6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Aug 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/12/2006   
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Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods was originally released in 2001 in both electronic and paper versions (cat. no. 6102.0). The paper publication will not be rereleased. However, the web version (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) is being updated on an ongoing basis. This chapter was updated on 28 July, 2005.


21.5.1 The Labour Force Experience Survey collects a range of data about the labour force experiences of people aged 15-69 years over the 12 months prior to the survey date. It was first conducted in 1969, and has been conducted on a two-yearly basis since February 1995. It presents information about time spent in labour force activities, including episodes of work or looking for work, and time out of the labour force.

21.5.2 Estimates from the survey are used to monitor the extent and nature of labour force participation over an extended period and to complement 'gross flows' estimates from the monthly Labour Force Survey (see Chapter 20 for information on gross flows) in the analysis of labour market dynamics. The information is used to construct profiles of various groups within the labour force, particularly the unemployed.

21.5.3 This section describes only those aspects of the methodology that are unique to this survey, and hence should be used in conjunction with Chapter 21, which outlines the survey methodology used in supplementary surveys.


21.5.4 Data from the survey are published in Labour Force Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6206.0). More detailed data are available on request.

21.5.5 Estimates include:

Socio-demographic informationSex, age, marital status, relationship in household, state or territory of usual residence, country of birth and year of arrival in Australia.
All personsLabour force status at survey date, time in the labour force during the year, time worked during the year (including time spent working full-time and part-time), time spent looking for work during the year, number of spells of looking for work during the year, whether had an unpaid absence from work during the year, number of employers/businesses during the year, time not in the labour force during the year and main activity when not in the labour force.
Persons who were employed at survey dateStatus in employment, occupation, industry, full-time or part-time status and time worked with current employer/business.

21.5.6 Data collected in the survey are compiled according to concepts and definitions outlined in Chapter 2 (currently economically active population - labour force status at survey date), Chapter 4 (employment characteristics), Chapter 9 (usually economically active population - time in the labour force during the year, time worked and looked for work during the year) and Chapter 16 (socio-demographic information and industry).


21.5.7 The scope of this survey is restricted to people aged 15 to 69 years. The standard scope restrictions for supplementary surveys outlined in the overview part of Chapter 21 also apply to this survey.


21.5.8 In order to provide a high degree of consistency and comparability over time, changes to survey methods, survey concepts, data item definitions, frequency of collection, and analysis methods are made as infrequently as possible. Over the time the survey has been conducted there have been some changes to the scope and sample size. These changes mean that the standard errors for the survey differ over time. The effect on estimates of the change in scope is considered to have been small. Changes affecting the Labour Force Survey may also affect this survey. Such changes are outlined in Chapter 20 and are not repeated here.

1969Initial survey conducted (February) - preliminary data in Labour Force Experience, Preliminary (Ref. no 6.38) and final data in Labour Force Experience (Ref. no 6.26).
Survey reference period - preceding calendar year.
Sample size restricted to three-quarters of the Labour Force Survey sample.
1973Survey conducted (February).
1975Annual collection commenced (February).
1978Survey not conducted (this year only).
1979Catalogue numbers replaced reference numbers - cat. no. 6205.0 (preliminary data) and cat. no. 6206.0 (final data).
1981Change to survey reference period - beginning of February in previous year to the end of the reference week.
1982Change to the classification of some persons (this year only) - persons who reported that they had been in their current job for one year and also reported that they did not work for the entire reference period were not classified as 'not in the labour force' for the remainder of the period (as they were in other years).
1983Change to survey reference period - 52 weeks to the end of the week prior to interview.
1988Preliminary publication discontinued.
1989Sample size reduced to one-half of the Labour Force Survey sample.
1990Change to survey month (March).
Persons aged 70 and over excluded from scope of the survey.
Sample size increased to full Labour Force Survey sample.
1995Annual collection ceased - replaced by biennial collection (February).
Sample restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the Labour Force Survey sample.
Standard Data Service replaced publication format (cat. no. changed to 6206.0.40.001).
1997Publication format replaced Standard Data Service (cat. no. changed to 6206.0).
Persons living in remote and sparsely settled areas excluded from scope.
2005Data items related to educational attainment and state/territory of usual residence 12 months ago no longer available.


21.5.9 For further details contact the Labour Market Statistics Section, on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.

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