6291.0.55.003 - Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2015 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/12/2015   
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Data on retrenchment have been collected every three months in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) from August 2014 onwards. Information on retrenchment is critical to understanding the performance of the labour market, particularly during economic downturns.

Previously, retrenchment information was available from the two-yearly Labour Mobility (cat. no. 6209.0) supplementary survey. However the data were limited due to the frequency of the survey and scope of retrenchments (only focusing on the 12 month period up to the survey). Retrenchment data have been collected from the LFS on a quarterly basis since May 2001, but only for the current unemployed population (missing retrenched people who had either re-entered employment during the quarter or who were not in the labour force).

The need for a comprehensive and frequent measure of retrenchment was identified in the review of Labour Force statistics, as detailed in Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review (cat. no. 6107.0). These new statistics on retrenchment will also be published on a revised definition.

The new data cover retrenchment occurring in any job held in the three months prior to the survey reference week, not just the last job, and irrespective of a person’s current labour force status. The new definition no longer includes persons dismissed from their job, and is measured by the total number of persons who ceased a job during the last three months because they were either:
i) Retrenched, made redundant, employer went out of business, no work was available; or
ii) Self-employed persons whose business closed down for economic reasons, including went broke, liquidated, no work, no supply or demand.

The new output will provide users with a more frequent measure of the impacts of structural change in the economy and its consequences, as well as a socio-demographic picture of those who have been retrenched or made redundant.

The graph shows the number of people retrenched in the previous quarter from August 2014 to November 2015 and their labour force status.

Graph showing persons retrenched in the previous quarter

In addition to information on the number of people retrenched, a retrenchment rate is available. The denominator for the retrenchment rate is the number of persons employed in the middle month of the previous quarter. For example, for a November retrenchment rate, the November month estimate of the total number of persons retrenched during the last three months is divided by the number of persons employed in August. The previous quarter's employed estimate is used for the denominator as a proxy for people who held a job sometime in the last three months.

These data beginning August 2014 are available from the November 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003) in tables 29a and 29b.