Microdata: Time Use

Describes the definitions, concepts, methodology and estimation procedures used in the Time Use Survey

Introduction

Overview

This publication contains details about the 2006 Time Use Survey (TUS). It includes information about the survey objectives, the development process, content of the survey and the methods and procedures used in the collection and processing of data. It also includes information about the quality and interpretation of the survey results and about the products and services available. 

The 2006 Time Use Survey was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to obtain information about the way people allocate time to different kinds of activities. It was conducted over four periods during 2006 in order to balance seasonal influences which affect time use patterns. The first national Time Use Survey was conducted by the ABS in 1992 which followed from a pilot test in Sydney in 1987. The Time Use Survey was conducted again in 1997. Comparison of the national data can be made across time. Time use surveys collect information about all activities people engage in during a specified period. As a result of this, the range of information they provide is very broad. 

Information was collected from households using an interview and a diary. The interview was designed to provide characteristics by which the population can be disaggregated into sub-groups in order to examine differences in time use. The diary contained information about the way respondents spent their time over a two day period. 

Details of the 2006 Time Use Survey were tabled in Federal Parliament in accordance with section 6(3) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 and the survey was conducted under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The ABS sought the willing cooperation of people living in private dwellings. Under its legislation the ABS cannot release identifiable information about households, families or individuals. The confidentiality of all information provided by respondents is guaranteed.

Survey background and purpose

Overview

The Australian time use surveys have been supported by submissions from Commonwealth and State government and non-government organisations for policy development and monitoring in areas as diverse as community services, employment, women's affairs, families, education, communication, health, town and traffic planning, media and leisure. Time allocation data can be analysed in relation to the demographic, socio-economic and other personal characteristics collected in the survey.

Objectives of the 2006 survey

The 2006 Time Use Survey was designed to identify 

  • unpaid work in the household and the breakdown of this work between men and women and by life stage;
  • daily life patterns and support needs of various groups such as older persons, unemployed persons and persons with disabilities;
  • labour force issues such as the comparison of the hours of paid work for men and women and barriers to work force participation;
  • time spent on voluntary work, caring and other unpaid community work;
  • patterns of leisure activity;
  • transport issues;
  • the production of services not included in estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); and
  • to make comparisons with the 1992 and 1997 surveys to identify changes in patterns of time use.

The survey also provides information on:

  • balancing paid work with other aspects of life;
  • caring for people with disabilities and frail older people;
  • caring for children;
  • community participation;
  • fitness and health activities;
  • travel;
  • use of technology; and
  • outsourcing of domestic tasks.

Time use as a social indicator

Although each person has 24 hours in a day, the demands on time vary greatly from person to person. While personal choices contribute to differences in time use, life-cycle stage, family commitments, sex and other socio-economic characteristics have determining effects. Time use could be a useful indicator of well-being, having implications for income, health, equality of access to opportunities, and personal fulfilment. Comparisons can be made between various sub-groups, between a sub-group and the population as a whole, and between Australia and other countries. As this is the third national time use survey, comparisons can also be made over time. 

Having too much to do, or too little to do, can both be seen as conditions of disadvantage, affecting income, health and morale. Persons living alone, for instance, who report no social contact and considerable stretches of time doing 'nothing' may not see themselves as fortunate. An unemployed person may prefer income-producing work to free time. However, having too much to do in some areas can interfere with adequate access to other uses of time. Someone who is caring for an elderly parent with a disability, for instance, may not have enough unencumbered time for income earning activities, with implications for that person's financial security in the future. Another person who works for income and also carries the main responsibility for parenting and housework may not have adequate leisure or rest time to maintain good health. The 2006 Time Use Survey explores the concept of 'time stress'. Questions in the diary record people's perception of how often they have too much or too little time and the reasons for this as well as their satisfaction with the way they spend their time.

Unpaid work

The well-being of many people depends on unpaid work undertaken by individuals. If services such as: cooking; cleaning; domestic management; home and car maintenance; care of the frail, sick and those with disabilities; and care of children are not provided 'free', they have to be paid for as a market transaction. Therefore, some measurement of unpaid or non-market work, along with measurements of paid work and production, are necessary for a comprehensive picture of national production and consumption. 

