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This information paper outlines:
The LFS sample is also used for a number of supplementary surveys and the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). Further information about these surveys is available in the Other Estimates section of this information paper.
LABOUR FORCE SURVEY DATA
The LFS collects a wide range of information about the population. For employed people, this includes information such as whether they work full-time or part-time, and their industry, occupation, hours worked and status in employment. For people who are currently unemployed, the survey collects information about whether they are looking for a full-time or part-time job, how long they have been unemployed, and the characteristics of their last job (industry, occupation, and reason for leaving). The survey also collects personal characteristics such as sex, age, marital status, relationship in household, participation in school and tertiary education, birthplace and year of arrival in Australia.
Estimates of the number of employed and unemployed people, the unemployment rate and the labour force participation rate are of considerable interest each month, as are the aggregate hours worked and underemployment. The rate of change in the level of employment is a key economic indicator. The unemployment rate (the proportion of the labour force who are unemployed) is the main measure of unutilised labour, while the participation rate (the proportion of the population in the labour force) reflects changes in total labour availability.
The conceptual framework used in Australia’s Labour Force Survey 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 labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling the estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001), which is available on the ABS website <https://www.abs.gov.au>.
Survey estimates and time series data are published monthly in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). More detailed data are available one week later in Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) and in the quarterly release Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003). These products are available on the ABS web site at <https://www.abs.gov.au>.
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE LABOUR FORCE SURVEY
The ABS has been introducing a number of enhancements to the LFS. These changes include the new sample design, the introduction of online self-completion by respondents, regular population re-benchmarking of survey estimates to reflect the latest available information of the population, and improvements to the content of the LFS and labour supplementary surveys. The new sample may have some impact on the monthly change and the levels of the LFS. If there is any impact from online self-completion it will not be able to be separated from impacts of the new sample on key series during the time the new sample is implemented.
This Information Paper provides information on the new sample design. Information on the other improvements are available in the Article Archive and Notes sections of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
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