6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Feb 2018  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/02/2018   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All

This document was added or updated on 26/05/2020.

LABOUR FORCE COMPARABILITY OVER TIME


    COMPARABILITY OVER TIME

    Frequency of collection, collection and sampling methods, concepts, data item definitions, classifications and time series analysis techniques are all subject to change or development. Some survey features are reviewed regularly, while others are changed as the need arises. Despite the overriding need for long-term comparability, sound survey practice requires careful and continuing maintenance and development to ensure the integrity of the data and the efficiency of the collection.

    While Labour Force Survey (LFS) publications in various forms exist for a period of over 50 years and provide documentation of changes in survey practice over that time, individual historical publications are not necessarily the best source for extraction of comparable historical data series. Apart from the regular revision of seasonally adjusted and trend series, and the five yearly population benchmark revisions, from time to time other revisions are made to maintain comparability after changes to questions and definitions.

    The primary sources for labour force series adjusted to the most current comparable basis are:
      • Labour Force Historical Timeseries, Australia, 1966 to 1984 (cat. no. 6204.0.55.001);
      • Labour Force Australia, Historical Summary 1966-1984 (cat. no. 6204.0) (for quarterly series from August 1966 to November 1977);
      • The Labour Force 1964 to 1968 Historical Supplement (Reference no. 6.22) (February 1964 to May 1966 data, original); and
      • The Labour Force 1977 (cat. no. 6204.0), for the last release of seasonally adjusted series for February 1964 to May 1966.

    In any given month, there are often additional elements that are useful to consider when analysing Labour Force data, such as changes in definitions and natural disasters. The major events and changes to the LFS (up to and including April 2020 data), which should be taken into account when analysing the data, are outlined below.

    Apr 2020

    From 22 March 2020, Australia saw the progressive introduction of major social distancing and other business-related restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Also, government support packages were announced, including changes to the mutual obligations of the JobSeeker program (announced on 24 March), and the temporary suspension of the requirement for people to actively look for work, and the JobKeeper wage subsidy (announced on 30 March).

    Labour Force Survey response remained high, with the small decline in response of less than 1,000 households largely concentrated within the incoming rotation group. Given the decrease in that group, the ABS made the decision to reduce the influence of the incoming rotation group.
    Given the extent of change in Labour Force time series, the ABS has temporarily suspended trend series and moved to using forward factors for seasonal adjustment.

    Mar 2020

    The ABS suspended face-to-face interviews during the last week of March 2020 enumeration, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no notable impact on survey collection operations or the quality of March data, with response to the survey at a similar level to previous months.

    Jan 2020
    • Bushfires resulted in disruption to ABS data collection operations within some regions in New South Wales and Victoria during January 2020. In New South Wales, the 'Capital Region', the 'Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven' region and the 'Mid North Coast' region and in Victoria within the 'Latrobe - Gippsland' region. These disruptions account for around 3.3% of the total NSW sample and 0.8% of the Victorian sample, resulting in slightly higher than usual survey non-response in these areas.
    • While no notable impact was observed, it is important to note that changes in Labour Force statistics between December 2019 and January 2020 (particularly changes in hours worked) may still be slightly understated or overstated.
    • Further analysis was undertaken after February and March data had been collected, that confirmed the disruption from the bushfires did not have a notable impact on key headline statistics and that no additional statistical interventions were required.
    • Some region level data for New South Wales and Victoria for January and February 2020 were not be published inLabour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery(cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) when initially released. Those months have been subsequently published.
    • Caution should be exercised in comparing estimates for these regions for January 2020 and February 2020 with estimates before and after these months, and in comparing these estimates with those for other regions.

