6248.0.55.002 - Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/02/2009  First Issue
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1 This publication contains estimates of public sector employees and cash wages and salaries obtained from the annual Survey of Employment and Earnings (SEE). Prior to 2007-08 the survey was undertaken on a quarterly basis. Estimates from the quarterly SEE were published in Wage and Salary Earners, Public Sector, Australia (cat. no. 6248.0.55.001).


2 Estimates of employee remuneration produced from the annual Survey of Employment and Earnings and presented in this publication are based on the Australian conceptual framework for measures of employee remuneration. Refer to the Appendix for further details.

3 The conceptual framework used in SEE aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's employment and earnings statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


4 All public sector employing organisations and their employees are represented in the survey, except:

  • members of the Australian permanent defence forces
  • employees of overseas embassies, consulates, etc.
  • employees based outside Australia
  • employees on workers' compensation who are not paid through the payroll
  • directors and office holders of public sector organisations who are not paid a salary.


5 The SEE uses a sample survey methodology and collects information using a mail-out/mail-back collection methodology. Some government departments provide their information to ABS electronically. Approximately 2,500 public sector employers, selected from the ABS Business Register, are included in the survey.

6 The statistical unit for the survey comprises all activities of a public sector employer in a particular state or territory. Statistical units are stratified by state, industry and employment size, and within each stratum, statistical units are selected with equal probability.


7 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABS Business Register to describe the characteristics of businesses (and other organisations, including government departments), and the structural relationships between related businesses. The units model is also used to break groups of related businesses into relatively homogeneous components that can provide data to the ABS. The units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations, as follows:


8 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and are then included on the ATO Australian Business Register. Most of these businesses have simple structures; therefore the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO Maintained Population, and the ABN unit is used as the economic statistics unit for all economic collections.


9 For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with each business. These businesses constitute the ABS Maintained Population. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse businesses and the statistical units model described below is used for these businesses.

10 Enterprise Group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts, and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.

11 Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising (i) a single legal entity or business entity, or (ii) more than one legal entity or business entity within the same Enterprise Group and in the same institutional sub-sector (ie they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) sub-sector).

12 Type of Activity Unit (TAU): The TAU comprises one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry sub-division (and the TAU is classified to the relevant sub-division of ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry sub-division.


13 Each statistical unit is classified to an industry which reflects the primary activity of the organisation in the state or territory. Industry is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). The 2006 edition of ANZSIC replaces the 1993 edition which has been in use since 1994. The 2006 edition of ANZSIC was developed to provide a more contemporary industrial classification system taking into account issues such as changes in the structure and composition of the economy, changing user demands and compatibility with major international classification standards.

14 Institutional units are classified by broad economic functions according to the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) which is a key component of the general national accounting framework. For more details refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2002 (cat. no. 1218.0).


15 Estimates of employee remuneration for the public sector are one of the inputs to the gross domestic product component of the Australian National Accounts, specifically compensation of employees estimates. The private sector component of compensation of employees estimates are provided by the Quarterly Business Indicators Survey which are published in Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0). For further details see Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0).


16 As noted in paragraph 2, estimates of employee remuneration from the annual survey have been produced in accordance with the Australian conceptual framework for measures of employee remuneration.

17 The measure of employee remuneration presented for the annual series is 'cash wages and salaries', which is regular and irregular wages and salaries in cash, including amounts salary sacrificed. For the quarterly series the published measure was 'gross earnings'. Gross earnings included regular and irregular wages and salaries in cash, but excluded salary sacrificed amounts. The quarterly series also included severance, termination and redundancy payments (STRP), which are not included in the annual series.

18 In addition, payments for accrued leave paid on termination are defined as part of cash wages and salaries in the annual series. In the quarterly series such payments were included as a component of STRP.

19 Because of these differences, care should be taken when comparing estimates of employee remuneration in this publication with those published in the quarterly series.


20 The following publications contain related information:
  • Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) - issued quarterly
  • Average Weekly Earnings, Australia (cat. no. 6302.0) - issued quarterly
  • Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0) - issued quarterly
  • Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia (cat. no. 6306.0) - issued biennially
  • Information Paper: Changes to ABS Measures of Employee Remuneration (cat. no. 6313.0) - issued 14 November 2006
  • Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) - issued monthly
  • Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001)
  • Labour Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6345.0) - issued quarterly
  • Wage and Salary Earners, Public Sector, Australia (cat. no. 6248.0.55.001) - issued quarterly (final issue 13 September 2007)


21 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request and for a charge. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


22 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.