2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2007  Reissue
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Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Employment Type (EMTP) - Characteristics 2006

Employment Type

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Quality Statement


New for 2006 - previously part of the Labour Force Status (LFS06P) variable.

Employment Type classifies all employed people to either employees, owner manager of incorporated enterprises, owner manager of unincorporated enterprises, or contributing family workers on the basis of their main job. More Detailed Description


Applicable to: Employed persons

1. Employee not owning business
2. Owner managers of incorporated enterprises
3. Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises
4. Contributing family workers
& Not stated
@ Not applicable
V Overseas visitor

Total number of categories: 7

More Detailed Description

Quality Statement - Employment Type (EMTP)

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

Employment Type (EMTP) is a new variable for 2006. EMTP categorises employed people (in relation to their main job in the week prior to Census Night) as either an employee, an owner manager of incorporated enterprise, an owner manager of unincorporated enterprise or a contributing family worker.

Employment Type (EMTP) data is derived from responses to a number questions on the form. Data is captured automatically from three check box responses (Questions 34, 35, and 36 on the household form) so the risk of processing error is low. Sample checks of the data are undertaken to ensure an acceptable level of quality.

The non-response rate for EMTP in 2006 was 1.0%. Unlike some other census variables the non-response rate is not affected by persons imputed into dwellings that did not return a Census form, as EMTP is only applicable for persons with a labour force status of employed.

EMTP in the Census and other ABS Household Surveys

Employment type is now collected in most ABS labour surveys, including the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and a range of surveys run as a supplement to the LFS (such as the Forms of Employment Survey). Although not a standard output from the LFS, counts of employees (not owning own business), owner managers of incorporated and unincorporated businesses and contributing family workers can be determined. There are a number of reasons why EMTP in the Census may differ from that collected in the Labour Force Survey and supplementary surveys. These include differences in the scope, coverage, timing, measurement of underlying labour force concepts and collection methodologies of the collections. Labour Force estimates of the employed are generally higher as Census data is unadjusted for underenumeration and only includes those usual residents present in Australia on Census Night. In addition, Census estimates are also affected by non-response (persons imputed into dwellings that do not return a Census form, as well as persons who are included on a completed form but did not respond to relevant labour force questions). Labour Force Survey estimates only include fully responding questionnaires and are adjusted to account for any non-response. (In the table below, persons for whom EMTP was not stated have been removed to facilitate comparison).

The table below shows counts and proportions of employment type for the Census and the Labour Force Survey. The Census has a higher proportion of employees not owning business and contributing family workers, while the LFS has a higher proportion of owner managers of unincorporated enterprises. This reflects that the LFS uses between five and ten questions to determine employment type (depending on whether the person was absent from work in the reference week), while the census uses only three. Also in the Labour Force Survey, trained interviewers are able to prompt for more information if the initial response is vague.

Distribution of Employment Type, 2006 Census and Labour Force Survey August 2006 for Employed Persons
2006 Census
LFS August, 2006
Employee not owning business
Owner managers of incorporated enterprises
Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises
Contributing family workers

In the 2001 Census, a related variable, 'Status in Employment' (which has similarities to concepts being measured in EMTP), was incorporated in the variable LFSP (Labour Force Status). This categorised employed people as either an employee, an employer, an own account worker or a contributing family worker and is a standard output from the LFS. The table below shows the relationship between employment type in EMTP and "Status in employment".

Relationship between Employment type and Status in employment

Employment Type
Status in Employment
Employees not owning own businessEmployees
Owner managers of incorporated enterprises
Owner managers of unincorporated enterprisesEmployers (employs people)
Own account workers (does not employ people)
Contributing family workerContributing family worker

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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