    Feb 2019
    • Flooding in Townsville in February 2019 resulted in a major disruption to the operation of the Labour Force Survey, that resulted in a very low sample of responding households in the region. Due to the size of this disruption and to ensure the loss of sample did not affect data for Australia and Queensland, the ABS imputed sample for Townsville for February 2019. Imputation data was sourced from previous information that had recently been collected from people in Townsville. The imputation may have resulted in a slight overestimation of hours worked in Queensland in February 2019.
    • Users of the matched sample analysis should also exercise some caution when looking at Queensland data between January, February and March, given the effect of the imputation for Townsville.
    • During 2018, the ABS estimated that employed persons in Townsville accounted for around 1 per cent of all employed persons in Australia, around 4 per cent of employed persons in Queensland, and around 9 per cent of employed persons in the regions in Queensland outside of Brisbane.
    • Following the collection of March 2019 data from Townsville, the February data was re-assessed and has not been revised.
    • Following the collection of February 2020 data from Townsville, the ABS re-assessed this imputation and has not revised the imputed data. However, users of the Townsville data, and totals for ‘Rest of Queensland’ data, should still exercise some extra caution when looking at yearly and monthly movements.

    Oct 2018
    • The ABS identified an issue with some family coding, which has affected a range of key family estimates - particularly changes between June 2015 and June 2018. The issue is impacting on some variables in the four "relationship in household" products in Labour Force, Australia, Detailed – Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) – including pivot tables FM1-FM4, as well as the first time series spreadsheet, which contains estimates by social marital status.

    Sep 2018
    • Improvements in the approach to trend estimation were implemented for tables 22 and 23 as part of the September 2018 labour force release.

    Jul 2018
    • Improvements in the approach to trend estimation were implemented for tables 19 and 21 as part of the July 2018 labour force release, The timing coincided with the annual benchmarking of monthly hours worked.
    • The LFS sample moved to the 2016 Census for sample selection, with the new sample phased in over eight months from July 2018. Detailed information on the new sample, including the use of the ABS Address Register, can be found in Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Jul 2018 (cat. no. 6269.0), which was released on 30 July 2018.

    Feb 2018
    • Time Series Spreadsheets 24a and 24b did not include estimates for persons which a level of education could not be determined. This was corrected in the May 2018 issue.

    Dec 2017
    • Rebenchmarked labour force estimates for 2011-2017 released, based on preliminary 2016 Census-based population estimates.

    Mar 2017
    • The median data that were previously released in SuperTable data cubes have been converted to time series spreadsheets 14c, 14d, 14e and 16c, to reduce the complexity of pivot table products.
    • For datacube EQ08, in May 2017, there are two ANZSCO codes (8310 Food Process Workers nfd and 3990 Miscellaneous Technicians and Trades Workers nfd) that have not been included with their ANZSCO Major Group. This data appears at the bottom of the table and should be included when calculating totals for May 2017. This issue was corrected in the May 2018 issue.

    July 2016
    • Introduction of 12 month rolling averages for regional labour force estimates, and accompanying advice.

    Jan 2016
    • Introduction of 'Insights from the original data' commentary and accompanying spreadsheet; an enhanced approach to presenting sample decomposition for month-to-month movements.

    Dec 2015
    • Minor wording change to one question relating to the job search activity undertaken during the reference week. The question wording was updated to remove reference to the defunct 'Job Services Australia' program. The wording of "Job Services Australia provider or any other employment agency" was changed to "employment agency". Analysis confirmed there was no statistical impact from this change.

    Aug 2015
    • Commencement of quarterly population benchmark revisions, coinciding with the availability of updated benchmarks immediately prior to each quarter month (i.e. February, May, August and November).
    • For more information on the rebenchmarking methodology, see the February 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

    Jul 2015
    • Gross flow estimates were expanded to include the 'unmatched' components of the sample, for completeness.

    Mar 2015
    • Further refinement to the changes to the labour force seasonal adjustment methodology to account for the change in seasonal effects resulting from changes to the supplementary survey program. These changes were applied to the historical period prior to December 2013.

    Feb 2015
    • Labour force data for the period July 2011 to January 2015 were revised to reflect updated population benchmarks.

