Jobs in Australia methodology

This is not the latest release View the latest release
Reference period
2015-16 to 2019-20

Jobs in Australia provides annual information 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 within the employee population. A person can have several jobs throughout the year with one or many employers, some of which may be held concurrently with others.

How data are collected

The Jobs in Australia statistics are compiled from the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset (LEED), which is built using Australian Taxation Office (ATO) administrative data linked to ABS Business Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment (BLADE).


The LEED is a rich dataset that includes about 18 to 20 million job records each financial year since 2011-12 and contains over 170 million individual records over the period 2011-12 to 2019-20 

The LEED covers all persons who either:

  • submitted an individual tax return (ITR); or
  • had a Pay As You Go (PAYG) 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.

Data sources

The LEED incorporates:

  • employer level data that include the ABS’s BLADE data and the ABS Business Register data supplied by the Registrar of Australian Business Register (ABR) 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; and 
  • person level ITR data, job level PAYG payment summary data and Client Register (CR) 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.

The data limitations or weaknesses outlined below are in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's core operational requirements.

The ABS acknowledges the continuing support of the ATO in compiling these statistics. 

Data on Migrants

The Migrant data used in LEED are sourced from the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) integrated data asset.

The Migrant data are a suite of administrative datasets (visa grants and settlements database) from the Department of Home Affairs. These data pertain to permanent migrants and temporary entrants to Australia, as well as Australian citizens who have travelled into or out of Australia. 

The scope of the Migrant data includes:

  • Visas granted between 1 January 1990* to 31 December 2021; and
  • Settlements Database records for permanent migrants with an arrival date between 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2020 (which was then scoped further to exclude arrival dates after 30 June 2020).

* Includes incomplete data for records prior to 1 January 1990. 

How data are processed

Integration method

LEED links jobs to employers; hence employed persons are linked to employers via the jobs they hold.

Before the linkage takes place, an input job level file is created largely based on the PAYG payment summary file. This file is also enhanced with job records derived using ITR information, to cover jobs without payment summary information, such as OMUE jobs. Data quality of this file is also enhanced using occupation information from ITR, and the best available age, sex, and geographic information between the PAYG, ITR and CR data.      

Jobs are then integrated with the employer in one of two methods. The method used is dependent on which part of the business population on the ABS Business Register the employer is grouped into.

  • Non-profiled population (businesses with a simple structure): a deterministic approach using the Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • Profiled population (businesses with a complex structure): a more detailed approach to linking is used, detailed below. 

Where an employer is part of the profiled population, the relevant jobs are assigned to the type of activity units 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. Iterative random assignment is undertaken using these probabilities until employment benchmarks are met. Benchmarks are based on Quarterly Business Indicators Survey (QBIS) data where unit is in scope. Otherwise, BLADE employment levels are substituted where possible, or no benchmarking is done.

The above process is applied to link the different input datasets for each financial year. Records have not been integrated across years and therefore, the LEED is a cross-sectional database and is not longitudinal.

ABS data integration practices comply with the High-Level Principles for Data Integration Involving Commonwealth Data for Statistical and Research Purposes. For further information see - Keeping integrated data safe

Component datasets

The LEED consists of three cross-sectional files: a person file, a job file and an employer file. The LEED is not longitudinal and each file is for a single financial year

The person 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-managers of incorporated enterprises or 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 PAYG 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.

The business file

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.

The business file contains business units present in BLADE that could be linked to a job, as well as 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 or later year data who reported industry information in their ITR.

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. 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 reporting errors or missing information. 

A person can hold several jobs during the year, either concurrently (as a multiple job-holder) or consecutively. For a person who is an employee of several employers, each relationship is listed as a separate job. Due to data limitations, only one self-employment job can be recorded for any OMUE even if a person owns and manages more than one enterprise. 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. From the 2017-18 reference year, a lower level of industry classification - those within the same industry class (4-digit ANZSIC industry), was used to collapse jobs. This change has improved data quality, but has brought in a negligible increase to the number of total jobs reported compared with reported numbers in the old approach. 

These treatments are aimed at minimising the impact of administrative errors while also reflecting a reasonably accurate view of differing job structures.

Data on multiple job holders can also be found in the Labour Account Australia, however there are a number of differences between the two sources. For a full description of these differences, see Multiple Job Holders.

The LEED jobs file excludes voluntary jobs and unpaid contributing family worker jobs.

