6287.0 - Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Experimental Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2007   
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June 28, 2007
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEST)
Latest release of experimental Indigenous labour force statistics: ABS

Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the latest experimental estimates compiled from the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) on the labour force characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. These estimates are a continuation of the annual series which started in 2002.

The ABS considers the estimates experimental due to the experimental nature of the Indigenous population projections used in producing the estimates and the small sample of Indigenous people in the LFS. The estimates have been released to give users an opportunity to assess their usefulness.

To assist users in determining the usefulness of the estimates, the publication includes information about how the estimates were constructed. It also describes a number of important statistical and data quality issues which should be considered when using the LFS estimates to describe labour force characteristics of Indigenous Australians. These quality issues are mainly due to the small number of Indigenous people in the LFS sample, and collection difficulties in remote areas.

These estimates show that in 2006, there were 160,300 Indigenous people employed (aged 15 years and over), an increase of 23,800 people in the past two years.

Specific findings for 2006 include:
  • The labour force participation rate (the number in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 and over) was 59%, up from 54% in 2004.
  • The unemployment rate for Indigenous people was 14%.
  • The employment to population ratio (number of employed persons expressed as a percentage of the population) was 50%, an increase from 45% in 2004. The lowest employment to population ratio was experienced by Indigenous people in regional areas (47%).

The ABS recommends that people who use the experimental estimates give due consideration to the data quality issues outlined in the publication.

Further details are in Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: Experimental estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2006 (cat. no. 6287.0) available on the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>. The publication can be downloaded free of charge from the ABS website.

Statistical clarification and interview contact
Rebecca Cash (02) 6252 5390