6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Oct 2003
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/11/2003
Page tools: Print All

Technical Note - Quality Measures

STANDARD ERRORS

The estimates in this publication are based on information gained from the occupants of a sample survey of dwellings. Because the entire population is not surveyed, the published estimates are subject to sampling error. The most common way of quantifying such sampling error is to calculate the standard error for the published estimate or statistic.

LEVEL ESTIMATES

To illustrate, let us say the published level estimate for employed persons aged 15 to 19 is 700,000. The calculated standard error in this case is 9,800. The standard error is then used to interpret the level estimate of 700,000. For instance, the standard error of 9,800 indicates that:

• There are approximately two chances in three that the real value falls within the range 690,200 to 709,800 (700,000 + or - 9,800)
• There are approximately nineteen chances in twenty that the real value falls within the range 680,400 to 719,600 (700,000 + or - 19,600).

The real value in this case is the result we would obtain if we could enumerate the total population.

The following table shows the standard errors for this month's level estimates.

 AUSTRALIA NSW Vic. Qld SA WA Tas. NT ACT Males Females Persons Employed Full time '000 18.8 14.2 11.1 5.1 5.5 1.9 1.3 1.8 21.8 15.9 29.0 Part time '000 10.9 8.9 7.9 3.7 4.1 1.4 0.8 1.2 10.4 14.9 17.1 Total '000 22.9 17.1 12.7 5.9 6.1 2.1 1.4 2.1 24.1 20.9 38.9 Unemployed Aged 15-19 looking for f/t work '000 2.5 1.5 1.7 0.9 1.1 0.3 0.2 0.2 3.1 2.5 3.8 Aged 20 and over looking for f/t work '000 4.8 3.7 3.5 1.6 2.0 0.7 0.4 0.4 6.4 5.3 7.6 Total looking for f/t work '000 5.0 3.8 3.8 1.8 2.1 0.7 0.5 0.4 6.7 5.6 8.1 Looking for p/t work '000 3.6 2.8 2.3 1.1 1.3 0.4 0.2 0.4 3.6 4.6 5.3 Total '000 5.5 4.3 4.2 2.0 2.4 0.8 0.5 0.5 7.2 6.6 9.0 Labour Force '000 23.7 17.7 13.0 6.0 6.2 2.2 1.4 2.1 25.1 21.6 41.1 Not in labour force '000 17.0 13.1 10.2 5.0 5.1 1.9 1.0 1.4 15.6 19.2 25.4 Unemployment rate Aged 15-19 looking for f/t work pts 2.8 3.1 2.5 3.7 2.8 4.3 5.6 7.0 1.7 2.5 1.3 Aged 20 and over looking for f/t work pts 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.1 Total looking for f/t work pts 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.1 Looking for p/t work pts 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 1.0 0.7 0.4 0.2 0.2 Total pts 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 Participation rate pts 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.6 1.0 0.8 0.3 0.3 0.3

MOVEMENT ESTIMATES

The following example illustrates how to use the standard error to interpret a movement estimate. Let us say that one month the published level estimate for females employed part time in Australia is 1,890,000; the next month the published level estimate is 1,900,000. The calculated standard error for the movement estimate is 10,300. The standard error is then used to interpret the published movement estimate of 10,000. For instance, the standard error of 10,300 indicates that:
• There are approximately two chances in three that the real movement between the two months falls within the range -300 to 20,300 (10,000 + or - 10,300)
• There are approximately nineteen chances in twenty that the real movement falls within the range -10,600 to 30,600 (10,000 + or - 20,600).

The following table shows the standard errors for this month's movement estimates.

 AUSTRALIA NSW Vic. Qld SA WA Tas. NT ACT Males Females Persons Employed Full time '000 10.0 7.6 6.9 3.2 3.9 1.3 1.1 1.0 14.2 11.2 16.5 Part time '000 7.2 5.7 5.1 2.4 2.9 1.0 0.7 0.8 7.6 10.5 11.8 Total '000 11.1 8.6 7.8 3.6 4.4 1.4 1.2 1.1 15.0 13.9 18.5 Unemployed Aged 15-19 looking for f/t work '000 2.0 1.3 1.4 0.7 0.9 0.3 0.2 0.2 2.5 2.2 3.0 Aged 20 and over looking for f/t work '000 3.8 2.8 2.6 1.2 1.5 0.5 0.4 0.3 4.9 4.3 5.9 Total looking for f/t work '000 3.9 2.9 2.7 1.2 1.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 5.2 4.5 6.2 Looking for p/t work '000 2.6 2.1 1.9 0.9 1.1 0.3 0.2 0.3 3.0 3.5 4.2 Total '000 4.3 3.2 3.0 1.4 1.8 0.6 0.4 0.4 5.5 5.2 6.9 Labour Force '000 11.3 8.7 7.9 3.7 4.5 1.5 1.2 1.2 15.3 14.2 18.9 Not in labour force '000 9.5 7.2 6.4 3.1 3.6 1.3 0.9 0.9 11.0 13.0 15.5 Unemployment rate Aged 15-19 looking for f/t work pts 2.2 2.6 2.2 2.9 2.3 3.4 5.9 4.9 1.4 2.1 1.1 Aged 20 and over looking for f/t work pts 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.1 Total looking for f/t work pts 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.1 Looking for p/t work pts 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.1 Total pts 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 Participation rate pts 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.9 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.1