As part of ongoing improvements to the estimation method for Labour Force statistics, the ABS will make some minor changes in how it accounts for some relatively small population groups within the sample.
There are various small groups, which together account for less than 2 per cent of the overall sample, who are more difficult to survey each month, contribute a higher degree of underlying sampling variability, and for whom there is more reliable auxiliary data sources (e.g. regular administrative data). This includes some people who don’t live in private dwellings and some people who live in remote and very remote parts of Australia.
As stated on 19 October 2023, ABS research and analysis has shown that estimation models that draw on auxiliary data for these groups produce a better quality contribution for them to aggregate Labour Force statistics.
Since then, in finalising the improved estimation model, the ABS has identified further improvements in how the auxiliary data should be used within these models.
Given many, but not all, of these groups have a relatively higher proportion of people who are not in the labour force, the optimised estimation method will better account for these people and their labour force characteristics. For recent years, this will generally mean an increase in the level and reduce the variability in the aggregate estimate of persons not in the labour force, along with corresponding changes to the employed and unemployed estimates.
The revisions to the participation rate will therefore now be greater than was noted in the 19 October release, while there will still be relatively little change in the unemployment rate.
In order to afford time to incorporate these further improvements into the method, the ABS will now introduce the new method with the February 2024 release (and quarterly population rebenchmarking revisions) on 21 March 2024, and not in the November 2023 release on 14 December 2023 as previously advised.
Further information, including on revisions, will be provided in the January 2024 release on 15 February.