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9 The scope excluded businesses classified to the General Government sector but includes government owned Public Trading Enterprises.
10 As a consequence of reviewing survey scope when implementing ANZSIC06, a decision was made to exclude the industry class associated with the manufacture of electric cable and wire due to the relatively small contribution it made to the Australian ICT sector. This industry (Class 2431 under ANZSIC93) was previously included in ICT industries survey scope.
11 The previous issue of this release included summary of operations data for the Recorded media manufacturing and publishing industry (ANZSIC93 class 2430). These data were presented separately from the main ICT industry estimates due to being outside the OECD definition of ICT industries. Implementation of ANZSIC06 means the publishing activity of the industry is now included in scope of the main ICT industry. The reproduction of recorded media activity is a separate class (1620 under ANZSIC06). Results for class 1620 are not presented in this release due to the small contribution it made to the ICT sector.
CHANGES TO SCOPE AND BRIDGING ESTIMATES
12 Estimates presented in this release are based on ANZSIC06 and include in-scope non-employing businesses. Summary estimates for 2006-07 have been recompiled to match previous survey scope as closely as possible (i.e. presented on an ANZSIC93 basis and excluding non-employers) and are referred to as bridging estimates. These bridging estimates are given in Appendix - Changes to scope.
13 Further information about the impact on ICT industries survey scope resulting from moving from ANZSIC93 to ANZSIC06 are also provided in the Appendix.
14 The frame for the ICT industries survey is taken from the ABSBR, which provides a list of employing businesses, primarily based on registrations to the ATO Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) scheme. The frame is updated quarterly to take account of new businesses, businesses which have ceased employing, changes in employment levels, changes in industry and other general business changes. Businesses which have ceased employing are identified when the ATO cancels their Australian Business Number (ABN) and/or PAYGW registration. In addition, businesses with less than 50 employees which did not remit under the PAYGW scheme in each of the previous five quarters are removed from the frame. The estimates in this release include an allowance for the time it takes a newly registered business to get on the survey frame. There were approximately 36,000 businesses in-scope of the ICT industries survey on the ABSBR in June 2007 when the survey sample was taken.
STATISTICAL UNITS USED
15 Statistical units are those entities from which statistics are collected, or about which statistics are compiled. In ABS economic statistics, the statistical unit is generally the business. The ABSBR is used to store information about statistical units and is used to create the frames for most ABS economic collections.
16 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABSBR to describe the characteristics of businesses, and the structural relationships between related businesses. Within large, complex and diverse business groups, the units model is used also to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable levels of detail.
17 This units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations:
18 Together, these two sub-populations (of ABN units and TAUs) make up the ABSBR population, from which the sample of businesses for the ICT industries are taken.
19 Collection of ICT industries survey data was undertaken based on a random sample of 3,900 businesses and conducted mainly via mail out questionnaires. The sample was stratified by state, industry class and employment size. All businesses on the survey frame identified as having 200 or more employees were included in the sample.
20 The 2006-07 survey estimation methodology used auxiliary information sourced from ATO BAS data to improve the accuracy of estimates produced from the survey. The Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 provides for the ATO to pass information to the Australian Statistician for the purposes of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
21 Estimates of the number of businesses operating in Australia can be derived from a number of sources within the ABS. They may relate to a particular point in time or may be presented as an average annual figure. However, these estimates will not always show the same results. Variations will occur because of differing data sources, differing scope and coverage definitions between surveys, as well as variations due to sampling and non-sampling error. More information about business counts can be found in the information paper A Statistical View of Counts of Businesses in Australia (cat. no. 8162.0).
22 The ICT industries survey is not designed to provide high quality estimates of numbers of businesses for any of the output classifications (for example, employment size or industry) and the number of businesses in this publication are only included to provide contextual information for the user. Users should also note that the estimates in this publication are only for the population of businesses in scope of the ICT industries survey. A more robust source of counts of Australian businesses is available from Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2003 to Jun 2007 (cat. no. 8165.0).
23 While the survey reference period is the 12 months ended 30 June 2007, some businesses were unable to supply information on this basis and instead used an accounting period for which financial data could be provided. Such businesses may have made a substantial contribution to some of the estimates.
