic status at the small area level.
Occupation is derived using two questions, asking for occupation title and details of the main tasks performed.
A variety of questions on occupation has been included in all previous Censuses. Occupation data were coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) for the first time in 1986. An additional question on the main tasks or duties that a person usually performs in his or her job was included in 1986 to assist in the coding of occupations at the unit group level. For the 1996 and 2001 Censuses, the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0) was used to code occupation data.
For the 2006 Census, occupation data were dual coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0) and also the revised classification Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (cat. no. 1220. 0). Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, Revision 1 (cat. no. 1220.0) was used to code data from the 2011 Census and Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0) will be used to code data from the 2016 Census.
Minor changes have been made to the dot point instructions for the occupation questions for the 2016 Census in order to update the general examples and also include more specific response examples for the categories of public servants and managers.
A further refinement of this topic for the 2016 Census is the introduction of targeted supplementary questions for those responding on the online form which will clarify responses for occupation and also facilitate more accurate coding to lower levels of the classification. Online respondents will be sequenced to the supplementary questions when they enter a trigger word (e.g. manager).
The following questions are from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.