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INSIGHTS FROM THE ORIGINAL DATA
The detailed decomposition of each of these movements is included in the data cube 'Insights From the Original Data'.
In considering the three components of the sample, it is important to remember that the matched common sample describes the change observed for the same respondents January and February, while the other two components reflect differences between the aggregate labour force status of different groups of people.
While the rotation groups are designed to be representative of the population, the outgoing and incoming rotation groups will almost always have somewhat different characteristics, as a result of the groups representing a sample of different households and people. The design of the survey, including the weighting and estimation processes, ensures that these differences are generally relatively minor and seeks to ensure that differences in characteristics of rotation groups do not affect the representativeness of the survey and its estimates. Monthly estimates are always designed to be representative of their respective months, regardless of the relative contribution of the three components of the sample.
INCOMING ROTATION GROUP
In original terms, the incoming rotation group in March 2017 had a lower employment to population ratio than the group it replaced (60.7 per cent in February 2017, down to 60.5 per cent in March 2017), and was lower than the ratio for the entire sample (61.0 per cent). Its full-time employment to population ratio was lower than the group it replaced (42.0 per cent in February 2017, down to 41.8 per cent in March 2017), and higher than the ratio for the entire sample (41.6 per cent).
Its unemployment rate was below the sample as a whole (5.8 per cent, compared to 6.2 per cent), though it replaced a group with a relatively low rate (5.1 per cent in February). Its participation rate was also below that for the sample as a whole (64.2 per cent, compared to 65.1 per cent), but also up slightly from the group it replaced (64.0 in February).
OUTGOING ROTATION GROUP
In looking ahead to the April 2017 estimates, the outgoing rotation group in March 2017, which will be replaced by a new incoming rotation group in April 2017, had a slightly higher employment to population ratio (61.1 per cent in March 2017) compared to the sample as a whole (61.0 per cent in March 2017). The full-time employment to population ratio (40.6 per cent) was lower than the ratio for the entire sample (41.6 per cent).
In original terms, the unemployment rate for the outgoing rotation group in March 2017 was 5.8 per cent, which was lower than the 6.2 per cent for the whole sample. The participation rate for the outgoing rotation group in March 2017 was 64.8 per cent, slightly lower than the rate for the whole sample (65.1 per cent).
THE IMPORTANCE OF TREND DATA
As the gross flows and rotation group data are presented in original terms they are not directly comparable to the seasonally adjusted and trend data discussed elsewhere in the commentary, and are included to provide additional information for the original data. Since the original data are unadjusted, they have a considerable level of inherent sampling variability, which is specifically adjusted for in the trend series. The trend data provide the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market and are the focus of the commentary in this publication.
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