Integrating data for migrants

In 2022, Migrant data were added to the LEED for the 2019-20 financial year. Personal identifiers were used to integrate the Migrant data with the ATO's Client Register data, where it is then integrated into LEED. This enables more detailed analysis of labour market and fiscal contributions of migrants to the economy, allowing policy makers and researchers to better understand the migrant experience and their economic contribution to Australia. 

Privacy and confidentiality

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.

All personal income tax statistics were analysed in de-identified form with no home address or date of birth included in LEED input files. 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.

How data are released

The LEED has two releases, Jobs in Australia and Personal Income in Australia.  Both have detailed tables in data downloadable format.  LEED data are also available in the TableBuilder format in Microdata: Jobs and Income of Employed Persons. The TableBuilder product contains a broad range of data items covered in both Jobs in Australia and Personal Income in Australia. It is a rich source of information for data users interested in making customised analysis tables.

The Jobs in Australia release provides aggregate data for Australia, states and territories, and nearly 2,300 regions, as classified in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), including at the Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4), Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3), Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2), Local Government Area (LGA) and Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA) levels. It covers a wide variety of estimates including number of jobs, number of employed persons, median employment income per job, number of OMUEs etc. The estimates are also presented by person, job, or employer characteristics such as age, sex, occupation, industry, employment size, etc. 

Summary tables in the current release present data for the five financial years between 2015-16 and 2019-20. Summary statistics for the full time series from 2011-12 to 2019-20 are presented in Table 15 in the Data download tab.

Data limitations

Jobs in Australia is subject to the following sources of error:

  • Conceptual misalignment. The Australian tax system is purpose-built and complex, and in some cases it is difficult to determine how a particular income tax item should be used to describe income standards, and in some cases the item can be a partial conceptual match. While all care is taken, some income items are subject to this type of validity error. Coherence with other sources indicates that this has a low impact on aggregate series.
  • Measurement error. This is likely to be present in both person and employer information used. Most measurement error is unable to be determined or corrected; however, coherence with other similar statistics demonstrates that the error amount is small, and this has a low impact on aggregate series.
  • Incomplete information. Sometimes, Individual Tax Returns are not lodged, or not all items (e.g. occupation) are completed. The ABS advises caution when interpreting data subject to high rates of missing information.

Quality note for selected variables

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 through 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 received on a per job basis by the number of days the job was held. Regular payments include the following items on an individual non-business payment summary:

  • 'gross payments',
  • 'total allowances',
  • 'reportable fringe benefits amount', and
  • 'reportable employer superannuation contributions'.

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.

Employment income

In this release, employment income is defined as a component of personal income to conceptually follow Standards for Income Variables. These standards are based on the international standards agreed by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians and are included in the Canberra Group Handbook on Household Income Statistics, Second Edition (2011).

Employment income estimates in this release have 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, Australia.


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 (ASGS).

In this release, the names and boundaries of all states and territories, GCCSAs, SA4s, SA3s, and SA2s are based on or concorded to the 2016 edition of ASGS: Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas; those of all LGAs are based on the 2020 edition of ASGS: Non ABS Structures.

If a geography variable is missing on the ITR, if possible, it is imputed from the individual's most recent PAYG payment summary.

Details of jobs from regions unknown (not stated or indeterminate) or reported by lodgers living overseas are included in the totals shown. Jobs in Other territories are not published separately but included in the national totals. Therefore, the totals in each table may not necessarily be the sum of their components.


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.

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 release, however, industry data for previous financial years in LEED has not been revised.

Main job

In this release, the main job held by a person is the job in which they received the highest employment income. This differs from ABS household surveys, which define a person's main job as the job in which the most hours are usually worked.  

Multiple job holders and concurrent jobs

Multiple job holders are persons who have two or more concurrent jobs at any point during the financial year. Due to data limitations, concurrency cannot be determined for self-employment jobs and they have been excluded from concurrent job counts. 

The tendency for employees who leave a job during the year to be retained in pay systems until the end of the financial year results in some jobs being incorrectly identified as concurrent.


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 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. 

Status in employment

Any person with one or more job at any point during the year is considered to be an employed person. 

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 release 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.

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 ITR data from the 2017-18 reference period. The first one identifies ABNs of unincorporated enterprises from the Business Income Tax (BIT) data by matching business name information from ITR and BIT. This leads 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 later years, any comparison of OMUEs across time by industry should be conducted with caution. 

Differences to other labour statistics

There are differences between Jobs in Australia statistics and other labour statistics produced by the ABS; these are due to differences in underlying concepts, scope, and methods.

