2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/11/2007  Reissue
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Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Place of Work (POWP) - Characteristics 2006

Place of Work

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Quality Statement


Place of Work data provide information on where a person goes to work. The address of the person's workplace in the week prior to Census Night is coded to a Destination Zone using an index provided by the State Transport Authorities, who also define the Study Area (boundary) that is designated by that code. More Detailed Description


Place of Work is a hierarchical field and can be broken into State, Study Area, Statistical Local Area and Destination Zone.

- Study Area - Detailed
- Statistical Local Area
- Destination Zone
- Study Area - Extended
- Statistical Local Area
- Destination Zone

Place of Work can be cross classified with Place of Usual Residence and/or Method of Travel to Work to provide Journey to Work data.

Applicable to: Employed persons

Total number of categories: Available on request

More Detailed Description
Quality Statement - Place of Work (POWP)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Place of Work (POWP) .

The data for Place of Work are derived from written responses to the Business name and Workplace Address questions (Questions 40 and 41 on the household form) which are coded to Destination Zones designed by each of the State/Territory Transport Authorities (STAs). Most of the data (62.1%) was coded by automated reading and coding processes while the remainder (37.9%) was coded clerically. Checks of the data are carried out for all processes to ensure an acceptable level of quality.

The non-response rate for POWP in 2006 was 4.9% compared with 4.0% for the equivalent variable, Journey to Work (JTWDZNP) in 2001. Unlike some other census variables the non-response rate is not affected by persons imputed into non-responding dwellings, as POWP is only applicable for persons with a labour force status of employed.

In 2006, in consultation with the STAs, there was a concerted effort to improve the quality of the indexes used for the coding of POWP and in validating subsequent data. This should result in improved POWP data.

When using this data it is important to understand that POWP is based on a different reference period (last week) to other Census data such as MTWP (Method of Travel) which refers to Census day. This may help explain why, for a small proportion of records, method of travel to work may appear inconsistent with place of work information.

At the SLA level, POWP data for 2006 is generally comparable with Journey to Work data for 2001 although there were some SLA boundary changes between 2001 and 2006 to take into account changing LGA boundaries. More information is available in the July 2006 ASGC Volume 1(cat. no. 1216.0). However, Study Areas and Destination Zones are not necessarily comparable across censuses, with 2006 boundaries generally being more detailed than in 2001.

There has been a slight increase in the proportion of records that were unable to be assigned a SLA code (excluding those records where POWP was not stated). Those with "no fixed address" have increased from 3.9% of the applicable population in 2001 to 4.3% in 2006, while records which have been coded more broadly to Capital City and State/Territory "undefined" have increased from 0.9% to 1.1%.

The ABS aims to produce high quality data from the Census. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into Census form design, collection procedures, and processing procedures.

There are four principal sources of error in Census data: respondent error, processing error, partial response and undercount. Quality management of the Census program aims to reduce error as much as possible, and to provide a measure of the remaining error to data users, to allow them to use the data in an informed way.

When completing their Census form, some people do not answer all the questions which apply to them. In these instances, a 'not stated' code is allocated during processing, with the exception of non-response to age, sex, marital status and place of usual residence. These variables are needed for population estimates, so they are imputed using other information on the Census form, as well as information from the previous Census.

The processing of information from Census forms is now mostly automated, using scanning, Intelligent Character Recognition and other automatic processes. Quality assurance procedures are used during Census processing to ensure processing errors are kept at an acceptable level. Sample checking is undertaken during coding operations, and corrections are made where necessary.

The Census form may be completed by one household member on behalf of others. Incorrect answers can be introduced to the Census form if the respondent does not understand the question or does not know the correct information about other household members. Many of these errors remain in the final data.

More detailed information on data quality is available in the 2006 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0), in the section titled Managing Census Quality.

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