    Oct 2014
    • Changes made to the labour force seasonal adjustment methodology to account for the change in seasonal effects resulting from changes to the supplementary survey program, which were observed during the July-September 2014 period. These changes were applied to the period from December 2013. See articles in Labour Force, Australia, Oct 2014 and Labour Force, Australia, Nov 2014 (cat. no. 6202.0).

    Jul 2014
    • New questionnaire implemented. Minor definitional changes made to active job search steps and duration of unemployment.
    • For information on the changes made to the questionnaire, see Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, Jun 2014 (cat. no. 6292.0).

    April 2014
    • 100% of private dwellings were offered online self-completion.

    Feb 2014
    • Refined procedures for respondent follow-up introduced, resulting in expected response rates ranging between 93 to 95% each month (previously 95 to 97% each month). These procedures were introduced as part of a broader program of ABS work to enhance the cost effectiveness of its response follow-up strategies, while maintaining the high quality of its statistics.

    Jan 2014
    • Estimates compiled using population benchmarks aligned with ERP based on the 2011 Census. Data for the period June 1991 to December 2013 were revised to reflect the rebased population estimates. For more information, refer to the article ‘Rebenchmarking Labour Force Estimates to the 2011 Census of Population and Housing’.
    • Regional estimates produced at the Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) level of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), with data released on a consistent ASGS basis back to October 1998. Previous estimates were based on the 2006 Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). For more information on regional estimates, see Information Paper: Regional Labour Force Statistics, 2014 (cat. no. 6262.0).
    • Composite estimation was applied to all estimates from July 1991 (previously only back April 2001).

    Sept 2013
    • Online self-completion was offered to 100% of private dwellings in each incoming survey group.

    May 2013
    • Expanded the offer of online self-completion to 50% of each new incoming survey group.
    • Sample redesign phased in from May to August 2013 based on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. For the key LFS estimates, the 2011 sample design generally maintains standard errors at levels targeted under the 2006 sample design. Generally the previous design achieved lower levels of sampling error than the sample was designed for, allowing for a reduction in the 2011 sample size to match the 2006 targets.
    • For more information on the sample redesign, see Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, May 2013 (cat. no. 6269.0).
    • The simultaneous introduction of two rotation groups per month between May and August 2013 resulted in a lower proportion of the sample being matched during this period.
    • In June 2013, the new sample for very remote and non-private dwellings were introduced for Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia they were introduced in July 2013. These are reflected in smaller estimates in the gross flow.

    Feb 2013
    • Information paper: Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review, 2012 (cat. no. 6107.0) released, outlining planned changes for the core monthly and quarterly LFS, the labour supplementary surveys, and the labour Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) topics.

    Dec 2012
    • Online self-completion of the LFS progressively introduced, with one survey group initially being offered the option of self-completing the survey on-line in place of a face-to-face or telephone interview.

    Nov 2012
    • Labour force estimates from July 2008 to October 2012 revised to align the labour force population benchmarks with the latest available information on population growth.

    Feb 2012
    • Revisions to employment by industry estimates for the period November 1984 to May 1994 were made to reflect improvements made to the concordance between the formerly used Australian Standard Industrial Classification (ASIC 1983) and the current Australian and New Zealand Industry Classification (ANZSIC 2006).
    • Revisions were also made to the time series spreadsheets for the period April 1986 to August 1997, to incorporate more accurate estimates from the source data and improve coherence between labour force products.
    • A break in series was also introduced for duration of unemployment estimates to separate the synthetic estimates produced for the period April 1986 to March 2001 from the estimates directly measured from April 2001 onwards.

    Jul 2011
    • Looking on the internet was added to looking in newspapers as a passive job search step, and references to Centrelink touch screens were removed from job search steps. Job search step 'check factory noticeboards' was changed to 'checked noticeboards.'