Jobs in Australia provides annual insights into job relationships that have occurred during the reference financial year, at both the national and regional levels, detailed up to Statistical Area Level 2 with nearly 2,300 regions. It is a source of regional estimates on the number of jobs, number of job holders and employment income.

The ABS receives ATO data approximately 16 months after the end of the financial year. This lag, in addition to the processing time required to construct LEED and produce the statistics for Jobs in Australia, currently results in a delay of approximately two years between the end of the reference financial year and the release.

Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages

Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages (WPJW) presents payroll job and wage estimates, indexed to the week ending 14 March 2020. It provides measures for changes in payroll jobs at both the national level and for regions.

WPJW is compiled from administrative data - payroll information provided to the ATO by businesses with Single Touch Payroll (STP) enabled payroll and accounting software. The WPJW release covers all payroll jobs reported via STP and excludes OMUEs who do not pay themselves a wage or salary. Jobs in Australia has more complete coverage than WPJW for the following types of jobs:

  • Jobs with no PAYG payment summary issued but included in the ITR;
  • Jobs with a PAYG payment summary issued, but the employer for which was not reporting through STP; and
  • OMUEs.

Labour Force

Labour Force Australia provides ABS’s monthly headline estimates of employment, unemployment, underemployment, participation and hours worked. Estimates are available at the national, state and territory, and Statistical Area 4 levels, but not to lower geographical level. Labour Force Australia is compiled from the monthly Labour Force Survey. The key statistics measured are persons rather than jobs. Employed persons in Labour Force Australia has a broader scope than in Jobs in Australia, including not only employees and OMUEs, but also contributing family workers.

Labour Account

Labour Account Australia provides quarterly and annual time series data, consisting of four quadrants: Jobs, Persons, Hours and Payments. The estimates are at the national level. Statistics in Labour Account Australia are sourced from business and household surveys, ABS business register information, defence force information, child workers information and estimates from the ABS Labour Force Survey for contributing family workers.

The number of filled jobs in Labour account is a stock measure at a point-in-time each quarter (and annually for the financial year reference period). This is in comparison to number of filled jobs being a flow measure in Jobs in Australia. The Labour Account framework covers all types of employment including employees, OMUEs and contributing family workers.

For more information on the range of different data sources, see ABS Labour Statistics: A broad range of information.


Show all

Adjusted employee income per job

A supplementary view of income per job that accounts for the length of time an employee job was held. Duration adjusted income divides regular payments by the number of days the job was held, and then multiplies this figure by the number of days in the reference year.


Age of employed person as at 30 June of the reference year.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register

A register of all Australian businesses and organisations maintained by the ABS for the purpose of producing statistical frames and business demography outputs. It contains identifying and classificatory data for each business and organisation.

Information to populate the ABS Business Register is largely sourced from the Australian Business Register.

The ABS Business Register consists of two subpopulations, the profiled population and the non-profiled population. The ABS Business Register uses an economic units model to describe the characteristics of businesses and the structural relationships between related businesses.

Australian Business Number

A unique identifier. To be entitled to an Australian Business Number (ABN), an organisation must be one or more of the following:

  • a company registered under the Corporations Act 2001
  • an entity carrying on an enterprise in Australia
  • a government entity
  • a non-profit sub-entity for Goods and Services Tax purposes
  • a superannuation fund.

A non-resident entity may be entitled to an ABN if they are carrying on an enterprise in Australia and/or, in the course of carrying on an enterprise, the entity makes sales that are connected with Australia.

Australian Business Register

The data store containing details about businesses and organisations that have registered for an Australian Business Number. More information can be found on the ABR website.

Australian citizen

In these data, Australian citizen refers to persons who arrived to live in Australia on a permanent or temporary visa and have since obtained Australian citizenship. 

Bridging visa holders

Bridging visas are a temporary visa granted to permit the visa holder to stay, leave and return, make arrangements for a substantive visa or finalise immigration matters or decisions when their current substantive visa is ceasing or has ceased, and their substantive visa application or immigration decision is being processed.

Business Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment

Combines business tax data and information from ABS surveys with data about the use of government programs. Business Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment (BLADE) contains data on all active businesses from 2001-02, sourced from:

  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science programs
  • The Australian Taxation Office
  • Intellectual Property Government Open Data, produced by IP Australia
  • ABS surveys, including the Business Characteristics Survey, Economic Activity Survey and the Survey of Research and Experimental Development.