24 Financial data presented incorporate all units in-scope of the ICT industries collection that were at the production stage at any time during the year. They also include any temporarily inactive units, i.e. those units which were in the development stage or which were not in production, but which still existed and held assets and liabilities and/or incurred some non-operating expenses (e.g. depreciation, administration costs).
25 Employment estimates relate to the number of persons employed by the business during the last pay period in June 2007. As such, it is possible for businesses classified on the ABSBR as employing, to report nil employees. It is also possible for estimates expressed as 'per employee' to be affected by any fluctuations in employment during the reference period.
26 Employment size ranges used for output purposes may differ from those used in other ABS releases. Ranges in this release have been used to maximise the amount of data available by employment size.
INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION USED FOR OUTPUT PURPOSES
27 For the ICT industries survey, the ANZSIC class recorded for businesses on the ABSBR is only used for the purpose of survey selection. A business may be allocated an alternative ANZSIC class for the purpose of output if an error in ABSBR ANZSIC is identified through processing and quality assuring the survey data. This may result in differences between industry data published for the in-scope industries in this release and industry data that may be published in other ABS releases such as Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0) and Manufacturing Industry, Australia (cat. no. 8221.0).
28 The updating of industry class for output purposes has impacted on data quality: 8% of businesses selected were made out-of-scope of the ICT industries survey; and a further 13% of businesses selected were still in-scope but were found to belong to a different ANZSIC class. This has resulted in an increase in the sampling variability of estimates. For more information about the impact of sampling variability on the estimates, please refer to the Technical Note.
29 No attempt is made to adjust for businesses on the ABSBR who are classified to an ANZSIC class not within the scope of the ICT industry survey but which would be in-scope based on their sources of income. The impact of this on estimates is unknown.
REMOVAL OF THE ICT SPECIALIST CLASSIFICATION
30 In previous issues of this release, a distinction was made in survey outputs between ICT specialists and non-specialists, with ICT specialists being those businesses which derived more than 50% of their total income from the sale of ICT goods and services. Furthermore, some outputs were subset to only include ICT specialists. Over time, the difference in estimates for ICT specialists compared to all businesses in the ICT industry declined in significance. With the implementation of ANZSIC06, which included review of survey scope at the ANZSIC class level, further reduction in differences were expected, as much of the non-ICT activity that was in-scope under ANZSIC93 is now out of scope. As such, in consultation with key ICT data users, a decision was made to remove the ICT specialist classification from survey outputs.
STATE AND TERRITORY DATA
31 Data were collected from the Australia-wide operations of each organisation. To enable state and territory statistics to be compiled and comparisons undertaken, businesses which operated in more than one state or territory were asked to provide a state dissection of total employment, wages and salaries, and sales of goods and services.
COMPARISONS WITH OTHER ABS STATISTICS
32 Annual industry data for the ANZSIC classes in-scope of the ICT industries survey are included in Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0) and Manufacturing Industry, Australia (cat. no. 8221.0). There are important differences between the statistics presented in these catalogues compared to this release and users should exercise caution when making comparisons between these estimates.
33 One reason the three sets of estimates vary relates to the use of different industry coding practices. For the Australian Industry and Manufacturing Industry, Australia releases, businesses are coded to ANZSIC industry classes on the basis of the activity reported to the ATO when they registered for an ABN or, for more complex businesses, information reported directly to the ABS (see paragraph 17). On the other hand, ICT industries survey estimates for industry classes are based on detailed income data reported in the survey. Refer also to paragraph 24.
34 This release supplements the annual industry summary statistics by providing a detailed examination of the structure and performance of businesses involved in selected ICT industries.
COMPARISONS WITH PREVIOUS STATISTICS
35 A range of changes were made to the 2006-07 ICT industries survey from the previous cycle, including:
36 As a consequence of these changes, data presented in this release are not directly comparable to those in previous issues.
37 The most recent issue of other ABS catalogues on the use and production of ICT in Australia are listed below:
Government Technology, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 8119.0)
Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8146.0)
Internet Activity, Australia, June 2008 (cat. no. 8153.0)
Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8166.0)
Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 8150.0)
ABS DATA AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
38 As well as the statistics included in this and related releases, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request and for a charge. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
39 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and the sums of the component items. Proportions, ratios and other calculated figures shown in this release have been calculated using unrounded estimates and may be different from, but are more accurate than, calculations based on the rounded estimates.
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