    Jan 2011
    • Due to the flooding in Queensland in January 2011, the Relative Standard Errors (RSE) for January 2011 vary across labour market regions and are higher than normal in some. The RSEs for the Darling Downs-South West and Ipswich City labour market regions are approximately 50% higher, while the RSEs for the Brisbane City Inner Ring labour market region increased by approximately 25%. The Brisbane City Outer Ring, West Moreton and Mackay-Fitzroy-Central West labour market regions have RSEs approximately 10% higher. All other labour market regions have minimal differences. From February 2011, the data returns to normal. Refer to the article Impact of the floods on the Labour Force Survey in the January 2011 issue of Labour Force, Australia, (cat no 6202) for more information.

    Oct 2010
    • The derivation of the forecasted net overseas migration component of LFS population benchmarks updated to use assumptions that take into account a range of available supplementary data sources and relevant information to forecast population changes in the short-term. These were previously based on the assumption that the previous year's net overseas migration (for the required quarter) movements were representative of the current year's movement.

    Jul 2010
    • Labour force estimates compiled using updated population benchmarks that incorporate revisions made to Net Overseas Migration estimates, with data for the period July 2006 to June 2010 revised to reflect the latest population estimates.

    Sept 2009
    • The July 2008 sample reduction was reinstated progressively from September to December 2009.
    • Detailed information about the sample reinstatement is available in Information Paper Labour: Force Survey Sample Design, Nov 2007 (Third edition) (cat. no. 6269.0).

    Apr 2009
    • Gross flows estimates released from the LFS and included in data cube GM1 - Labour Force Statistics and Gross Changes (flows) by Sex, State and Age in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

    Feb 2009
    • The ANZSIC 2006 classification system replaced ANZSIC 1993 for industry employment estimates.
    • The ANZSCO classification system replaces the classification, Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition for occupation employment estimates.
    • The time series spreadsheets previously published in Labour Force, Australia, Spreadsheets (cat. no. 6202.0.55.001) are now included in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
    • Estimates compiled using population benchmarks based on results from the 2006 Census, with data for the period June 2001 to January 2009 revised to reflect the latest population estimates.
    • Regional estimates are classified to the Labour Force Statistical Regions based on the 2006 Australian Standard Geographical Classification. Previous estimates were based on the 2001 Australian Standard Geographical Classification.

    Sep 2008
    • Interviewing procedures changed to commence on a Sunday between the 5th and the 11th of the month, and the reference week changed to be the prior Sunday to Saturday – interviews previously commenced on the Monday between the 6th and 12th of each month (with exception at the end and beginning of each calendar year). The new procedures were introduced to increase the likelihood of contact with households, thereby increasing the efficiency and accuracy of the LFS estimates.
    • An improved method for calculating families estimates was introduced. Detailed information on the improved method is provided in Information Paper: Improvements to Family Estimates from the Labour Force Survey (cat. no. 6224.0.55.002).

    Jul 2008
    • The sample was reduced by 24% in July 2008 as one of a range of ABS savings initiatives for the 2008-09 financial year, with coverage representing approximately 0.24% of the population aged 15 years and over.
    • For information about the sample reduction, refer to Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, November 2007, Second edition (cat. no. 6269.0).

    Nov 2007
    • Sample redesign phased in from November 2007 to June 2008, based on the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Overall fraction is 0.32%. Sampling efficiencies related to the introduction of composite estimates enabled an 11% reduction in the sample, with only minor reductions in data quality relative to the previous design.
    • For more information on the sample redesign, see Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, November 2007 (cat. no. 6269.0).

    May 2007
    • Composite estimation introduced, replacing the previous estimation method. Historical series from April 2001 to April 2007 were revised to the new basis as part of the implementation of composite estimation. Unit record data was also revised for this period.
    • For more information on composite estimation, see Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, 2007 (cat. no. 6292.0).

    Aug 2006
    • Industry coded using both the new classification Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006, and the previous classification Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 1993.
    • Occupation coded using both the new classification Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), and the previous classification Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition.
    • Dual-coding continued until November 2008.