The ABS uses measurements of time spent in unpaid work as one of the statistical bases for estimating the value of unpaid work in Australia within a national accounting framework. Given the absence of an agreed international standard definition, unpaid housework forms part of the concept of committed time. The concept of committed time is based on a restricted version of the third person criterion - the market replacement criterion where an unpaid activity is considered to be unpaid work if the output produced can be purchased in the market or if the activity can be delegated in exchange for payment. The major activity groups that will be included in committed time are broadly comparable with the classification of unpaid work adopted by the ABS in Occasional Paper: Measuring Unpaid Household Work, 1992 (Cat. no. 5240.0). 

The ABS restructured the Time Use Activity Classification within the framework of Dagfinn Ås' four way division of time (Ås 1982) prior to the 1997 survey. For a discussion of the identification and measurement of unpaid work and the four way division of time, see Time Use Survey, Australia Users' Guide, 1997 (Cat. no. 4150.0).

Activity classification

The activities that people record in their diaries are classified according to the Time Use Activity Classification, which was redeveloped for the 1997 Time Use Survey to align with the four types of time: 

  1. Necessary time; includes activities which serve basic physiological needs such as sleeping, eating, personal care, health and hygiene.
  2. Contracted time; includes paid work and regular education. Activities within this category have explicit contracts which control the periods of time in which they are performed. These activities, therefore, constrain the distribution of other activities over the rest of the day.
  3. Committed time; describes activities to which a person has committed him/herself because of previous acts or behaviours or community participation such as having children, setting up a household or doing voluntary work. The consequent housework, care of children, shopping or provision of help to others are committed activities. In most cases, services could be bought to provide the same activity (e.g. an exchange could be made of time for money). The unpaid work activities which are identified in the satellite national accounts are all committed time activities.
  4. Free time; is the amount of time left when the previous three types of time have been taken out of a person's day. Many free time activities are considered as leisure, but not all. Leisure time is subjective and depends on a particular person's point of view. In fact, many activities included in committed time can be considered to be leisure time activities by some people (e.g. gardening, furniture making). The only way to obtain more free time is for contracts and commitments to be changed or to spend less time on necessary time activities (e.g. sleep less).

The 2006 Time Use Activity Classification used nine major activity groups, arranged to relate to the above typology:

Necessary time
  1. Personal care activities
Contracted time
  1. Employment activities
  2. Education activities
Committed time
  1. Domestic activities
  2. Child care activities
  3. Purchasing activities
  4. Voluntary work and care activities
Free time
  1. Social and community interaction
  2. Recreation and leisure

A more detailed list of activity categories can be found in Appendix 1.

Survey methodology

Scope and coverage

Scope of the survey

The scope of the estimates from this survey is all usual residents in private dwellings throughout Australia, excluding very remote dwellings. The survey collected information by personal interview from usual residents of private dwellings in urban and rural areas of Australia, covering about 98 per cent of the people living in Australia. Private dwellings are houses, flats, home units, caravans, garages, tents and other structures that are used as places of residence at the time of interview. Long-stay caravan parks are also included. These are distinct from non-private dwellings which include hotels, boarding schools, boarding houses and institutions. Residents of non-private dwellings are excluded. 

The survey excludes: 

  • households which contain members of non-Australian defence forces stationed in Australia;
  • households which contain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments; and
  • households in collection districts defined as very remote or Indigenous Communities.

Also excluded were persons living in very remote parts of Australia. The exclusion of these persons will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced, particularly as the Time Use Survey is designed to produce National rather than State/Territory estimates.

Coverage rules

Information was collected from usual residents only. Usual residents were residents who regarded the dwelling as their own or main home. Others present were considered to be visitors and were not asked to participate in the survey.

Sample design and selection procedures

Sample design

For the Time Use Survey, a target sample size of 3,870 households throughout all States and Territories was sufficient to provide: 

  • detailed person-level information for Australia;
  • detailed household-level information for Australia;
  • relatively detailed person day-level information for Australia for weekend/Saturday/Sunday day types;
  • relatively detailed data for Capital City/Balance of State or Territory; and
  • estimates for those characteristics which are relatively common and for sub-populations which are relatively large and spread fairly evenly geographically.
Sample selection

The Time Use Survey had special requirements and constraints. Time use may vary according to the day of the week and particularly between weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the survey was designed to account for this. In the 1997 survey all days of the week were surveyed in equal proportion and estimates were produced for weekdays and weekends. For the 2006 survey weekend data was to be split into Saturday and Sunday and estimates produced for weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays. In order to achieve acceptable standard errors for estimates produced for Saturdays and Sundays, twice as many Saturdays and Sundays were surveyed as every weekday. Therefore, approximately 1/9 of the sample was assigned to each weekday and 2/9 of the sample was assigned to each of Saturday and Sunday.

