Latest release

Labour force supplementary surveys

Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods
Reference period
2021
Released
15/02/2022
Next release Unknown
First release

A supplementary topic was included with the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the first time in November 1961, and this concept was gradually extended so that the majority of months in each year included supplementary questions on one or more topics.

Each Labour Force Supplementary Survey (LFSS) comprises a series of additional questions asked at the end of each LFS interview. The survey methodology does not differ greatly among the supplementary surveys, and in many aspects is the same as the LFS methodology (outlined in the section: Labour Force Survey). This section describes the broad survey methodology of the supplementary surveys. They should be used in conjunction with the subsections of this section, which outline elements of the methodology which are unique to each supplementary survey.

From July 2014, the ABS improved and consolidated the content of the LFS and labour supplementary surveys. See Information Paper: Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review, 2012 and Forthcoming changes to ABS Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys for more information.

The Characteristics of Employment Survey (COE) combines the key elements from the previous separate Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey (EEBTUM), Forms of Employment Survey (FOES) and Working Time Arrangements Survey, to provide a comprehensive and coherent dataset on characteristics of persons' employment.

The Participation, Job Search and Mobility (PJSM) Survey combines the key elements from the previous separate Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey (PNILF), Underemployed Workers Survey (UEW), Job Search Experience Survey (JSE) and Labour Mobility Survey (LM), to provide a comprehensive and coherent dataset on persons' experiences relating to job search, job change and increasing participation.

Objectives of the labour force supplementary surveys

The LFSSs form an important component of the ABS's household surveys program, which aims: 

  • to provide a range of statistics required to monitor the social and economic wellbeing of Australians, with particular reference to important sub-groups of the population; and
  • to support the development, implementation and evaluation of policies and programs of key Commonwealth and State government agencies.

The information requirements of ABS household surveys are determined on the basis of submissions from users on their needs for and uses of household survey data. They also reflect ABS deliberations on what is required of a national statistics program in the various subject fields, based on user contact and consultation.

In the field of labour statistics, supplementary surveys provide detailed information on a range of labour topics and interest groups such as:

  • labour force - labour force experience,
  • employment - underemployment; multiple job holding; forms of employment,
  • employees - earnings; trade union membership; benefits; and working arrangements,
  • unemployment - job search experience; successful and unsuccessful job search,
  • persons not in the labour force - discouraged job seekers; other persons with marginal attachment to the labour force, and
  • persons retrenched or made redundant from work.

Current and historical supplementary survey statistical releases

PublicationCatalogue NumberFrequencyData Availability
Characteristics of Employment, Australia6333.0AnnualThis product replaces the publications: Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia; Forms of Employment, Australia; Working Time Arrangements; and Locations of Work.
Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia6250.0IrregularThis product replaces the publication Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants, Australia.
Child Employment, Australia6211.0IrregularCurrent
Education and Work, Australia6227.0AnnualCurrent
Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia6310.0AnnualThis product has been replaced by Characteristics of Employment
Forms of Employment, Australia6359.0AnnualThis product has been replaced by Characteristics of Employment
Job Search Experience, Australia6222.0AnnualThis product has been replaced by Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia
Labour Force Experience, Australia6206.0BiennialDiscontinued
Labour Mobility, Australia6209.0BiennialThis product has been replaced by Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia
Locations of Work, Australia6275.0IrregularThis product has been replaced by Characteristics of Employment
Multiple Jobholding, Australia6216.0IrregularLatest data available on request July 2001
Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia6226.0AnnualThis product replaces Persons Not in the Labour Force; Underemployed Workers and Job Search Experience, Australia; and Labour Mobility, Australia
Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia6220.0AnnualThis product has been replaced by Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia
Persons Not in the Labour Force, Underemployed Workers and Job Search Experience, Australia6226.0.55.001One-off (Bridge)This product has been replaced by Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia. Originally, this product replaced the publications: Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia; Underemployed Workers, Australia; and Job Search Experience, Australia
Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, Australia4913.0IrregularCurrent
Underemployed Workers, Australia6265.0AnnualThis product has been replaced by Participation, Job Search and Mobility, Australia
Working Time Arrangements, Australia6342.0IrregularThis product has been replaced by Characteristics of Employment