    May 2005
    • Auto coding (AC) introduced for the coding of industry and occupation data. Industry and occupation codes are applied automatically by a computer matching the survey responses to an industry or occupation index. Where the AC system is unable to allocate a valid code to a record, the record is then passed on to the Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) system for coding. Comparisons of the estimates of employed persons at the industry Division and occupation Major Group level from each of the two methods showed that application of adjustment factors was not warranted.

    Feb 2004
    • Estimates and population benchmarks based on 2001 Census data. All estimates for the period January 1999 to January 2004 revised.
    • The definition of unemployed persons was changed to include 'future starters' (persons who had not actively looked for work because they were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the survey reference week, and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then). These persons had previously been classified as not in the labour force.
    • Historical series from April 2001 were revised to the new basis as part of the benchmark revision. Unit record data revised for the period September 1997 to March 2001, to account for the definitional changes introduced in April 2001.
    • Industry and occupation series revised back to August 2000 to include 'not further defined' categories, in cases where there is not enough detail provided to allow the ABS to code persons to the lowest level of these classifications. From the introduction of computer assisted coding in 2000 until November 2003, these responses were proportionally distributed to the most detailed level of the classification.
    • For more information on the changes introduced in February 2004, see Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, 2003 (cat. no. 6292.0).

    Dec 2003
    • Concurrent monthly and quarterly analysis of seasonal adjustment factors introduced in place of annual forward factor analysis and revision. For more information on concurrent seasonal adjustment, see Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, 2003 (cat. no. 6292.0).

    Oct 2003 to Aug 2004
    • Computer assisted interviewing progressively implemented in place of pen and paper questionnaire.

    Apr 2003
    • Monthly publication Labour Force, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 6202.0) renamed Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0)

    Feb 2003
    • Monthly publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) discontinued, final release issued in March 2003.
    • Additional question on underemployed workers and their availability to work extra hours within four weeks of the survey date included.
    • For more information on the changes to the questionnaire, see Information Paper: Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey, 2004 (cat. no. 6232.0).

    Nov 2002
    • Sample redesign phased in from November 2002 to June 2003 based on the 2001 Census. Overall fraction is 0.45%.
    • 2001 ASGC based Labour Force Statistical Regions classification introduced for the new design, replacing the 1996 ASGC based Labour Force Statistical Regions classification.
    • Sample selection stage in less populated areas based on the ASGC Remoteness structure instead of population density.
    • In hotels and motels, only those units occupied by usual residents enumerated.
    • A sample frame for Indigenous communities was introduced as an aid to enumeration in the LFS and household surveys generally.
    • For more information on the sample redesign, see Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, November 2002 (cat. no. 6269.0).

    Aug 2001
    • Enumeration one week later than usual to avoid overlap with Census.

    Apr 2001
    • New questionnaire implemented. For information on the changes made to the questionnaire, see Information Paper: Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey, 2001 (cat. no. 6232.0).
    • New or extended data on: job tenure; underemployment; hours worked; duration of unemployment; and marginal attachment to the labour force.
    • Minor definitional changes to employment and unemployment relating to: short term absences; unavailability due to illness; and contributing family workers (ICLS 1982, ICSE-93, ICLS 1998). The core labour force series were revised back to April 1986 to account for these definitional changes.

    Sep 2000
    • New South Wales enumeration one week early to allow for Olympic Games.

    Mar 2000 to Jul 2000
    • One rotation group each month enumerated by new questionnaire for evaluation purposes.
    • Data converted to existing definitions at estimation stage.

    Feb 2000
    • Computer assisted coding introduced for industry and occupation in place of manual coding and reference to the ABS Business Register.
    • Derivation of status in employment changed to remove reference to the ABS Business Register for limited liability information.
    • Breaks in series for Status in employment, Industry and Occupation series.

    Feb 1999
    • Estimates and population benchmarks based on 1996 Census data. All estimates for the period January 1995 onwards were revised.

    Sep 1997 to Apr 1998
    • Sample redesign phased in based on the 1996 Census. Overall fraction is 0.5%.
    • The new 1996 ASGC based Labour Force Statistical Regions classification.

