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 provides information about the employment status, in their main job, of people aged 15 years and over who were employed in the week before Census Night. Respondents are asked whether they were an employee, owner manager of an incorporated or unincorporated enterprise (with a breakdown regarding whether the business had employees) or a contributing family worker. Information about status in employment is essential for a wide range of social and economic policy and planning purposes. The information is particularly important for distinguishing between employees and those who are self-employed.


Data on status in employment has been obtained in every Census since 1911. Changes were made to the Status in employment question for the 2001 Census to enable more accurate collection of data. These changes included the addition of an explanatory dot point for persons working in their own limited liability company and changes to response categories.

For the 2006 Census, the Status in employment questions were changed to make them more consistent with those used in the Labour Force Survey, and to provide more detail on people working in their own businesses.

Four questions on the Census form feed into this topic. For 2016, Question 37 has been changed so that owner managers are now instructed to exclude themselves from the count of the number of people they employ.

For the 2016 Census, the output classification for this topic and the former Employment type topic have been combined into one: Status in employment. This decision was made following a review of labour statistics standards. This means that Employment type is no longer treated as a separate topic in the Census, but information on Employment type will continue to be collected and released.


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.