8221.0 - Manufacturing Industry, Australia, 2001-02 and 2002-03  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/12/2004   
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1 The introduction of The New Tax System (TNTS) has had a number of significant implications for ABS business statistics. These were initially discussed in Information Paper: ABS Statistics And The New Tax System (cat. no. 1358.0) which was released on 26 April 2000. The paper foreshadowed changes in the statistical infrastructure used by the ABS to support compilation of ABS economic series.

2 Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0) released on 6 May 2002 provided further information about these changes and their treatment in statistical series.

3 Most of these changes directly affected the ABS Business Register (ABSBR), which contains a list of businesses from which samples are selected to collect data for ABS economic series (including the annual manufacturing collection). The series have been affected by the changes in the following ways:

  • the population of businesses that are considered to be employing based on taxation information has changed as a result of TNTS
  • the statistical units model, that is, the way in which business structures are represented on the ABSBR, is being more closely aligned with taxation reporting requirements
  • the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which maintains the Australian Business Register used as a source for ABSBR ABN units, has classified some businesses differently from the ABS, for example to different industries
  • different measures of business size are available.

4 For more information about the ABSBR, see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 6-9.


5 For each of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 manufacturing collections, the ABSBR allocated businesses to one of two sub-populations, comprising respectively ABN units and TAUs (Type of activity units). For unit definitions, see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 8-11. These units replaced the management unit, which was the basis for the 2000-01 collection. In addition, the ABS made further changes, notably, expanding its register to encompass all units on the ATO maintained Australian Business Register, including non-employers. (These non-employers have now been included in the scope of the manufacturing collection.) In most other cases, ABN units / TAUs concorded with the management units used for 2000-01.

6 As well as these changes, the 2001-02 manufacturing collection differed from those of 2000-01 and 2002-03 in having been conducted as a census of all businesses recorded on the ABSBR as being predominantly engaged in manufacturing. The current strategy for this collection entails a census methodology every five years. A census enables production of data at greater geographical and/or industry detail than is available from a survey. Specifically, data are expected to be available (subject to confidentiality restrictions) at industry class level for states and territories, and at industry subdivision level for regions within them. A description of how this census methodology applies to the different sub-populations of the ABSBR is given in Explanatory Notes paragraph 4.


7 For a number of years, the ABS has been expanding the range of data sources it uses, in order to decrease the statistical reporting load placed on providers while maintaining or increasing the range of information available. A major alternate source of data is the ATO, which collects key financial data for business income tax and other taxation related purposes. Section 68 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 provides for the ATO to pass information to the Australian Statistician for the purposes of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. For the first time, the estimates in this publication have been sourced from a combination of data from the Economic Activity Survey (EAS) conducted by the ABS and key financial data from business income tax files (BIT data) provided by the ATO.

ABS maintained population

8 All units in the ABS maintained population (i.e. TAUs) classified to MANUFACTURING were eligible to be selected for direct collection. Since the ABS maintained population mainly accounts for large and complex businesses, direct collection of data by the ABS for these units is necessary because:

  • many large and complex employing businesses have more than one legal entity, making it difficult to identify all legal entities for that business in the BIT data
  • BIT data do not include all of the detailed information that the ABS requires from large and complex businesses
  • 'tax exempt' businesses that are not required to complete business income tax returns would otherwise not contribute to the statistics.

ATO maintained population

9 The balance of units on the ABSBR classified to Manufacturing were ABN units, from the ATO maintained population.

Cut-offs for ABN units

10 For each of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 collections, estimates for six key data items from the 2000-01 EAS collection were used to determine a cut-off at or above which an ABN unit was available for direct collection, and below which its contribution was sourced from BIT data. The key data items used were employment, wages and salaries, sales and service income, industry value added, total income and total expenses. This cut-off was initially set such that the aggregated contribution of those ABN units sourced from BIT data to the six key estimates was expected to be less than 5%. Once determined, the non-employment cut-offs were adjusted so that none was greater than $500,000.

11 This cut-off, designed to enable the production of the Australian, state and territory estimates in this publication, determined the way in which each ABN unit contributed to the statistics:

  • ABN units with annualised Business Activity Statement (BAS) total sales (used in lieu of EAS total income) of $500,000 or greater were eligible to be selected for direct collection of data by the ABS. If selected, they were sent the same mail out questionnaire for completion that was sent to selections from the ABS maintained population.
  • ABN units with annualised BAS total sales below the $500,000 cut-off were excluded from direct collection. For these units, BIT data were obtained and added to the directly collected estimates to produce the statistics in this publication.

12 For the 2001-02 census year, an additional cut-off of $2,000,000 applied, to enable the production of state/territory industry class and sub-state/territory regional estimates (to be released in 2005). For this purpose, BIT data were obtained for all ABN units which were below this second cut-off and eligible, but not selected, for direct collection. Also, for this purpose, ABN units at or above the $2,000,000 cut-off that were not selected in the main sample were asked to complete an ABS form, as were units in the ABS maintained population that were not selected in the main sample.

Manufacturing industry estimates

13 Therefore, 2001-02 and 2002-03 Australian, state and territory manufacturing industry estimates, as presented in this publication, were each derived as follows:

  • for all businesses in the ABS maintained population and those businesses at or above the $500,000 cut-off in the ATO maintained population, a sample survey was used to estimate their contribution
  • for the balance of businesses (i.e. in the ATO maintained population below the $500,000 cut-off), their contribution was sourced from BIT data, with some more detailed breakdowns produced using proportional relationships derived from the sample survey.

14 2001-02 state/territory industry class and sub-state/territory regional estimates are to be similarly derived. That is:
  • BIT data were obtained for all ABN units below the $500,000 cut-off
  • BIT data were obtained for all ABN units between the cut-offs of $500,000 and $2,000,000 and for which no directly collected data are available
  • ABS maintained units and ATO maintained units at or above the $2,000,000 cut-off not originally selected were sent an ABS form.

Income contribution by unit type

15 The following table shows proportional contributions to sales and service income for MANUFACTURING as presented in this publication, by the business groupings described in the previous paragraphs of this Appendix.

Contribution to sales and service income(a)

ATO BIT data(b)
Directly collected data


ABN units


ABN units

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes rent, leasing and hiring income.
(b) Contributed by ABN units below the $500,000 cut-off.