The days of the week were surveyed in approximately these proportions in each of the four collection periods during the year, with school and public holidays represented in approximately the same proportion as they occurred during the year. Diaries were therefore to be completed on specified days. 

Collection periods were as follows: 

  • 20th February - 4th March 2006;
  • 24th April - 6th May 2006;
  • 26th June - 8th July 2006;
  • 23rd October - 4th November 2006.

The survey was conducted using a stratified multi-stage area sample of private dwellings (houses, flats, etc.) in both urban and rural areas in all States and Territories, except for very remote parts of Australia. Usual residents of the dwelling aged 15 years and over were asked to participate in the survey.

The 2006 Time Use Survey required 5/9 of the sample be allocated to weekdays and 2/9 of the sample allocated to each of Saturday and Sunday. Interviewers were assigned either a 'pair' workload consisting of two selected Collection Districts (CDs) with specified days in successive weeks, or a 'single' workload consisting of one selected CD. A selected CD was assigned two specific consecutive days for enumeration, and thus all selected persons in the same CD filled in TUS diaries for the same two days. There were seven different types of 'pair' workloads, designed and randomly allocated to 'paired' CDs in such a way as to ensure equal allocation of the seven days. 'Single' workloads were then used to increase the proportion of Saturdays and Sundays, as those CDs were always enumerated on the middle weekend of the collection period. 

To enable an acceptable level of accuracy and reliability to be achieved after allowing for sample loss (through factors such as vacant dwellings inadvertently selected in the sample, non-contacts and persons out of scope and coverage) about 6,600 dwellings were selected. This number also took into account the expected rate of non-response, as determined from the 1997 survey.

Response rates

When enumeration commenced some dwellings selected for inclusion in the sample were found to have no possibility of delivering a survey response. Collectively these are referred to as sample loss, and are composed of the following groups: 

  • dwellings which are out of scope of the survey;
  • dwellings which are under construction, demolished, or converted to non-private dwellings or non dwellings;
  • private dwellings which are vacant;
  • private dwellings that contain out of scope residents (e.g. dwellings occupied by foreign diplomats and their dependants); or
  • private dwellings that contain only visitors.

The total sample loss was 886 dwellings, 13.4% of the initially selected sample.

Households selected for inclusion in the survey can be categorised as responding or non-responding households. Responding households are either fully responding or partially responding. In the Time Use Survey, some information missing from partially responding households was imputed, as described below in 'Data processing'. 

Non-responding households include: 

  • households affected by death or illness of a household member;
  • households in which the significant person(s) in the household did not respond because they could not be contacted, had language problems or refused to participate; and
  • households in which the significant person(s) did not respond to key questions.

The following table shows the response rates:

3.1 Response rates, households
 Number of households
Fully responding3 936
Partly responding191
Not responding1 599
Sample loss886
TOTAL6 612

From the fully and partly responding households, 8,442 persons aged 15 and over were in on scope and coverage for the survey. Fully completed or partially completed questionnaires (including both interview information and diaries), were obtained for 7,672 persons, 90.9% of all persons in on scope.

Number of records on the final file

To maximise the amount of activity data captured, incomplete records with one complete day have been included in the final file. Diary days were considered complete if there were activities recorded for at least 14 hours of the day. Persons with less than 14 hours of useable information for both diary days were dropped from the file. A small number of persons were also deleted from the file when complete household details were not available. Overall 711 persons were dropped from the file because they had no useable diary information or no useable interview details. However, the details of all persons with complete interview information were included in the household and family level derivations as these were derived prior to the deletion of these persons so that correct family and household information would be included on the file. 

The number of respondents that were kept on the final file was 6,961 persons (82.5% of all persons surveyed), 3,816 families and 3,643 households contributing 13,732 diary days. Of these, 50.5%(6,941) were for the first specified day and 49.5%(6,791) were for the second specified day. 2.7% of respondents provided only a single diary day. 

