Labour force participation flag (LFFP)

Latest release
Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable flags whether or not a person is participating in the labour force for people who had a stated Labour force status (LFSP). This variable can be used for the calculation of the proportion of the population that is employed, as used in Closing the Gap Target 8 – Strong economic participation and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

Scope

All persons aged 15 years and over

Categories

CodeCategory
1Participates in the Labour Force
2Not in the Labour Force
@Not applicable*
VOverseas visitor*

Number of categories: 4

Not applicable (@) comprises:

  • Persons under 15 years of age
  • Persons whose Labour force status (LFSP) was Not stated

* Categories marked with an '*' are to be excluded from data extracted for national reporting purposes.

See Understanding supplementary codes for more information.

Question(s) from the Census form

Last week, did the person have a job of any kind?

Last week, did the person have a job of any kind?

Last week, did Person 1 have a job of any kind?

A ‘job’ means any type of work including casual, temporary, part-time or full-time work, if it was for one hour or more.

More information

Yes, worked for payment or profit

Yes, but absent on holidays, on paid leave, on strike, or temporarily stood down

Yes, unpaid work in a family business

Yes, other unpaid work

No, did not have a job

More information

Additional informtaion relating to the question on: Last week, did the person have a job of any kind?

More information

Last week, did Person 1 have a job of any kind?

A ‘job’ means any type of work including casual, temporary, part-time or full-time work, if it was for one hour or more.

More information

Last week refers to the week before Census night – Tuesday 10 August 2021.

People who did some work for which they will receive some payment (including casual, temporary or part-time work) and it was for one hour or more in the last week select the 'Yes, worked for payment or profit' response.

People not working due to a COVID lockdown...
• who worked at all in the four weeks before the current lockdown, select 'Yes, but absent on holidays, on paid leave, on strike, or temporarily stood down'.
• who did not work in the four weeks before the current lockdown, select 'No, did not have a job'.

People on paid leave, for example holiday leave, maternity leave or sick leave, should select 'Yes, but absent on holidays, on paid leave, on strike, or temporarily stood down'.

People who have been on unpaid leave...
• for less than four weeks and are not being paid, select ‘Yes, but absent on holidays, on paid leave, on strike, or temporarily stood down'.
• for four weeks or more and are not being paid, select 'No, did not have a job'.

People who are on workers' compensation and...
• are planning to return to work, select ‘Yes, but absent on holidays, on paid leave, on strike, or temporarily stood down'.
• won't be returning to work, select 'No, did not have a job'.

People working for the dole are considered not to be in paid work and should select 'No, did not have a job'.

People who are casual or freelance workers and...
• worked in the week before Census night, select 'Yes, worked for payment or profit'.
• did not work last week but worked at some stage in the four weeks before Census night, select ‘Yes, but absent on holidays, on paid leave, on strike, or temporarily stood down'.
• did not work in the four weeks before Census night, select 'No, did not have a job'.

People who work from home and...
• get paid, select the appropriate 'Yes' response.
• do not get paid, select 'No, did not have a job'.

Retired people should select 'No, did not have a job'. This also applies to people who have never had a job.

In the main job held last week, was the person: Working for an employer; Working in own business

This question is only applicable to people aged 15 years and over who responded 'Yes, looked for full-time work' or 'Yes, looked for part-time work' to the previous question, 'Did the person actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?'

In the main job held last week, was the person: Working for an employer; Working in own business

In the main job held last week, was Person 1:

If the person had more than one job last week, then ‘main job’ refers to the job in which the person usually works the most hours.

For all persons conducting their own business, including those with their own incorporated (e.g. Pty Ltd) company, as well as sole traders, partnerships and contractors, select ‘Working in own business’.

Working for an employer

Working in own business

Last week, how many hours did the person work in all jobs?

Last week, how many hours did the person work in all jobs?

Last week, how many hours did Person 1 work in all jobs?

Add any overtime or extra time worked and subtract any time off.

More information

Hours worked

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Additional information relating to the question on: Last week, how many hours did the person work in all jobs?

More information

Last week, how many hours did Person 1 work in all jobs?

Add any overtime or extra time worked and subtract any time off.

More information

Include all hours the person worked for all jobs, even if those hours are not the hours they usually work.

Include any overtime and hours spent working at home.

Do not include time off work, for example, sick leave or annual leave.

If the person did not work any hours, please enter '0'.

Did the person actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?

Did the person actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?

Did Person 1 actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?

Full-time work means 35 hours or more per week.

Examples of actively looking for work include:
• Writing, telephoning or applying to an employer for work
• Having a job interview
• Checking or registering with an employment agency
• Taking steps to purchase or start a business
• Advertising or tendering for work
• Contacting friends or relatives in order to obtain work
• Answering an advertisement for a job

More information

No, did not look for work

Yes, looked for full-time work

Yes, looked for part-time work

More information

Additional information relating to the question on: Did the person actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?

More information

Did Person 1 actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?
Full-time work means 35 hours or more per week.

Examples of actively looking for work include:
• Writing, telephoning or applying to an employer for work
• Having a job interview
• Checking or registering with an employment agency
• Taking steps to purchase or start a business
• Advertising or tendering for work
• Contacting friends or relatives in order to obtain work
• Answering an advertisement for a job

More information
All people who are not looking for work, including retired people, should select 'No, did not look for work'.
Select 'No, did not look for work' if the person only looked in newspapers, on the internet or checked notice boards, and did not take any of the active steps listed in the question.

If the person had found a job, could the person have started work last week?

This question is only applicable to people aged 15 years and over who responded 'Yes, looked for full-time work' or 'Yes, looked for part-time work' to the previous question, 'Did the person actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?'

If the person had found a job, could the person have started work last week?

If Person 1 had found a job, could they have started work last week?

Yes, could have started work last week

No, already had a job to go to

No, temporarily ill or injured

No, other reason

How this variable is created

Data for this variable is created by making custom categories from Labour force status (LFSP) as shown in the table below:

Labour force status (LFSP)Labour force participation flag (LFFP)

1 Employed, worked full-time

1 Participates in the Labour Force

2 Employed, worked part-time

1 Participates in the Labour Force

3 Employed, away from work

1 Participates in the Labour Force

4 Unemployed, looking for full-time work

1 Participates in the Labour Force

5 Unemployed, looking for part-time work

1 Participates in the Labour Force

6 Not in the labour force

2 Not in the Labour Force

& Not stated

@ Not applicable*

@ Not applicable (Persons aged under 15 years)

@ Not applicable*

V Overseas visitor

V Overseas visitor*

History and changes

This variable was first created in 2016. For 2021, 'Overseas visitors' have been separated out from the 'Not applicable' category into a separate category.

Data use considerations

This variable was created for National reporting purposes. Any analyses using this variable that are for other purposes should be done with caution and with reference to the relevant inclusions and exclusions described above.

Categories marked with an '*' are to be excluded from data extracted for national reporting purposes. 

Comparing Census with the ABS Labour Force Survey

The Census and Labour Force Survey both collect information about the labour market activity of people aged 15 years and over. While both collections seek to measure the concepts related to employment, unemployment and being outside of the labour force, there are a number of differences between them that should be considered in the use of the data. A summary of the differences between these collections will be available in the 2021 Census and Labour Survey comparison, which is not due for release until late 2022. In the meantime, please refer to the previous release, Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia, 2016.

Related variables and glossary terms

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