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 >> Number of Employees (EMPP) - Characteristics 2006

Number of Employees

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Quality Statement


The number of employees employed in a business is used to help understand the nature of self-employment (whether working on own account, or as an employer), and the characteristics of small business owners. More Detailed Description


Applicable to: Persons aged 15 years and over, who are owner managers of incorporated or unincorporated enterprises

1. Nil employees
2. 1-19 employees
3. 20 or more employees
& Not stated
@ Not applicable
V Overseas visitor

Total number of categories: 6

More Detailed Description
Quality Statement - Number of Employees (EMPP)

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

This variable is only applicable to owner managers of incorporated or unincorporated enterprises (see Employment Types - EMTP), that is 12.0% of all employed persons.

This data was captured automatically from check box responses on the form so the risk of processing error is minimal. Sample checks of the data are undertaken to ensure an acceptable level of quality.

The non-response rate for EMPP is 2.1%. Unlike some other census variables the non-response rate for EMPP is not affected by persons who were imputed into dwellings that did not return a Census form, as only owner managers of incorporated or unincorporated business enterprises are included.

In a small proportion of cases (testing has indicated that this is less than 1%), respondents provided an incorrect number of responses (for EMPP respondents are asked to only mark one response). In these cases responses are accepted in the order they appear on the form and the extra responses are rejected.

EMPP (Number of Employees) can be used in conjunction with EMTP (Employment Type) to obtain an estimate of "own account workers" (owner managers of unincorporated enterprises that have no employees). This was a category in the 2001 version of LFSP (Labour Force Status).

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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