Concurrent job

A job that has an overlap with another job held by the same person of more than 31 days.

Contributing family workers

Persons who work without pay in an economic enterprise operated by a relative. Contributing family worker jobs are not included in this release.

Country of citizenship

The country of which a person holds or held citizenship.

Duration adjusted employee income per job

See adjusted employee income per job.

Duration of job

The number of days a job was held during the financial year. This is calculated by subtracting the start date of a job from the end date. 

Employed person

Any person with one or more paid job. Employed persons in this release can be employees, owner managers of unincorporated enterprises, or both. Employed persons are persons who have employment income in the reference year, excluding those whose employment income is made up entirely of an employment termination payment.


Persons who work for an employer and receive pay in the reference period in the form of wages or salaries, a commission while also receiving a retainer, tips, piece rates or payments in kind. In this release, persons who operated their own incorporated enterprises are also included as employees.

Employee income per job

Employee income received in relation to each job held in the financial year. In this release employee income is limited to income types that are conceptually consistent with the definition of employee income described in Standards for Income Variables, and are available in the underlying dataset. 

Employee job

A job for which the occupant receives remuneration in wages, salary, payment in kind, or piece rates. This excludes self-employment jobs held by owner mangers of unincorporated enterprises.


An organisation with an Australian Business Number that provides employment income to one or more people.

Employer file

Part of the Linked Employer Employee Dataset, which lists all the employer level information. 

Employment income

Employment income received in the financial year. Includes employee income and own unincorporated business income. In this release employment income is limited to income types that are conceptually consistent with the definition of employment income described in Standards for Income Variables, and are available in the underlying dataset. 

Employment income per job

Employment income received in relation to each job in the financial year. 

Employment income per person

Employment income received by employed persons in the financial year, from all jobs worked during that year. 

Employment size

The closing stock headcount derived from business activity statements, as presented in the Business Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment. 

Employing businesses and organisations are categorised as having:

  • 4 or fewer employees
  • 5-19 employees
  • 20-199 employees
  • 200+ employees

The employment sizes are not actual counts of linked employed persons in the underlying data, and cannot be compared to these counts. This is because the number of linked employed persons in the underlying data is a measure for the entire reference year, and not the closing stock. 

End date

See start and end dates

Enterprise group

A statistical unit that includes all the Australian operations of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. Multiple legal entities can operate within a single enterprise group, and each enterprise group is broken up into one or more types of activity units.

Family visa stream

This group includes persons who have arrived in Australia on a Child, Partner, Parent or Other Family stream visa. These migrants are selected based on their family relationship (spouse, de facto partner, intent to marry, child, parent, other family) with their sponsor who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand Citizen.

First concurrent job

The job with the highest employment income that is held concurrently with another job (see second concurrent job). The first concurrent job may also be the main job.


All geographic variables are based on a person's home address as reported on their Income Tax Return form. Addresses are coded to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

Greater Capital City Statistical Area

Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs) are designed to represent the functional extent of each of the eight State and Territory capital cities. They include the people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, but live in the small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. GCCSAs are not bound by a minimum population size criterion. GCCSAs are built from SA4s.

Humanitarian visa stream

This group includes permanent entrants under the Humanitarian Program. For more information about this program, see Resettle in Australia (

Individual tax return

The annual tax return submitted by individuals to the Australian Taxation Office.


A homogenous grouping of economic activities undertaken to produce goods and services. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006 is used to classify an entity to an industry based on its dominant activity.

Industry division

The broadest grouping of industries within the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification. The main purpose of the industry division level is to provide a limited number of categories, which give a broad overall picture of the economy. There are 19 mutually exclusive divisions.

Industry subdivision

The second broadest grouping of industries within the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification. Industry subdivisions are built up from industry groups which, in turn, are built up from industry classes. 

Institutional sector

Institutional sector of each employing business aligns with the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia outlined in Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia.


A relationship between an employed person and their employing enterprise. This can be a relationship between an employee and an employer (an employee job) or between an owner manager of an unincorporated enterprise and their own enterprise (a self-employment job).

Job file

Part of the Linked Employer Employee Dataset, which lists all jobs identified in the reference year.

Labour force

The Labour Force, also referred to as the current economically active population, is the aggregate of employed and unemployed persons. This gives a measure of the number of people contributing to, or actively looking and immediately available for, the supply of labour at a point in time.

Legal entity

A unit in the ABS economic units model, and usually relates to an ABN.

In this release, the legal entity is used to represent employers in the non-profiled population.

