This release provides statistics about the number and nature of filled jobs in Australia, the people who hold them, and their employers.
A job is a relationship between an employed person and their employing enterprise. This can be a relationship between an employee and an employer or between an owner manager of an unincorporated enterprise and their own enterprise. Owner managers of incorporated enterprises have not been identified in the underlying data and are included in the employee population.
The Jobs in Australia statistics are sourced from the Linked Employer Employee Dataset (LEED). The job counts in this release differ from the filled job estimates from other sources such as the Australian Labour Account and the Labour Force Australia. The Jobs in Australia release provides insights into all jobs held throughout the year, while the Labour Account data provides the number of filled jobs at a point-in-time each quarter (and annually for the financial year reference period), and Labour Force Survey data measures the number of people employed each month.
Aggregate data is provided by state, territory and national estimates. Data for Jobs in Australia 2011-12 to 2017-18 are being progressively released and will eventually be available for over 2,200 regions, at the SA4, SA3, SA2, LGA and GCCSA levels.
The LEED is a rich dataset which includes about 19 million job records each financial year since 2011-12 and contains over 120 million individual records over the period 2011-12 to 2017-18. The LEED supports Jobs in Australia statistics to be provided at a national, state and regional level. The release includes annual information from 2011-12 through to 2017-18.
The statistics in this release are produced from the Linked Employer Employee Dataset (LEED), using Australian Tax Office (ATO) administrative data linked to ABS Business Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment (BLADE).
Changes in the series
Data for previous years have not been revised.
Substantial quality improvements of industry information for OMUEs have been made to the 2017-18 data in relation to previous years. As such, any comparison of OMUEs across time by industry should be conducted with caution. For details, see the Explanatory Notes on Employed persons and their status in employment.
Concepts sources and methods
The data in this release are compiled from the Linked Employer Employee Dataset (LEED). The LEED set of data covers more than 120 million tax records over seven consecutive years between 2011-12 and 2017-18, and provides information for over 2,200 different regions based on a person’s residence.
The LEED is a cross-sectional database and is not longitudinal. It is comprised of a person file, a job file, and an employer file. These are discussed in more detail below.
Employed persons are linked to employers via jobs. A person can have a number of jobs throughout the year with one or many employers, some of which may be held concurrently with others.
The LEED includes person and employer level information provided to the ABS by the ATO and the Registrar of the Australian Business Register (ABR).
The LEED includes tax data supplied by the ATO to the ABS under the Taxation Administration Act 1953, which requires that such data is only used for the purpose of administering the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's core operational requirements.
The tax forms and instructions that are used to collect the underlying tax data used in this release can be found on the ATO website. Information about business registration can be found on the ABR website.
The LEED includes ABR data supplied by the Registrar to the ABS under A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999, which requires that such data is only used for the purpose of carrying out functions of the ABS. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ABR’s core operational requirements.
Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and secrecy of these data have been followed. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, results have been confidentialised to ensure they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation. All personal information is handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988.
The LEED includes all sources of income, regardless of whether the income provider resides within Australia's economic territory.
The LEED includes data for all persons who either submitted an individual tax return (ITR) or individuals who had a payment summary issued by an employer and then remitted to the ATO. Employees who did not submit a tax return and have not provided their Tax File Number to their employer will not appear in the LEED. Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises (OMUEs) who did not submit an ITR are also excluded.
The ABS receives tax data from the ATO approximately 16 months after the end of the financial year. These data then require processing time to construct the LEED, and the other main data source, the Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment (BLADE) to produce a coherent and clean persons dataset. These factors contribute to the longer time period between the end of the reference period and the release of statistics from the LEED than other ABS economic statistics.
The ABS acknowledges the continuing support of the ATO in compiling these statistics.
The person file
The LEED consists of three cross-sectional files, the person file is used to build the statistics presented in this release. The other files in the LEED are a jobs file and an employer file.
Each person file contains data for all persons who either submitted an ITR or who were identifiable on a payment summary in the reference year. Each record includes de-identified demographic and geographic data, and aggregate income information.
Employed persons may be either employees (including owner manager of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs), OMUEs, or both.
Employees are identified by the presence of aggregate employee income and at least one linked employee job.
Employees who have not submitted an ITR but who have provided their Tax File Number to their employer are imputed from Pay As You Go payment summary data.
OMUEs are identified by the presence of any of the own unincorporated business income types and a linked OMUE job.
Tax lodgers who are not employees or owner managers are included on the person file to support statistical analysis that requires a more complete view of the tax lodger population.
This release forms part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' ongoing program to increase the range of regional statistics available, particularly through the use of administrative information collected by other government agencies.
The employer file
The employer file contains all employers in a job relationship with someone on the person file at any point during the reference year.
