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4 In 2010, this survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded people living in Indigenous communities in very remote parts of Australia. Previous cycles of this survey have excluded all persons living in very remote areas.
5 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in November 2010. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.
6 Information was collected through interviews conducted over a two-week period during November 2010. Interviews were mainly conducted over the phone with some conducted face-to-face. Information was obtained from one responsible adult present on each visa application in the household. For example, consider a household with three usual residents where two were listed together on one visa application and the other person listed on a separate visa application. In this case, two people in the household would have provided information, one for each visa application.
7 All interviews were conducted using computer assisted interviewing (CAI).
8 Supplementary surveys are not conducted using the full LFS sample. The sample for the Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey was seven eighths of the LFS sample.
9 Approximately 96% of selected households were fully responding to the Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey, with 2,650 complete interviews obtained from recent migrants and temporary residents.
10 The estimates in this publication are obtained by assigning a 'weight' to each sample respondent. The weight is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample respondent.
11 The first step in calculating weights for each unit is to assign an initial weight, which is the final weight from the LFS multiplied by 8/7, to account for using seven eighths of the full LFS sample. The initial weights are then calibrated to align with estimates of the population, referred to as benchmarks. This calibration process ensures that the survey weights conform to the independently estimated distribution of the population described by the benchmarks rather than to the distribution within the sample itself. Calibration to population benchmarks helps to compensate for over- or under-enumeration of particular categories of persons which may occur due to the random effects of sampling or non-response (see paragraph 22).
12 The population included in the benchmark totals correspond to the scope of the survey. For this survey two sets of benchmarks were used, and were derived from the November 2010 LFS. The first set of benchmarks specified the population distribution in designated categories of state or territory of usual residence by area of usual residence by sex by age group. The second set in designated categories of state or territory of usual residence by migrant status.
13 Survey estimates of counts of persons are obtained by summing the weights of persons with the characteristic of interest.
COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES
14 Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants Surveys conducted up to and including November 1996 were restricted to migrants who arrived in Australia after 1970, were aged 18 years and over on arrival, and had obtained permanent Australian resident status. For November 1999, the survey was restricted to migrants who arrived in Australia after 1980, were aged 18 years and over on arrival, and had obtained permanent Australian resident status. For November 2004, the survey included migrants aged 15 years and over on arrival, who arrived in Australia after 1984 who had obtained permanent Australian resident status, as well as people who were temporary residents of Australia for 12 months or more. For November 2007 and November 2010, the surveys have included migrants who arrived in Australia in the last 10 years (since 1997 and 2000 respectively), were aged 15 years and over on arrival, who had obtained permanent Australian resident status, as well as people who were temporary residents of Australia for 12 months or more. In 2007, persons born in New Zealand, those holding New Zealand citizenship and those who held Australian citizenship prior to their arrival in Australia were excluded. In 2010, persons holding New Zealand citizenship and those who held Australian citizenship prior to their arrival in Australia were excluded, while other persons born in New Zealand were included.
15 Some new data items were collected in November 2010, including: whether would have preferred to have worked longer hours in first job in Australia; main reason not actively looking for work; and main language spoken on arrival. Data items related to the last visa held before becoming an Australian Citizen, length of time spent overseas since most recent arrival, highest year of school completed and whether working full time or part time just before arrival were not collected in November 2010.
16 The label 'Type of visa on most recent arrival to live in Australia' was used incorrectly in the 2007 publication. The correct label 'Type of visa on arrival to live in Australia' has been used in the 2010 publication. This data item has not changed, only the label used.
17 It is impracticable to obtain information relating to labour force status of people before migration according to the strict definitions used in the monthly LFS. It is for this reason that ‘Has had a job since arriving in Australia’ and ‘Has not had a job since arriving in Australia’ are used to describe previous labour force status, while 'Employed', 'Unemployed' and 'Not in the labour force' are used to describe labour force status as at November 2010.
COMPARABILITY WITH OTHER ABS SURVEYS
18 Estimates from the Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey may differ from the estimates produced from other ABS collections for several reasons. The Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey is a sample survey and its results are subject to sampling error. Results may differ from other sample surveys, which are also subject to sampling error. Users should take account of the relative standard errors (RSEs) on estimates and those of other survey estimates where comparisons are made.
19 Differences may also exist in the scope and/or coverage of the Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey compared to other surveys. Differences in estimates may result from different reference periods reflecting seasonal variations, non-seasonal events that may have impacted on one period but not another, or because of underlying trends in the phenomena being measured.
20 Finally, differences can occur as a result of using different collection methodologies. This is often evident in comparisons of similar data items reported from different ABS collections where, after taking account of definition and scope differences and sampling error, residual differences remain. These differences could be partly attributed to differing modes of the collections, such as whether data is collected by an interviewer or self-enumerated by the respondent, whether the data is collected from the person themselves or from a proxy respondent, and the level of experience of the interviewers. Differences may also result from the context in which questions are asked, i.e. where in the interview the questions are asked and the nature of preceding questions. The impacts on data of different collection methodologies are difficult to quantify.
COMPARABILITY WITH NON-ABS SOURCES
21 The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) are the main holder of data containing personal information on migrants. Due to differences in collection objectives and definitions, data from the Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey are not comparable with DIAC data.
RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES
22 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:
23 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in November 2013.
24 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
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