8168.0.55.001 - Microdata: Business Characteristics, Australia, 2008-09 to 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/07/2016   
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A complete list of all data items included on the CURF is provided in an Excel spreadsheet (refer to the Downloads tab). Please take note of the points below before commencing any analysis.


Caution: Users should ensure that they do not inadvertently use the missing value code as a numeric value. This will ensure that these missing value codes do not incorrectly contribute to BLD CURF usage or outputs.

Special codes are assigned to variables in the following circumstances:
999999999 = Missing
88888888 = Missing due to sequencing
7777777 = Ticked more than one box
55555 = Question not asked this year

Caution: Users should take care when analysing employment, trade and years of operation data, as a valid response for these data items could either be an actual number or a category. For example: for the variable EMPTOTAL, the number of persons working for the business during the last pay period could be any number from 1 to 99. However, a response of 100 does not correspond to 100 employed persons; it means the number of employed persons was '100 or more'.


The BLD CURF includes several indicative items which will assist users in their analysis.

Design Weight (DWEIGHT): The sample weight at time of selection. Use of the BLD CURF to calculate population or cross-sectional estimates is not recommended as the BLD sample is not designed to enable the creation of such estimates with reasonable accuracy.

ANZSIC 2006 Division (DIV06)
1 = Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
2 = Mining
3 = Manufacturing
5 = Construction
6 = Wholesale Trade
7 = Retail Trade
8 = Accommodation and Food Services
9 = Transport, Postal and Warehousing
10 = Information Media and Telecommunications
12 = Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
13 = Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
14 = Administration and Support Services
18 = Arts and Recreation Services
19 = Other Services

Type Of Legal Organisation (TOLO)
1 = Registered company
2 = Sole proprietor
3 = Partnership
4 = Trust; Other unincorporated entities

Size (based on Stratification Derived Employment Size) (SIZE)
0 = Non-employer
1 = 0 to 4 employees
2 = 5 to 19 employees
3 = 20 to 199 employees

Unit live status (STATUS)
1 = Normal Unit
2 = Nils (temporary, permanent)
3 = Death (part-period)
4 = Death (full-period)
5 = Out of scope
6 = Outstanding

Stratum (STRATUM)
The stratum is not included in the BLD CURF but can be recreated by using the Size and Industry Division variables. For counts of these combinations of indicators see Survey Methodology on the Summary tab.


Each business record has a unique randomly generated identifier - ABSBID, which is held constant over the 5 year period.


When using the following set of BCS (i.e. directly collected) data items, users should take the information provided here into consideration. BLD CURF users are able to access copies of BCS forms upon request.

Employment (Variables emptotal, casuals, empft, empprop, empsaldr and empoth)

The reference period for these items is the last pay period ending in June, of the relevant reference year. For example, for the 2008-09 reference year, the last pay period in June 2009 is used to collect these data. These data items do not measure employment during the reference year and it is possible for a business that normally has employees to have no employees in the last pay period. Users should also be aware that while the business may have initially been selected in a non-employing stratum (i.e. did not have an ITW role when included in the ABSBR), it is possible for the business to report employees in the first or any subsequent survey iteration.

Years of operation, current owner and regardless of changes in ownership (Variables busownyr, and busopyr)

While these questions are asked annually, the data are only quality assured in the first year that the business is included in its respective panel. For this reason, data for these items in subsequent survey periods has been removed from the BLD CURF.

Comparisons to the previous year (Variables compsogs, compprts, compprof, compprod, compjobs, compexp, compcont, comptra, compit and compsoc)

For these items, respondents are asked to report if there had been changes in "income from sales of goods or services", "range of goods or services offered", "profitability", "productivity", "total number of jobs or positions", "export markets targeted", "contracting out work activities or outsourcing", "amount of structured/ formal training for employees", "expenditure on Information Technology" and "social contributions". These data are presented as self-reported by the respondent and no effort is made to confront the veracity of the responses with other data items. For example, checks are not undertaken to compare an actual increase in the value of BAS total sales with a reported increase in "income from sales of goods or services" ticked as a response to this question.

Main source of income from the sales of goods and services (Variable mainsoi)

This question asks the respondent to identify the main source of income from sales of goods and services. In previous iterations of the BLD CURF, this question has been coded to allow for multiple sources of income. For this release, a new variable will identify only the main source of income.


In releasing Innovation statistics, the ABS produces two main indicators: proportion of innovating businesses and proportion of innovation-active businesses. The derived items used to produce these indicators have not been included in the BLD CURF. However, users may derive these ABS innovation indicators using the following derivation:

Innovating businesses = yes (value=1) if any of (d_gsnewy, d_opnewy, d_omnewy, d_manewy) was reported as yes (value=1).

Innovation-active businesses = yes (value=1) if any of (d_gsnewy, d_opnewy, d_omnewy, d_manewy, d_inaban, d_ininco) was reported as yes (value=1).