Linked Employer Employee Dataset

A Linked Employer Employee Dataset (LEED) is any dataset that integrates information about employers and their employees. The LEED used to compile this release includes cross-sectional employer, person and job files that integrate personal income tax data with employer information from the Business Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment.

Main applicant

The 'main applicant' or 'primary applicant' is generally the person whose skills or proposed activities in Australia are assessed by the Department of Home Affairs as part of their visa application. They will usually have been specifically identified on the application form as the 'main applicant'.

Main job

The main source of employment income for an employed person. An employed person can only have one main job.

Maximum concurrent jobs

The highest number of jobs held by a person at any one point in time. It may be different to the total jobs held during the reference year.

Median employment income per job

A mid-point measure of the employment income received as a result of a single job.

Median employment income per person

A mid-point measure of the sum of employment income received as a result of all jobs held by a person.

Multiple job holder

An employee with two or more concurrent employee jobs at any point during the financial year (see first concurrent job and second concurrent job). Owner manager of unincorporated enterprise jobs are excluded due to the inability to determine the start and end dates of these jobs.

Non-profiled population

The non-profiled population is one of the two employer populations referenced in this release. Businesses and organisations in the non-profiled population have simple structures and the Australian Business Number (ABN) unit is suitable for statistical purposes. 

Not published (np)

Statistic is not able to be published. This can be to protect the confidentiality of data providers or to prevent misinterpretation of statistics due to poor quality.

Occupation in main job

A collection of jobs that are sufficiently similar in their title and tasks, skill level and skill specialisation, which are grouped together for the purposes of classification. Occupation refers to Major Group as defined by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013 of the job which the employed person identifies as their main wage or salary job.

Other and Undetermined permanent visa stream

Includes all other permanent visa categories (not included in the Skilled, Family or Humanitarian streams) or where the type of permanent visa could not be determined.

Other Temporary visa holders

Includes all other temporary visa subclasses not included in the Special Category (New Zealand citizen) (subclass 444), Student, Temporary Work (Skilled) and Working Holiday Makers categories.

Owner-manager of incorporated enterprises (OMIE)

People who work in their own incorporated enterprise, which is a business entity registered as a separate legal entity to its members or owners (may also be known as a limited liability company). OMIEs are included in counts of employees.

Incorporated enterprises are further defined in the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia.

Owner-manager of unincorporated enterprises (OMUE)

A person who operates their own unincorporated enterprise, which does not possess a separate legal identity to that of its owner(s), or engages independently in a profession or trade.

OMUEs can also be referred to as self-employed. The employed population is made up of OMUEs and employees (including owner managers of incorporated enterprises).

Unincorporated enterprises are further defined in the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia.

Own unincorporated business income per job

Income from self-employment received in the financial year. In this release own unincorporated business income is limited to income types that are conceptually consistent with the definition of own unincorporated business income described in Standards for Income Variables, and are available in the underlying dataset. 

Pay As You Go (PAYG) payment summary

The annual summary provided by an employer to the Australian Taxation Office with respect to an employee, as part of the Pay As You Go taxation system. It records job level information reported by employers about the payments made to an employee, tax withheld, and the start and end dates for each job.

Permanent migrant

A person who was born overseas, was not an Australian citizen or New Zealand citizen on arrival, does not currently hold New Zealand citizenship, and has permanent Australian resident status.

Permanent visa

The permission or authority granted by Australia for foreign nationals to live in Australia permanently.

Person file

Part of the Linked Employer Employee Dataset, which lists all persons who submitted a tax return or who were provided with an individual non-business payment summary in relation to the reference year.

Profiled population

The profiled population is one of the two employer populations. Businesses and organisations in the profiled population have large, complex structures that are not suitable for statistical purposes at the Australian Business Number level. These organisations include one or more legal entity that form an enterprise group. The enterprise group is divided up into types of activity unit which form the unit of analysis in the profiled population.

Second concurrent job

The job with the highest employment income that is held concurrently with the first concurrent job. Other concurrent jobs not held simultaneously with the first concurrent job may have higher employment income.

Secondary applicant

A person whose visa was granted on the basis of being a family member (e.g., spouse, dependent child) of a person who qualified for a visa. They will have been identified on the visa application as an 'other' or secondary applicant with the person who met the visa criteria being specifically identified on the visa application as the 'main applicant'.

Secondary job

Any job held by an employed person, other than their main job. A person can have multiple secondary jobs.

