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Understanding Place of Work Data
People use Place of Work data for a variety of reasons, including when making assessments of public transport needs, commuting distance and environmental related aspects of travelling, as well as for assessing local opportunities for work. Census is the only data source for which this specific information is available Australia wide on a small area basis. Place of Work information is only applicable to the 10.1 million people in employment in the week before Census night.
Method of Travel to Work provides information on the transport methods employed people aged 15 years or over used to get to work on Census day itself. On the Census household form respondents were able to record up to three different responses for method of transport. However, it should be noted that the majority of people only listed one transport, with only around 3.8% of respondents having listed multiple modes of transport. One exception was walking which is only included where walking was the sole method of transport to work, e.g. a person who wrote catching the train then walking to work would be listed simply as catching the train to work.
Interpreting the Data
The data items related to Place of Work all have different time references. This can have major implications when considering how to interpret the data.
Example 1: A person ‘walked’ to Brisbane from the Gold Coast
A person spent the night before the Census in Brisbane with a friend and then walked to work in Brisbane City. After work she caught a train back to her parent's home on the Gold Coast (which she regarded as her usual place of residence) on the evening of Census night, which was the location where she was enumerated.
Example 2: 'Caught a ferry to Alice Springs from Manly’
A person mainly worked in Alice Springs during the week prior to the Census. However the person could have either:
Which to use: Area of Enumeration or Place of Usual Residence?
Both Area of Enumeration and Place of Usual Residence are valid ways of determining place of origin but they will tell you different things. Some things to think about are:
Please see Place of Enumeration vs Place of Usual Residence for further information.
Why am I not getting any data?
It may be possible that there are no people who usually reside in one particular area and who work in another particular area. This is particularly so if you are cross-classifying Place of Work data with other variables such as occupation, industry and method of travel to work.
I am trying to get a reasonable comparison with other survey data
Be careful of the geography you are using. If you are trying to compare to other surveys, double check the definition of the geography for each. The area of the 'postcode' of one may not necessarily match up with the ASGS.
My totals don't add up
Be careful when validating against employed totals. Reasons for figures not adding up include:
Place of Work data has been produced since 1971, however the destination zones have been redefined on each occasion to take into account changes and growth within each state and territory. Therefore data is not comparable across Censuses. Other reasons include:
I want to cross-tabulate Place of Work with other geographies.
A table cross-referencing SA2 of origin (Place of Usual Residence) by SA2 of destination (Place of Work) for all of Australia should be avoided due to its size and difficulties in processing. A similar table could be attempted at a state level with additional cross-border SA2s added in. Areas that are smaller than an SA2 should not be cross-tabulated with Place of Work even at a state level.
Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1) and destination zones should only be attempted for specific areas of interest.
It is important to calculate cell counts before attempting a Place of Work table as they can very easily exceed the maximum table size recommendation of being equal to or less than the target population (i.e. employed persons, or a subset thereof).
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2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/05/2018 First Issue