Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    Family data are collected as part of the monthly Labour Force Survey. Information is collected for civilians aged 15 and over who were usual residents of private dwellings where all the usual residents were present and within the scope of the Labour Force Survey.

    While relationship in household and family type data are collected each month in the Labour Force Survey and published in Labour Force, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 6203.0), the June survey also collects information about the number of children aged 0 to 4, 5 to 9, and 10 to 14 in families.


    Information is provided about the labour force status of usual residents of private dwellings and types of families to which they belonged. Information is also provided on the number and age of children in the household.


    This survey is conducted as part of the Labour Force Survey.

    SCOPE - Labour Force Survey

    The Labour Force Survey includes all persons aged 15 and over except:

    • members of the permanent defence forces;
    • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated populations;
    • overseas residents in Australia; and
    • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia.

    From July 1993 Jervis Bay Territory is also excluded from the scope of the survey. Before July 1993 it was included in estimates for the Australian Capital Territory.

    SCOPE - Families

    Since July 1983 family data is restricted to usual residents of private dwellings and those households where it was possible to obtain information relating to all the usual residents.

    COVERAGE - Labour Force Survey

    In the Labour Force Survey, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection. The chance of a person being enumerated at two separate dwellings in the one survey is considered to be negligible.

    Persons who are away from their usual residence for six weeks or less at the time of interview are enumerated at their usual residence (relevant information may be obtained from other usual residents present at the time of the survey).


    Conceptual framework

    The concepts of families and households are fundamental in the collection and dissemination of both social and labour statistics. A household can be thought of, in its broadest sense, as a group of people who live and eat together as a single unit within a dwelling. Notions of what constitutes a family vary. However, it is operationally defined within ABS collections as two or more related (by blood, marriage, adoption, step or fostering) persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are usually resident in the same household. While the concept of household is broader than the concept of family, in practice both often refer to the same set of people.

    Main outputs

    All families; Couple families; One parent families;

    Relationship in household

    Labour force status

    Family type

    Number of dependants

    Number of family members

    Full-time and part-time status of employed persons

    Hours worked

    Unemployed persons

    Duration of unemployment


    Demographics: State, Area, Region, Sex, Marital Status, Relationship in Household, Period of Arrival and Age.

    Country of Birth: The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC).

    Changes have occurred over the years to the classifications 'Relationship in household' and 'Family type'. See the publication 'Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families (ABS Cat. No. 6224.0) for further information.

    Other concepts (summary)

    Not Applicable

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Part of State Metropolitan
    Part of State Extra-Metropolitan

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Not all data available for all areas.


    Frequency comments

    Additional data on ages of children are collected annually.



    Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families (ABS Cat. No. 6224.0), Nov 1974 (irregular), July 1979 and 1980, June 1981, July 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985, then annually in June since 1986. See the Labour Force Survey for further information.


    Data availability comments

    Data available in publication form, as well on request.

    30/01/2002 04:54 PM