Self-employment job

A job that is held by an owner manager of an unincorporated enterprise as a result of the relationship between the owner manager and their own enterprise. Due to data limitations a person can only hold one self-employment job.


The self reported sex of a person as recorded by the Australian Tax Office. Binary coding to female and not female is undertaken for privacy and confidentiality purposes.

Skilled visa stream

This stream consists of several categories for prospective migrants where there is demand in Australia for their particular skills. They could be nominated by an employer or State/Territory Government, apply under points based Skilled Migration, have outstanding talents or demonstrated business skills. For more information about this program, see Skilled migration program (

Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders

Special Category permits New Zealand citizens to visit, study, stay and work in Australia. Special Category visas are granted on arrival in Australia and cease when the visa holder departs Australia.

Start and end dates

Start and end dates associated with each job as reported on individual payments summaries. These are in reference to the financial year only and do not necessarily reflect when a job was actually started or ended. For example, a job with a start date of 01 July 2015 may have been held before this date and a job with an end date of 30 June 2016 may be held after this date.

Statistical Area Level 2

The smallest geographical region used in the Jobs in Australia release. Statistical Area level 2 (SA2s) regions aim to represent a community that interacts together socially and economically. They are generally designed to be within the population range 3,000 to 25,000 persons, and on average have a population of approximately 10,000 persons.

Statistical Area Level 3

Geographical areas built from whole SA2s, which are designed for statistical output purposes and to provide a regional breakdown of Australia. Statistical Area level 3 (SA3s) regions create a standard framework for the analysis of ABS data at the regional level that have similar regional characteristics, administrative boundaries or labour markets. SA3s generally have populations between 30,000 and 130,000 persons.

Statistical Area Level 4

Geographical areas built from whole SA3s, Statistical Area level 4 (SA4) regions are specifically designed to reflect labour markets within each state and territory within population limits. In regional areas, SA4s tend to have lower populations (100,000 to 300,000), while in metropolitan areas, SA4s tend to have larger populations (300,000 to 500,000).

Student visa holders

These are overseas students who undertake full-time study in a recognised educational institution. Students can apply to have partners and dependent children under the age of eighteen accompany them to Australia. These family members are known as secondary visa holders and are counted in student visa numbers.

Temporary Skilled visa holders

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa holders permitted to travel to Australia to work in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor for up to four years.

Temporary visa

The permission or authority granted by Australia for foreign nationals to live in Australia temporarily.

Total jobs held during the year

The total number of jobs held by a person during the financial year. This includes jobs that were held concurrently and those that were not.

Type of activity unit

The statistical unit for more significant and diverse businesses in the profiled population. A type of activity unit (TAU) is a constructed unit that can practically group and report on homogenous production activities at the industry sub-division level.

The TAU is used to represent employers in the profiled population.

Type of legal organisation

All legal entities on the ABS Business Register are classified according to their type of legal organisation, of which there are three types:

  • Incorporated private sector entities
  • Unincorporated private sector entities
  • Public sector entities.

The type of legal organisation indicates whether a business is part of the private or public sector and the type of ownership structure.

Visa stream (permanent)

The permanent visa subclasses held by individuals are categorised into the following visa streams.

  • Skilled stream
  • Family stream
  • Humanitarian stream
  • Other and Undetermined permanent visa stream

Visa stream (temporary)

The temporary visa subclasses held by individuals are categorised into the following visa streams.

  • Skilled stream
  • Student stream
  • Special Category stream
  • Working Holiday Makers
  • Other Temporary visa stream

Working Holiday Makers visa

Permits young adults from countries with reciprocal bilateral arrangements (with Australia) to undertake short term work or study while holidaying in Australia.


ABRAustralian Business Register
ABSBRAustralian Bureau of Statistics Business Register
ANZSCOAustralian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
ASGSAustralian Statistical Geography Standard
ATOAustralian Taxation Office
BLADEBusiness Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment
GCCSAGreater Capital City Statistical Area
ITRIndividual Tax Return
LEEDLinked Employer-Employee Dataset
LFSLabour Force Survey
OMUEOwner manager of unincorporated enterprise
PAYGPay as you go
PITPersonal Income Tax
SA2Statistical Area Level 2
SA3Statistical Area Level 3
SA4Statistical Area Level 4
SIHSurvey of Income and Housing
SESCAStandard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia
STPSingle Touch Payroll
TAUType of Activity Unit
TOLOType of Legal Organisation
TFNTax File Number
WPJWWeekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia


Back to top of the page