6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Feb 2020 Quality Declaration
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/03/2020
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FEBRUARY KEY FIGURES
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
MANAGING THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ON LABOUR FORCE STATISTICS
The ABS is currently monitoring for potential impacts from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Labour Force statistics and will continue to do so for the period of the pandemic.
Quality assurance of data for February did not identify any notable impact to headline statistics. It is important to note that the reference weeks for February fell in the first half of the month, at a point where there was only a relatively low number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within Australia and before it was declared a global pandemic.
As with other major disruption to the economy, early impacts are usually most evident in the Monthly hours worked in all jobs series (Spreadsheet 19) in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). Additional information, such as the reason people worked fewer hours than usual, is available within Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001), due for release on 26 March.
The ABS intends to profile some of the information on the reason people worked fewer hours than usual, which can be found in pivot tables EM2a and EM2b, on 26 March. The ABS will include additional advice in that summary, noting that some caution needs to be exercised when using original data at more disaggregated levels, as they are subject to larger sampling variability and seasonal patterns.
The ABS will also be actively managing the potential risks from COVID-19 to data collection operations. Around 90% of responses to the Labour Force Survey are provided through telephone interviews or online, leaving around 10% involving face-to-face interviews. Respondents in the survey may note changes in how the ABS contacts or approaches them over the coming months, and acknowledges the tremendous support that the Australia community is continuing to provide in supporting high quality and critically important Labour Force statistics.
On 18 March, the ABS also released some interactive employment maps based on the most recent data from Jobs in Australia (cat. no 6160.0), which is based on summary administrative data, to support a regional assessment of potential impacts of COVID-19 on employment.
MANAGING THE IMPACT OF THE BUSHFIRES ON LABOUR FORCE STATISTICS
Bushfires resulted in disruption to ABS data collection operations in some regions in New South Wales and Victoria during January 2020. A few areas in New South Wales, particularly within the ‘Capital Region’, were also unable to be surveyed in February 2020. These areas amounted to around half the sample which was unable to be surveyed in January 2020 in the state.
As with January data, the ABS confirmed that the disruption from the bushfires did not have a notable impact on key headline statistics and that no additional statistical interventions were required.
Region level data for the New South Wales regions of the ‘Capital Region’, ‘Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven’ and ‘Mid North Coast’ for January 2020 will not be published in the February 2020 Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) on 26 March. February 2020 estimates for the ‘Capital Region’ will also not be published.
The ABS expects to resume publishing these estimates with the release of March 2020 data (in April). January 2020 data for 'Latrobe - Gippsland', in Victoria, will be available with the February release.
MANAGING THE IMPACT OF THE TOWNSVILLE FLOODS IN FEBRUARY 2019
Flooding in Townsville in February 2019 resulted in a major disruption to the operation of the Labour Force Survey. Given the severity of these disruptions, which affected almost the entire region, and to ensure that this loss of sample did not affect data for Australia and Queensland, the ABS imputed sample for Townsville for February 2019. The imputation drew upon previous information that had recently been collected from people in Townsville.
The ABS re-assessed this imputation and has not revised the imputed data. However, users of the Townsville data, and totals for ‘Rest of Queensland’ data, should still exercise some extra caution when looking at yearly and monthly movements in February 2020.
CHANGES IN FUTURE ISSUES - NEW ABS WEBSITE IN 2020
The ABS will be launching a new website in 2020. You will soon be able to see how this release and other labour statistics will appear on the new website by exploring our Beta site. Regular users of this information are encouraged to explore the Beta site and consider any implications for the way you access and consume ABS data and information. If you would like more information on the new ABS website, or want to discuss how the transition to the new site might impact you, please email newABSwebsite@abs.gov.au
As part of the move to a new ABS website, we've also been exploring new ways to deliver labour statistics, including developing prototypes for:
We welcome any feedback on these Key labour market indicator and Labour Force prototypes. Feedback can be provided via the 'Leave feedback' button at the end of the page, or by emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUARTERLY POPULATION REBENCHMARKING
The ABS has revised the original Labour Force series for the previous 19 months to reflect the latest available preliminary and final estimates of Estimated Resident Population. This quarterly process ensures that the Labour Force series promptly reflects any change in population trends and minimises the size of revisions that can occur when the series are rebenchmarked following each Census of Population and Housing. It is expected that, on most occasions, the quarterly revisions will not be significant.
For further information about rebenchmarking, refer to the Rebenchmarking Labour Force Estimates article published in the February 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
Estimates of changes in the commentary have been calculated using un-rounded estimates, and may be different from, but are more accurate than, movement obtained from the rounded estimates. Graphs also depict un-rounded estimates.
The estimates in this publication are based on a sample survey. Published estimates and movements are subject to sampling variability. Standard errors give a measure of sampling variability. The interval bounded by two standard errors is the 95% confidence interval, which provides a way of looking at the variability inherent in estimates. There is a 95% chance that the true value of the estimate lies within that interval.
MOVEMENTS IN SEASONALLY ADJUSTED SERIES BETWEEN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2020
For further information about these and related statistics, email email@example.com or contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
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