While data in this release provides valuable insights into barriers and incentives to labour force participation, and the extent to which they are changing over time, there is a limit to the insights that sample surveys can provide for relatively small groups of people within the population (eg. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples).
The ABS is partnering with other parts of the Australian Public Service to identify other data that can provide information on how different groups of people participate in the labour market. For example, administrative data provides a greater ability to produce robust estimates of changes over time for relatively small groups of people, particularly when integrated with a large demographic dataset like the Census. For a list of recent and current analysis of large administrative datasets, see Multi-Agency Data Integration Project Research Projects.
In addition to point-in-time survey data, administrative data and Census data, the Department of Social Services has noted significant changes in the barriers to labour market participation over time for particular groups in HILDA and other longitudinal studies. For example, that the proportion of Australians with caring responsibilities that are participating in the labour force or engaged in education or training has increased over the past 20 years. At the same time, the opposite has been true for those with significant disability and health barriers with a proportional decrease in participation. Further analysis of longitudinal data in future years will provide additional insights.
Data on barriers and incentives will inform the Australian Government's Employment White Paper (the White Paper) and its discussion of labour force participation. The White Paper will provide a roadmap for Australia to build a bigger, better trained and more productive workforce. As per its Terms of Reference, the White Paper will discuss improving labour force participation and employment outcomes for groups who face barriers in the labour market, including women, First Nations people, and people with disability.
The ABS will add to this section over time, highlighting additional data initiatives across the Australian Public Service
Additional information on 31 March 2023:
The Australian Public Service produces data and insights into the labour market experience of Australia’s migrant cohorts, to better understand barriers they face. The Department of Home Affairs, via the Continuous Survey of Australia’s Migrants (CSAM), produces employment outcome data for the recent skilled migrant cohort. As at 2018, at the six-month stage of settlement, Australia’s skilled migrants demonstrated an employment to population ratio and labour force participation rate above that for the general population. Future CSAM releases will also include information on barriers and difficulties experienced in finding work.
The Department of Social Services commissions Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA), a longitudinal study researching how Australia’s humanitarian migrant cohort settle into life in Australia. Information on employment and barriers that hinder positive settlement outcomes is available, the study ran from 2013 to 2018 and recommenced in 2022, with results expected to be available from early 2024 onwards.
Jobs in Australia (JIA), produced by the ABS from the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset (LEED), now contains information on employed migrants, allowing further analysis of migrant outcomes. The ABS released the Permanent Migrants in Australia dataset on March 29 and the Temporary Visa Holders in Australia dataset will be released on April 28. These two information sources link data from the 2021 Census with data from Home Affairs. The information produced provides insights into the labour force participation of permanent and temporary migrants, by visa stream.
Additional information on 7 July 2023:
Since April 2023, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has been providing additional monthly data on people participating in the Workforce Australia program.
Similarly, the Department of Social Services also began releasing additional data within the existing monthly data on income support recipients.
Both releases include more detailed breakdowns than were previously available from these data, such as age groups by sex, to support further analysis of people outside of employment or who were facing barriers within the labour market.