An economic units model is used to describe the characteristics of employers and the structural relationships between related organisational units. This model defines organisations by enterprise group, type of activity, location and legal entities.
The ABS profiles large, complex and economically significant organisations, and structures them to accord with the economic units model. Legal entities that are under common ownership or control make up an enterprise group, and are included in the profiled population. Legal entities are usually represented by a single Australian Business Number (ABN). Enterprise groups are broken up into one or multiple type of activity units, each of which represents their economic activity within a specific industry subdivision. The remainder of ABN registrants are assumed to have simple structures and are regarded as a single legal entity. These units are known as the non-profiled population. The two populations are mutually exclusive and cover all organisations in Australia which have registered for an ABN.
For further information on the economic units model, refer to Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0, paragraphs 4.25 to 4.37).
In the LEED, an employer is any legal entity in the non-profiled population that is linked to a job; and any type of activity unit in the profiled population that is linked to a job.
Most employers are present in BLADE, however the LEED employer population also includes unincorporated entities. Some unincorporated entities are identified in personal income tax data and are not otherwise included in BLADE or cannot be identified in BLADE. Industry and several other employer variables are not available for these unincorporated entities, except for the ones in 2017-18 data who reported industry information in their ITR. (See Section Employed persons and their status in employment for more details about the 2017-18 data for unincorporated entities).
The jobs file
The jobs file is a complete list of the job relationships held at any time during the reference year.
The jobs file is constructed primarily from PAYG payment summary data. PAYG payment summaries describe the payments made to an individual by an employer within a financial year. Payment period start and end dates are included with this information. Conceptually, payment summary data should include most employee/employer job relationships. OMUE jobs are derived from ITR data and added to the jobs file, some of these link to businesses in BLADE.
In some cases a synthetic employee job record has been created based on information in the person file. This has occurred when a person has recorded wage or salary information that cannot be identified in payment summary data. In some cases an employee job may not be able to be linked to an employing organisation due to recording errors or missing information.
A person can hold several jobs during the year, either concurrently (as a multiple job-holder) or non-concurrently. For a person who is an employee of several employers, each relationship is listed as a separate job. While a person may own and manage more than one enterprise, due to data limitations only one self-employment job can be recorded for any OMUE. In the LEED, an OMUE can hold other jobs as an employee.
PAYG payment summary start and end dates are used to determine the start and end of a job relationship, to identify concurrent job-holding, and to determine the duration of the job. These dates are known to have high measurement error rates, which are likely to inflate job and concurrent job counts. Some of this error may be due to misinterpretation and recording errors, but it is also expected that payroll system and report design have an influence.
Some treatments have been applied to address over counts of jobs or concurrent job-holding, including:
- In cases where a person has received several PAYG payment summaries from the same employer, and the time between the end of the first payment summary and the start of the next payment summary is 31 days or less, this is counted as a single job.
- In cases where a person has received several PAYG payment summaries from different employers, they are only considered to be concurrent if they overlap by more than 31 days.
- In cases where a person has more than 10 jobs, those within the same industry sub-division (2-digit ANZSIC industry) are counted as a single job in the 2011-12 to 2016-17 data. A methodology improvement was introduced in processing the 2017-18 data, where if a person has more than 10 jobs, those within the same industry class (4-digit ANZSIC industry) are counted as a single job. This has brought in a negligible, 0.05%-0.07% increase to the count of total jobs.
These treatments are aimed at minimising the impact of administrative errors while also reflecting a reasonably accurate view of differing job structures.
The LEED jobs file does not capture voluntary jobs and unpaid contributing family worker jobs.
LEED integration method and results
ABS data integration practices comply with the High Level Principles for Data Integration Involving Commonwealth Data for Statistical and Research Purposes.
The LEED uses deterministic integration. Jobs are linked to legal entities using ABNs.
Where a legal entity is part of the profiled population, the assignment of an employed person to a type of activity unit may be modelled. This occurs when the legal entity is part of an enterprise group with more than one type of activity unit.
Modelled assignment to type of activity units is based on a logistic regression model developed using 2016 Census data. The model references independent variables common to both Census and personal income tax data, including sex, age, occupation, and region of usual residence. These are used to predict the industry of employment, which conceptually aligns to a type of activity unit.
Where an employee has multiple job relationships with the same reporting ABN in an enterprise group, each job relationship is assigned to the same type of activity unit.
Based on the model, each job record is assigned a probability of being in any of the type of activity units present in the employing enterprise group. Referencing these probabilities, iterative random assignment is undertaken until employment benchmarks are met. Benchmarks are based on Quarterly Business Indicators Survey (QBIS) data. Where a unit falls out of scope of QBIS, BLADE employment levels are substituted where possible, otherwise no benchmarking is done.
