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.
Major rebenchmarking of labour force estimates
Labour Force estimates have been rebenchmarked to the 2021 Census-based ERP (estimated resident population), resulting in revisions to Labour Force estimates from July 2016 onwards. Revisions at the Australia-level are minimal, and have been summarised in the following article.
Reinstating Trend data
The ABS has reinstated Labour Force Trend estimates (including for the entire COVID period) and reverted to concurrent seasonal adjustment. Trend estimates for the quarterly series (Table 04) are now available in this issue, along with the Trend estimates of the monthly series (Table 14b).
For further information, see Seasonal adjustment and trend estimates in Survey Impacts and Changes, in Labour Force, Australia, October 2022.