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LABOUR FORCE COMMENTARY MAY 2013
Despite the increase in total employment, seasonally adjusted aggregate hours worked decreased 11.5 million hours (0.7%) in May 2013 to 1,628.5 million hours.
The largest absolute increases in employment were seen in Victoria and South Australia, with increases of 11,400 and 4,700 people respectively (seasonally adjusted). The number of employed people decreased in New South Wales and Western Australia, down 1,700 people and 800 people respectively (seasonally adjusted). (Seasonally adjusted estimates are not published for the territories).
ABOUT THE DATA
In May 2013 the ABS commenced the phase-in of the new sample design, as well as expanding the roll out of the offer of online self completion of the Labour Force Survey.
The phase-in of a new survey sample will lead to 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. For further details, refer to the article on page 10 in this issue and the Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, May 2013 (ABS cat. no. 6269.0). These standard errors are reflected in the table on page 2 in the Notes page.
The simultaneous phase-in of two rotation groups per month between May and August 2013 has resulted in a lower proportion of the sample matched between April 2013 and May 2013. This is reflected in smaller estimates in the gross flows in Table 17 on page 28.
ANNUAL SEASONAL REANALYSIS
The ABS conducted the annual seasonal reanalysis in May to review the continued appropriateness of seasonal factors. The seasonally adjusted and trend estimates released in this issue reflect adjustments made to the data as a result of this reanalysis. As part of ongoing improvements to the seasonal adjustment methods applied to the Labour Force, revisions were made to the way that special account is taken of the variable timing of the commencement of interviews in January. This has resulted in historical revisions being made to the seasonally adjusted estimates for employment and some of its components particularly for the most recent Januarys.
Due to the reanalysis identifying evidence of emerging seasonality, quarterly employment estimates for Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06) Division I 'Transport, Postal and Warehousing' and Division N 'Administrative and Support Services' have been changed from non-seasonal to seasonal series for the entire time period. This has resulted in less variability in the time series as the influence of systematic calendar related events have been removed. For further details, refer to the Annual Seasonal Reanalysis article on page 7 of this issue.
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