Flooding in New South Wales and Queensland in late February 2022 resulted in a major disruption to the operation of the Labour Force Survey. As a result, there was lower than usual numbers of responding households in some of the affected regions in March 2022.
Given the severity of these disruptions and to ensure that this loss of sample did not affect data for Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, the ABS imputed some sample within 15 statistical area level 4 (SA4s) regions for March 2022. Data for the impacted SA4s for March 2022 is not published in this release. The ABS expects to resume publishing these estimates with the release of April data in May 2022.
For more details of the imputation, please refer to RM1 and RM3 in Labour market regions (SA4).
Data from the monthly Labour Force Survey are released in two stages:
- Labour Force, Australia - which contains headline estimates of employment, unemployment, underemployment, participation and hours worked
- Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - which contains detailed data not included in the first release
This second release of Labour Force Survey data includes the latest detailed monthly and quarterly data. Some information, including industry, occupation, sector, job duration, and retrenchment, is only available for February, May, August and November.
As a result, in the 'non-quarter' months, the quarterly spreadsheets and datacubes have a different reference period. For example, the May issue contains May monthly and May quarterly data, while the July issue will contain July monthly and May quarterly data.
For more information on the data contained in the first and second releases, see the Survey output section of the Labour Force Survey Methodology page.
Using regional labour force data
Annual averages are important for understanding the current state of the labour market, and providing medium and long-term signals.
However, unusual, sudden and/or extreme changes in the labour market (e.g. changes to regular and seasonal patterns in employment, working hours, job search or availability as a result of COVID-19) can be difficult to account for in the short-term using a 12 month moving average. The application of an annual average to the original regional estimates in Table 16b is unlikely to accurately or quickly detect turning points in the time series during periods of significant change, which should be considered before drawing any conclusions from these estimates.
For advice on reporting data from our regional labour force products (Pivot tables RM1, RM3 and Tables 16, 16B, 16C) see Advice on reporting regional labour force data.