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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY AUGUST 2013
Seasonally adjusted full-time employment fell in August 2013, down 2,600 persons to 8,128,800 persons while part-time employment fell by 8,200 persons to 3,508,300 persons. The decrease in total employment resulted from:
Despite the decrease in total employment, seasonally adjusted aggregate hours worked increased 1.1 million hours in August 2013 to 1,650 million hours.
The largest absolute decreases in seasonally adjusted employment were in Queensland (down 5,000 persons), Victoria (down 2,100 persons), and South Australia (down 1,400 persons). The largest increase in the number of employed persons was in New South Wales, up 700 persons (seasonally adjusted). Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the territories.
ABOUT THE DATA
Implementation of Sample Redesign
Phase-in of a new sample design was completed in August. For further details, refer to the article on page 10 of the May 2013 issue of this publication and the Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design (cat. no. 6269.0 ).
The phase-in of a new Labour Force Survey sample commenced in May 2013 and was completed in August. The phase-in has resulted in a short term increase in the standard errors associated with Labour Force data. Standard errors on month-to-month movement estimates are predicted to increase by approximately 10% during this period but will only have a marginal impact on the quality of level estimates. These increased standard errors are reflected in the table on page 2 in the Notes page.
The simultaneous introduction of two rotation groups per month between May and August 2013 has resulted in a lower proportion of the sample matched between months. The phase-in of the new sample is reflected in smaller estimates in the gross flows in Table 17 on page 22.
Introduction of Online Self-Completion
As previously advised the ABS is introducing online self-completion to the Labour Force Survey and other collections. Online self-completion was offered to 100% of private dwellings in the December 2012 incoming rotation group and to 50% of private dwellings in each of the two incoming rotation groups from May 2013 to August 2013. From September 2013, the ABS will expand the offer of online self-completion from 50% to 100% of private dwellings in each incoming rotation group. From April 2014, 100% of the whole labour force sample from private dwellings will be offered the online self-completion option.
In August 2013, 50% of the private dwelling sample was offered online self-completion and this will rise to 56.25% in September. The ABS has been monitoring any potential impacts of the transition to online self-completion.
Over the first four months of the roll-out period no large statistical impact (larger than three standard errors) has been identified. The ABS will continue analysis over the next 12 months to identify and quantify if there has been any statistical impact.
The August 2013 survey was completed via online self-completion for 9% of the survey sample.
The ABS experienced technical issues for the August 2013 Labour Force Survey which have impacted on the response rate. The response rate for the August 2013 survey was 93%, which is lower than the average of the last twelve months (96%). The response rate is usually slightly lower for each August survey due to the addition of the supplementary Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey. The response rate for the August 2012 survey was 96%. The lower response rate may have resulted in slightly more variability in the estimates when compared with previous months. This is not reflected in the standard errors presented in this publication as they are modelled rather than calculated each month.
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