4631.0 - Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, Australia, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/04/2018   
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The development of experimental statistics, such as the estimates of employment in renewable energy activities contained in this publication, relies heavily on what can be sourced from within the data environment presently available. Nevertheless, it is critically important to have a clear concept of what is to be measured. This section describes the notion and scope of estimates of employment in renewable energy activities used in this publication.

International standards and guidelines exist to guide our understanding and definition of various aspects of the economy including production, consumption and employment. However, there is little in the way of international guidance on what precisely is meant by employment in renewable energy activities.

The 2008 edition of the System of National Accounts (SNA) defines employees as
"persons who, by agreement, work for a resident institutional unit and receive remuneration for their labour." (SNA, paragraph 19.20).
SNA (paragraph 19.19) defines employment as
"all persons, both employees and self-employed persons, engaged in some productive activity that falls within the production boundary of the SNA and that is undertaken by a resident institutional unit".

SNA (paragraph 1.7) describes the range of economic activities that institutional units may engage in, namely, production, consumption and the accumulation of assets.

Employment in renewable energy activities thus relates to both employees and self-employed persons engaged in productive activities falling within the production boundary of the SNA. (From this position, the definition of 'renewable energy activities' becomes crucial and this is described in detail within the Explanatory Notes of this publication.)

The guiding principle of industry classification is the grouping together of all establishments engaged in the same or similar, kinds of activity (SNA 2008, paragraph 5.2). Productive activities are carried out by institutional units and each institutional unit is allocated to an industry on the basis of its predominant activity. All employees of this institutional unit are in consequence allocated to this same industry. Thus, in official ABS Labour Market statistics, industry estimates of employment involve assigning employees to the industry of their employer. The 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0) provides the basis for these industry estimates.

Standard industry classifications are designed to capture and separately identify a wide range of types of economic activity. For example, units predominantly engaged in aluminium smelting typically do not undertake significant secondary activity. Nor is aluminium smelting typically carried out by other industries as a secondary activity. Thus, in practice, employment assigned to the industry 'ANZSIC Class 2132 Aluminium Smelting' should equate closely to numbers of employees who undertake the activity of aluminium smelting. The same is not generally true of renewable energy activities. Some employment in renewable energy activities relates to the secondary activity of an employer whose predominant activity is not a renewable energy activity. In particular, much of this employment relates to the installation of renewable energy infrastructure by units that are predominantly engaged in construction or other activities.

To a limited degree ANZSIC 2006 supports the direct capture of employment in renewable energy activities. Hydropower is classified in ANZSIC as "2612 Hydro-Electricity Generation" and ANZSIC "2619 Other Electricity Generation" will also capture, in total, much of the remaining activity related to electricity produced from renewable sources.