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This document was added or updated on 26/05/2020.
ANNUAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SURVEY AND QUARTERLY BUSINESS INDICATORS SURVEY
EAS estimates are cross classified by industry sub-division, business size and state/territory.
QBIS data are published quarterly in Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0), which was fully implemented in the March quarter 2001. QBIS estimates exclude micro non-employing businesses.
The main series published in Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0) include quarterly estimates of inventories, sales of goods and services, company profits before income tax, company gross operating profits, wages and salaries, and selected operating ratios.
These data are classified by:
Employment is defined in the EAS as the number of persons working for businesses during the last pay period ending in June of the financial year. Employment includes working proprietors and partners, employees absent on paid or prepaid leave, employees on workers' compensation who continue to be paid through the payroll, and contract workers paid through the payroll. Excluded are persons paid by commission only, non-salaried directors and volunteers. Self-employed persons such as consultants and contractors are excluded from selected businesses to avoid double counting, as they have their own chance of selection on the survey frame. See the section: Employment for further information on the concept of employment, and on definitions of employment used in ABS household and business surveys.
Employment is not published in Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0).
The businesses that contribute to the EAS are classified:
The scope of the EAS includes all employing businesses in the Australian economy except for:
Government owned or controlled Public Non-Financial Corporations are included.
The businesses that contribute to the QBIS are classified to:
Data for the EAS are collected directly by online electronic collection on an annual basis. It is based on a random sample of approximately 20,000 units which is stratified by industry and business size. Non-response is kept to a minimum by the use of intensive follow-up. Businesses that do not respond by the due date are initially sent reminder letters and then followed up by telephone.
The EAS reference period is the year ending 30 June. Although financial data estimates relate to the full twelve months, employment estimates relate to the last pay period ending in June of the given year. As a result, estimates of wages and salaries per person employed may be affected by any fluctuations in employment during the reference period. EAS respondents are asked to provide data on the same basis as their income statement and balance sheet.
The QBIS is collected directly by online electronic collection on a quarterly basis. It is based on a random sample of approximately 15,500 units which is stratified by industry, state/territory and number of employees.
QBIS respondents are asked to provide data on the same basis as their own management accounts. Where a selected unit does not respond in a given survey period, a value is estimated. If data are subsequently provided, the estimated value is replaced with the reported data.
In order to minimise the load placed on providers, the strategy for the EAS is to use, as much as possible, information sourced from the ATO, thus reducing the size sample for direct collection. The frame (from which the direct collection sample is selected) is stratified using information held on the ABS Business Register. Businesses eligible for selection in the direct collect sample are then selected from the frame using stratified random sampling techniques.
Businesses are selected to participate in the EAS (the direct collection sample) only if they meet two criteria: their turnover exceeds a threshold level, or the business is identified as being an employing business (based on ATO information) during the reference period. Turnover thresholds are set for each ANZSIC class so that the contribution of surveyed businesses accounts for 97.5% of total industry class turnover, as determined by ATO Business Activity Statement (BAS) data. Businesses which meet neither of these criteria are referred to as 'micro non-employing businesses'. These businesses are not eligible for selection in the sample. For these units, data are modelled based on BAS data sourced from the ATO, then added to the directly collected estimates to produce industry statistics.
QBIS frames and samples are revised each quarter to ensure that they remain representative of the survey population. The timing for creating each quarter’s survey frame is consistent with that of other ABS business surveys, providing for greater consistency when comparing data across surveys.
Additionally, with these revisions to the QBIS sample, some of the units from the sampled sector are rotated out of the survey and are replaced by others, to spread the reporting workload equitably. Micro non-employing businesses are excluded from the QBIS.
Generalised regression estimation has been used since the 2006–07 EAS. This estimation method enables maximum use of observed linear relationships between data directly collected from businesses in the survey and auxiliary information. When the auxiliary information is strongly correlated with data items collected in a survey, the generalised regression estimation methodology will improve the accuracy of the estimates. The auxiliary variables used in the EAS are turnover and wages sourced from the BAS data.
Where possible, historical data are used for imputing non-responding units. Where units have not provided data previously or had not been selected in previous surveys, data is imputed based on BAS data sourced from the ATO or Live Respondent Mean is used. Clerical imputation is used where only partial responses are received.
Survey outliers are treated using the 'surprise outlier' or 'winsorised outlier' technique.
The estimation procedure includes new business provisions, which adjust estimates to allow for the time lag between businesses commencing operation and their inclusion on the ABS Business Register.
For further information on estimation methods used in ABS business surveys, refer to the section: Methods Used in ABS Business Surveys.
QBIS data are published as original, seasonally adjusted and trend estimates. For further information on estimation methods used in QBIS, refer to the Explanatory Notes in Business Indicators, Australia (ABS cat. no. 5676.0).
RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES
Estimates from the EAS are subject to both sampling and non-sampling error. The relative standard errors of EAS estimates are published in Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0).
Estimates from the QBIS are subject to both sampling and non-sampling error. The relative standard errors of QBIS estimates are published in Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0).
For further information on variance estimation techniques, or on sampling and non-sampling error, refer to the section: Overview of Survey Methods.
DATA COMPARABILITY OVER TIME: EAS
In order to provide a high degree of consistency and comparability over time, changes to survey methods, survey concepts, data item definitions, frequency of collection, and time series analysis methods are made as infrequently as possible. Significant changes to the EAS have included:
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6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Feb 2018
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/02/2018