Quality note for selected variables
In this release, the main job held by a person is the job in which they received the highest employment income. Using income or earnings to identify a person's main job differs from ABS household surveys, which define a person's main job as the job in which the most hours are usually worked.
Employed persons and their status in employment
Any person with one or more job at any point during the year is considered to be an employed person. Employed persons can be employees (including OMIEs), OMUEs, or both.
An employee is an employed person who holds a job with a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages, salary, on a commission basis (with or without a retainer), tips, piece rates, or payment in kind. Employees in this publication are identified through the receipt of any of these types of payments as recorded on an ITR or on a PAYG payment summary.
OMIEs have not been identified separately to employees and so are included in employee counts.
Attributed personal services income is also counted as employee income, however data limitations mean that employer relationships for employees with this type of income are not able to be established.
Employees include owner managers of incorporated enterprises. Incorporated enterprises are business entities registered as a separate legal entity to its members or owners (also known as limited liability companies). These employees cannot be separately identified in this publication.
OMUEs are identified through ITRs, where a person has recorded business or personal services income (other than attributed personal services income). Where the person has recorded the ABN of their unincorporated enterprise, this may be able to be linked to a BLADE record. In cases where no BLADE record is identified, an employer record is created from the information on the ITR. These records contain limited information.
Two data quality enhancement processes were introduced in processing the 2017-18 ITR data. The first one sources ABNs of unincorporated enterprises from the Business Income Tax (BIT) data by matching business name information from ITR and BIT. This lead to improved linkage between ITR and BLADE and hence better business and industry information for OMUEs. The second process directly sources industry information for OMUE income earners from their ITR records, which greatly improved the quality of industry information for this group. Due to substantial quality improvement of industry information for OMUEs in the 2017-18 data in relation to previous years, any comparison of OMUEs across time by industry should be conducted with caution.
The conceptual definition of employment income used in this release is a component of personal income as described in Standards for Income Variables, and is based on the international standards agreed by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians which are explained in the Canberra Group Handbook on Household Income Statistics, Second Edition (2011).
Employment income in this release is limited to income that is conceptually consistent with the standard, but has some limitations as a result of using administrative data. A more complete and conceptually accurate view of personal income from all sources is published in Household Income and Wealth.
Adjusted employee income per job
Adjusted employee income per job is a supplementary view of income per job that accounts for the length of time an employee job was held. Because many jobs are held for less than the entire financial year, per job employee income is low relative to employee income. Adjusted employee income per job is designed to partially correct this by emulating an 'annual salary' for each job.
For example, an employee who earns $50,000 per year but changes jobs half way though the year may have an employee income of $50,000 but a per job employee income of $25,000 (for both jobs, assuming they are identical). Their Adjusted employee income per job will be $50,000, which is the assumed amount each job would have paid, should the employee have held it for the entire year.
Adjusted employee income per job is calculated by dividing regular payments (the following items on an individual non-business payment summary: 'gross payments', 'total allowances', 'reportable fringe benefits amount', and 'reportable employer superannuation contributions') received on a per job basis by the number of days the job was held. This figure is then multiplied by the number of days in the reference year. Irregular payments ('lump sum A and B') are then added to this figure.
Adjusted employee income per job is available for employee jobs only. It is not calculated for jobs held for only 1 day or for any jobs for which duration of job cannot be calculated.
Occupation in main job
Occupation in main job is recorded for each employee in reference to their main job only. This is reported by an employee or their tax agent in relation to the occupation of the job with the highest wage or salary. The ATO code reported occupations according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013 (ANZSCO) with some minor exceptions. Supplementary coding used by the ATO is subsequently concorded to ANZSCO by the ABS. Occupation in main job cannot be determined for a person who is only employed as an OMUE. In cases where the person’s main job is as an OMUE but where they have one or more secondary employee jobs, occupation will refer to the main employee job.
For employers in the non-profiled population, industry information in LEED is based on information provided by the registrant to the Australian Business Register. This is usually completed at the time of registration and may not be updated. It is the same industry variable used in most ABS business collections.
For employers in the profiled population, industry is based on information collected by the ABS. Industry is determined through the profiling process for each major activity in which a business operates and is recorded at the type of activity level. Profiling information is back and forward-cast in BLADE, and this impacts on the industry information in this publication.
All geographic variables are based on a person’s home address as reported on their ITR form. Addresses are coded to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard.
If a geography variable is missing on the ITR, if possible it is imputed from the individual's most recent PAYG payment summary.
All personal income tax statistics were provided to LEED analysts in de-identified form with no home address or date of birth. Addresses were coded to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard and date of birth was converted to an age at 30 June of the reference year prior to data provision.
To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, perturbation has been applied. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics, while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. Some cells have also been suppressed due to low counts.
For further information about these and other statistics, please contact the National Information and Referral Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.