The quality of data from the second diary day declined very little, as shown by one of the standard measures of data quality in time use surveys, the number of episodes per day. Day one averaged 28.9 and day two 27.0 episodes per day. 

These results confirm the usefulness of the two-day diary methodology, providing nearly twice as much data as a single day diary for little extra collection cost. 

The distribution of the days of the week and weekday/weekend days on the file is as follows: 

Distribution of days
 Day OneDay TwoTotalUnweighted %Weighted %
Sunday7242 2652 98921.814.3
Monday6827171 39910.213.1
Tuesday8476621 50911.014.2
Wednesday7928231 61511.815.2
Thursday8227701 59211.614.5
Friday7658081 57311.514.4
Saturday2 3097463 05522.214.3
Weekend3 0333 0116 04444.028.6
Weekday3 9083 7807 68856.071.4
Total6 9416 79113 732100.0100.0

Data collection

Information was obtained in the Time Use Survey partly by interview and partly by self-completion diaries. Trained ABS interviewers collected information, about the household and other members of the household, from an adult member of the selected household for all persons aged 15 years or over in the household. A diary was then left for each of these persons to record their activities over two specified days. 

Survey development

Broad user consultation was undertaken during February and March of 2004. A discussion paper was used as the key instrument in obtaining feedback and input from users for the development of the survey. Testing was also carried out to investigate respondent reaction and to ensure the effectiveness of interviewing procedures and the diary format and instructions. A dress rehearsal was conducted in Perth and surrounding areas from 23 September to 5 October 2005. This test was used to: 

  • develop improvements to field procedures used in 1997;
  • trial new questions that were added to the diary and the survey interview; and
  • trial the use of the Computer Assisted Interview (CAI) which was used for the first time for the 2006 survey.

Overall, the 2006 Time Use Survey was very similar in its design and procedures to the 1997 survey with the exception of some additional questions that were added to the survey and the use of CAI for the first time. For further detail see 'Changes from previous surveys' section.

Field procedures

Selected households were initially approached by mail, informing them of their selection for the survey and advising them that an interviewer would call to arrange a suitable time to conduct the survey interview. A brochure providing some background information about the survey, information concerning the interview process and a guarantee of confidentiality was included in the initial approach letter. 

A Computer Assisted Interview was completed with information provided by a responsible adult member of the household. The interviewer instructed the contact person on when and how to complete the diary and provided a diary for each person in on scope in the household. Instructions on completing the diary and example pages were also included in the front of the diary. In addition, each person in on scope was given a letter that provided an explanation of the diary, and a small notebook and pen to allow them to record activities throughout the day. A follow-up visit was made to collect the completed diaries after the specified diary dates. 

Interviewers

Interviewers for the survey were recruited from a pool of trained interviewers with previous experience on ABS household surveys. All phases of training emphasised understanding the survey concepts, definitions and procedures in order to ensure that a standard approach was employed by all interviewers involved in the survey. Each interviewer was provided with written instructions detailing the procedures they were required to follow. 

Interviewers were allocated a workload, that is, a number of dwellings to conduct interviews and place diaries within successive weeks of the collection fortnight. Overall, workloads were smaller than usual ABS surveys to maximise the possibility of contact and placement of diaries before the days specified for diary completion.

Data collection instruments

Computer Assisted Interview

The interview was designed to be administered using standard ABS procedures for conducting interviewer surveys with a responsible adult within the household and to obtain valid and reliable results. The interview questionnaire concentrated on demographic and socio-economic information about each household person in on scope to identify population groups. To ensure consistency of approach, interviewers were instructed to ask the interview questions exactly as worded in the questionnaire. The interview included questions relating to ethnicity, education, labour force status, income, child care, age and disability, household items and household use of Internet technology. 

Diary

The diary was designed to collect information about a respondent's activities, their nature, timing and duration. All persons in on scope aged 15 years and over for selected households were asked to complete a diary for two consecutive specified days, reporting their activities in their own words. Instructions and two completed sample pages at the beginning of the diary gave respondents an idea of the type of information and level of detail required. 

The diary was divided into two separate days, showing hours with fixed intervals of five minutes covering 24 hours from 12 am. Respondents were instructed to use the five minute markings to indicate starting times, and record an arrow to the finish time for each activity. Activities were later coded by office staff using a detailed classification. Diaries were either collected by the interviewer on a return visit or they could be mailed back to the regional offices in an envelope that was provided by interviewers. Five columns with question headings organised responses into main and simultaneous activities, for whom the activity was done, where the activity took place and who else was there. 