    Aug 1996
    • Occupation coded using Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition, replacing the first edition of ASCO.

    Aug 1996 to Feb 1997
    • Telephone interviewing implemented progressively. Initial impact on data dissipated by end of implementation period.

    Aug 1995
    • Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates of long-term unemployment published for the first time

    Aug 1994
    • Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) introduced in place of ASIC 1983 edition. Revised historical estimates of employment published by ANZSIC group from August 1984 onwards.

    Mar 1994
    • 'Relationship in household' and 'Family type' classifications aligned with ABS standards, resulting in some breaks in comparability with previous Family status and Family type classifications.

    Feb 1994
    • Estimates and population benchmarks based on 1991 Census data. All estimates for the period January 1989 on revised.
    • Status in employment class titles amended to reflect the International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) and International Conference of Status in Employment (ICSE) 1993.

    Jul 1993
    • Jervis Bay Territory excluded from the scope of the survey. Previously, it was included in estimates for the Australian Capital Territory.

    Feb 1993
    • Introduction of seasonally adjusted and trend series for Employed persons by Industry of main job (at Industry Division level).

    Sep 1992 to Dec 1992
    • Sample redesign based on the 1991 Census. New sample phased in. Overall fraction is 0.5%.
    • The updated 1991 ASGC based Labour Force Statistical Regions classification.

    Nov 1989
    • Optical Mark Recognition questionnaire design and data capture method introduced.

    Jun 1989
    • 'Family type' class 'Other families' split into 'One parent families' and 'Other families'.

    Feb 1989
    • Estimates and population benchmarks based on 1986 Census data. All estimates for the period January 1984 onwards revised.

    Nov 1988
    • Additional unemployment variable introduced: reason for ceasing last job (job losers/job leavers). No change in definition or break in series.

    Sept 1987 to Dec 1987
    • Sample redesign based on the 1986 Census. New sample phased in. Overall sample fraction is 0.6%.
    • A new 1986 ASGC based Labour Force Statistical Regions classification was used.

    Aug 1986
    • Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) introduced for classification of occupation of persons, replacing CCLO 1981.

    Apr 1986
    • Definition of employed persons altered, to include persons working 1 to 14 hours without pay in a family business or farm, in line with ILO definitions (ICLS 1982). Minor question wording and sequence changes as a consequence. Significant break in series for employed, employed part-time, unemployed and related unemployment rates.
    • Dependants definition, and the Family status item 'full-time student', includes full-time students aged 15-24 (previously aged 15-20).
    • Weighting of families estimates changed, from proxy (household head) weight to harmonic mean of weights of all responding members of the family.

    Nov 1984
    • Industry classified according to ASIC 1983 edition, replacing ASIC 1978 edition.

    Sept 1984
    • Monthly publication of Relationship in household and Families estimates in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) commenced. Scope and estimation as per annual collection.

    Feb 1984
    • Estimates and population benchmarks based on 1981 Census data. Estimates for the period October 1982 were revised to full state of usual residence basis on 1981 Census benchmarks. Estimates from February 1978 to September 1982 revised to 1981 benchmarks, but remain on the previous state of enumeration/place of usual residence basis.

    Jul 1983
    • Scope for 'Family status' (and hence families estimates) restricted to usual residents of private dwellings, where all usual residents were within the survey scope and in on coverage at survey date. 'Family status' and families estimates thus exclude all persons in non-private dwellings, persons visiting private dwellings, or households where any member was out of scope or absent for six weeks or more at survey.

    Dec 1982
    • Monthly publication Unemployment, Preliminary (cat. no. 6101.0) discontinued, final release issued in January 1983.

    Oct 1982
    • Full sample changed to sample redesign based on 1981 Census, including modifications to enable production of regional estimates within states, and estimates by State of usual residence.
    • Additional questions to identify usual residence and family relationship, with marital status questions reworded and de facto relationships coded as married.
    • Additional identification of persons usually working less than 35 hours per week.
    • 1981 Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC) adopted, based Labour Force Statistical Regions classification.

