Update on the Australian Bureau of Statistics work program
Australian Statistician Dr David Gruen AO has welcomed new investments for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced in the 2022-23 Federal Budget.
“The 2022-23 Budget includes more than $26 million in new funding over four years for the ABS to deliver improvements to important information,” Dr Gruen said.
The Budget included $23.7 million to update the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) and $3.2 million to enhance regional labour market statistics.
The work on ANZSCO will ensure that Australia’s classification of occupations and labour market statistics reflect the current and future labour market. It will deliver a stronger evidence base to inform skilled migration programs and workforce strategies that equip Australians with skills they need and support employers to meet their workforce needs. The funding for our labour market statistics will allow us to provide a better understanding of regional labour market developments.
Dr Gruen said the new initiatives, alongside other changes to the ABS work program, are being made to ensure the ABS remains focused on meeting contemporary data needs for the community and governments. Further changes include:
- production of a monthly indicator of wages and salaries, making use of the Australian Taxation Office Single Touch Payroll data, due for release later this year as part of the Big Data Timely Insights program;
- the ABS and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare are jointly delivering the National Disability Data Asset that will bring together datasets from across the Federal, State and Territory governments to better understand the lives of people with disability;
- through the Australian Climate Services, the ABS is providing real time support to Emergency Management Australia and the National Recovery and Resilience Agency to ensure data is available to understand the impact of natural disasters on people and businesses;
- making it easier and quicker for small and medium businesses to report data to the ABS through better use of software that businesses already use; and
- producing specialised, satellite economic accounts looking at the defence industry and transport sector.
“Throughout the pandemic and more recently the floods, the ABS has produced timely information showing the changes in Australia’s economy and society,” Dr Gruen said.
As part of this, we are examining the feasibility of producing a monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) that would include the most significant items in the full CPI basket of goods and services and complement the current, quarterly CPI.
Following consultation with users, we are stopping production of the Residential Property Price Indexes. Property Price Indexes are available from other sources on a more timely basis. The ABS will continue to publish the total value of residential dwellings, median prices and counts of property sales in a new quarterly publication, Total Value of Dwellings, which is due to be published in June 2022.
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