ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
The statistics in this release were compiled from the Characteristics of Employment (COE) Survey conducted throughout Australia in August 2014 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Questions were asked of all employed persons except for those who worked as contributing family workers in their main job.
This release presents information about all employed persons in August 2014. Data are presented on the weekly earnings of employees and owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs), trade union membership, independent contractors, persons who found their job through a labour hire firm/employment agency and working arrangements. This information can be cross classified by a range of personal characteristics, characteristics of employment such as full-time or part-time status, industry and occupation of main job, and demographic characteristics.
This release combines the key elements from the previous separate Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership survey (EEBTUM), Forms of Employment survey (FOE) and Working Time Arrangements survey (WTA) to provide a comprehensive and coherent dataset on characteristics of people's employment.
Caution should be exercised when comparing the estimates from this release with previous surveys as some data items have changed and population groups are conceptually different.
Caution should be exercised when comparing results from the 2014 COE to previous FOE (2008–2013) and EEBTUM as the population Employees in this release is not directly comparable to the Employees population in both FOE and EEBTUM.
From August 2014, information on trade union membership was collected from all employed persons. In previous years, information on trade union membership was collected of only employees and OMIEs. See Appendix: Status of employment and population concordance for more information.
To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used in this release to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. After perturbation, a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables. However, adding up cell values to derive a total will not necessarily give the same result as published totals.
As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.