    Feb 1982
    • Seasonally adjusted series introduced for monthly estimates series from February 1978 onwards. Annual seasonal factor re-analysis and series revision carried out at February each year from this survey.

    Nov 1981
    • Minor rewording and re-ordering of categories of steps taken to look for work. No impact on data or definitions.

    Aug 1981
    • Occupation classified according to CCLO November 1980 edition, replacing CCLO 1976 version.

    Nov 1979
    • Industry classified according to ASIC 1978 edition, replacing ASIC 1969 edition.

    Jul 1979
    • Annual issue of Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families (cat. no. 6224.0) commenced (July each year except 1981 (June), then June each year from 1986).

    Feb 1978
    • Monthly national survey commenced.
    • The LFS adopted as the official national measure of unemployment.
    • Interviews conducted over 2 one-week periods, previously 4 one-week periods.
    • Estimates and benchmarks based on 1976 Census data, with series from August 1971 onwards revised to 1976-based benchmarks.
    • Complex mix of reweighting unit record files, and/or key series adjustment: not all files, nor all series, were revised (see Appendix 1 of Labour Force Australia, Historical Summary 1966-1984 (cat. no. 6204.0)).
    • With the full implementation of the 1976 Census based sample design, 1/8 monthly sample rotation was introduced for non-private dwellings: whole sample now subject to 1/8 rotation.
    • New questionnaire introduced with substantial redesign of question wording, structure and sequence to improve data quality. Changes included: separate questions on looking for full-time/looking for part-time job; active search more clearly identified; and availability and future starters better identified. Some impact on employed, main impact on unemployed seeking part-time work.
    • New definitions of employment and unemployment adopted. Definition of unemployed persons looking for first job was revised to "unemployed persons who had never worked full- time for two weeks or more". Prior to November 1977, the definition was "unemployed persons who had never had a job". August 1966 to November 1977 series revised to comparable basis, as a result of new questionnaire introduction.
    • Seasonally adjusted series continued on a quarterly basis, pending accumulation of sufficient results to permit adjustment of monthly series.

    Nov 1977
    • In preparation for the start of monthly surveys in February 1978 (with a new questionnaire, revised 1976 Census based sample and 1976 based population benchmarks), two surveys were conducted simultaneously in November 1977. Of these two surveys, one provided the published November 1977 results, based on the old questionnaire, the old 1971-based sample design (reduced to 0.5%), and the 1971-based population benchmarks. The other survey, based on the new questionnaire and the new, 1976-based sample, was used to prepare adjustment factors and revisions to historical estimates, so that comparable historical series could be published with the first release of February 1978 survey results.
    • Occupation classified according to CCLO 1976 edition, replacing CCLO 1971 version.
    • Industry classified according to the ASIC 1969 edition and Integrated Business Register employer index.
    • Catalogue numbers replaced reference numbers - cat. no. 6201.0 replaced Ref. no. 6.35.

    Aug 1977
    May 1976
    • Following February 1975 question changes, definition of unemployment revised to incorporate active job search in the last four weeks (previously in the last week), and availability to start work in the reference week (with separate provision for temporary illness and future starters). Series revised from February 1975.

    Feb 1975
    • Estimates excluded Darwin (due to effects of cyclone Tracy).
    • Respondents asked if they looked for work in the last four weeks (previously looked for work last week).
    • Availability question added.
    • Unemployment series and definition continued on old basis, with separate publication of new question results until February 1976.
    • Unemployment definition and series based on new questions adopted from May 1976.

    Nov 1974
    • First collection of relationship in household data. Relationship in household (i.e. families) estimates excluded persons and institutions.
    • 'Family status' imputed for persons in private households where any member was out of scope, absent for six weeks or more at survey, or who were a visitor. Families estimates based on proxy (household head) weight.
    • Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families (cat. no. 6224.0) first published as an irregular. See also Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) as various issues were released between May 1977 and July 1980.
    • The first release of preliminary unemployment estimates in the quarterly publication Unemployment, Preliminary Estimates (Ref. no. 6.31), was issued in December 1974.

