ABS supports Labour Force estimates technical review findings (Media Release)

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9 December 2014
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

ABS supports Labour Force estimates technical review findings

Acting Australian Statistician, Jonathan Palmer, has accepted all recommendations from the independent technical review into the Labour Force survey, released today.

"The ABS has accepted the review findings and has agreed to all 16 recommendations. Implementing these recommendations will ensure the ABS continues to produce high quality Labour Force estimates,” Mr Palmer said.

The review concluded that changes to the timing of the supplementary surveys were the main contributing factor to recent volatility in the seasonally adjusted estimates. The review therefore recommended modifying the seasonal adjustment process to adjust for the impact of supplementary surveys.

The ABS implemented this key recommendation in the October 2014 Labour Force estimates, released on 6 November 2014, and will continue to apply this method to future estimates.

There will not be any further refinements to the methodology applied to the Labour Force estimates until the annual seasonal reanalysis is undertaken in early 2015.

"The remaining recommendations will be implemented over the coming months in consultation with key clients.

“Stakeholder consultation has been an integral part of the review process and I would like to specifically acknowledge the contributions from the Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Australia.” Mr Palmer said.

The review’s executive summary and ABS response are available on the ABS website www.abs.gov.au. The full report from the technical review is available on request.

Media note:
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • A spokesperson will be available to discuss the ABS's response after 11.30am Canberra time, 9 December 2014. No comment will be made before this time nor will there be any comment on the Labour Force estimates for November 2014.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.