    Nov 1973
    • The seasonal adjustment of estimates for unemployed males, females and persons by separate adjustment of unemployed series by sex (males, females) by age (15-19 years, 20 years and over) was undertaken. Previously, estimates were obtained by a (single) direct adjustment to the total estimate. Seasonally adjusted unemployment estimates for February 1964 to August 1973 were revised.
    • For final publication of the February 1964 to May 1966 seasonally adjusted series (using 1966 as the base year and excluding Indigenous population) see The Labour Force, 1977 (cat. no. 6204.0).

    Nov 1972
      • First release of the preliminary labour force estimates in the quarterly publication, The Labour Force (Preliminary), Nov 1972 and Feb 1973 (Ref. no. 6.32, later cat. no 6202.0), was issued in May 1973.
    May 1972
      • Sample redesign based on 1971 Census, phased in from May 1972 to November 1972.
      • Introduction of different sampling fractions across states and territories, with overall fraction reduced from 1% to 0.67%.

    Feb 1972
      • Questions on country of birth and year of arrival in Australia added.
      • February 1972 data published as supplementary survey results and then quarterly in The Labour Force (Ref. no. 6.20) from May 1972 onwards.

    Nov 1971
      • Occupation classified according to CCLO 1971 edition, replacing CCLO 1966 version.
    Aug 1971
      • Classification of trainee teachers changed from 'employed' to 'not in the labour force', to conform to 1971 Census practice and international recommendations regarding activity principles.
      • For the period August 1971 to August 1972, industry responses coded to both CCLI and Australian Standard Industrial Classification (ASIC), leading to full adoption of industry classified according to 1971 Census ASIC (August 1969 Preliminary edition) and 1971 Census Industry/Destination zone employer index from November 1972, and conversion of August 1966-May 1971 industry series to ASIC.
    Jul 1970
      • Annual issue of The Labour Force, Historical Supplement 1964 – 1968 (Ref. no. 6.22) commenced, and subsequent publications titled The Labour Force (Ref. no. 6.22).
    May 1970
      • First release of national seasonally adjusted series.
    Feb 1969
    Aug 1967
      • Additional questions introduced to better identify employees of incorporated enterprises (some of whom had previously been incorrectly classified as employers or self-employed).
    Aug 1966
      • Scope of survey population reduced to persons aged 15 years and over, due to changes in the school leaving age and to conform to definitions used in the 1966 Census.
      • Indigenous population was included.
      • Additional questions were introduced on steps taken to find a job.
      • The grouping of hours worked changed to reflect recommendations from ICLS 1961. Occupation classified according to Classification and Classified List of Occupations (CCLO) 1966 Census edition.
      • Industry classified according to Classification and Classified List of Industries (CCLI) 1966 Census edition and 1966 Group Employer Place of Work index.
    Feb 1964
    • Quarterly national survey commenced. Capital city series continued in absence of release of national series.
    • Capital city estimates and population benchmarks based on 1961 Census data.

    Nov 1963
    • First release of State Capital City series, November 1960 – November 1963. Employment and Unemployment, October 1963 (Ref. no. 6.4, later cat. no. 6213.0) issued February 1964. This data is also available in the 50th annual Labour Report, 1962 and 1963 (cat. no. 6101.0, Ch. 4, p. 160)
    • Estimates and population benchmarks based on 1961 Census of Population and Housing data.
    • Labour force definitions based on the International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) 1954.

    Nov 1960
    • Quarterly survey commenced. State Capital Cities only, including persons aged 14 years and over, but excluding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
    • Sample of 1% of households Australia wide, with 1/8 rotation in private households and 1/4 rotation in other households.


    BACK TO TOP


    Back to top of the page