A paper version of the Computer Assisted Interview used in the survey, and a copy of the diaries placed with respondents can be downloaded as separate pdf files from the ABS website. See Appendix 3 for details.

Data processing

A combination of clerical and computer-based systems were used to process data obtained in the survey. It was necessary to employ a variety of methods to process and edit the data which reflected the different questionnaires used to collect data from the interview and diary components of the surveys. These processes are outlined below. 

Internal system edits were applied in the CAI questionnaire to ensure the completeness and consistency of the responses being provided. The interviewer could not proceed from one section of the interview to the next until responses had been appropriately completed. 

A number of range and consistency edits were programmed into the CAI questionnaire. Edit messages automatically appeared on the screen if the information entered was either outside the permitted range for a particular question, or contradicted information already recorded. These edit queries were resolved on the spot with respondents. 

Data from the CAI questionnaire were electronically loaded to the processing database on receipt in the ABS office in each State or Territory. Computer assisted coding was performed on responses to questions on country of birth, occupation and industry of employment to ensure completeness. Data on relationships between household members were used to delineate families within the household, and to classify households by type. An outline of the computer assisted coding that was performed is provided below. 

Language spoken and country of birth coding

The interview questionnaire listed the most frequently reported languages and countries; interviewers were instructed to select the appropriate box, or, if the reported language or country was not among those listed, to record the name of the language or country for subsequent office coding. Languages were classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2005-06 (Cat. no. 1267.0). Country of birth was classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (Cat. no. 1269.0). 

Occupation and industry coding

In the Time Use Survey, occupation relates to the main job held by employed respondents at the time of interview. Occupation was office coded based on a description of the kind of work performed, as reported by respondents and recorded by interviewers. Occupation was coded to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), 2006 (Cat. no. 1220.0). 

Industry of employment was coded to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Cat. no. 1292.0). 

Family relationship coding

Based on information recorded on the household form, all usual residents of each sampled dwelling were grouped into family units and classified according to their position within the family. This information was then transferred to each individual questionnaire.

Diary processing

Unlike the household questionnaire, the activity diaries required an intensive clerical process. 

Processing of the diaries involved sorting the reported activities into episodes, editing where necessary and recording episodes into a data entry system. An episode can contain the following elements: 

  • start and finish time;
  • primary activity;
  • secondary activity;
  • person or group for whom the activity is done;
  • location, both physical and spatial;
  • mode of transport for travel items;
  • technology/communication code where relevant;
  • who the respondent was with; and
  • the age and health details of any household people present.

A change in any of these elements created a new episode.

Coding rules

Up to two simultaneous activities were captured (e.g. the main activity and a secondary activity). The main coding principle, confirmed in user consultation, was to remain as close to the respondent's reporting as possible. In practice this meant that: 

  • the respondent's decision about whether an activity was main or secondary was accepted, except in the circumstances specified below;
  • a respondent's combination of activities was accepted if seen as possible; and
  • omitted activities were only imputed under the conditions listed below.

Overriding activities

Certain activities were seen as overriding, or natural main activities because they created the environment in which other things happened. Travelling, for instance, limits the range of things that can be done, and was kept as a main activity. Socialising or entertainment that involved going to a venue was treated as an overriding activity. Paid work and education were coded globally, that is, there was no breakdown of different kinds of activities within these areas. Activities that occurred at work or school, but were not related to work or school, however, were coded as main activities. Sleeping was normally a main activity but could be secondary to travel.

Priority activities

As one of the main purposes of the survey is to measure the time spent on unpaid work certain activities were seen as 'priority activities'. That is, in most cases, even if the activities were recorded as secondary activities in the diary they were coded as a primary activity so that they could be captured as part of unpaid work. This is because most analysis only uses the primary activities when determining a measure of unpaid work. The priority activities were any activities that involved domestic work, child care (except passive child minding), caring for adults, doing favours or voluntary work. Activities that occurred simultaneously with these activities were recorded as secondary unless they were one of the overriding activities listed above. 

Pervasive activities

Certain activities, particularly the passive care of children or adults requiring monitoring, were not consistently reported. Because the diaries and questionnaires contain information that suggests these activities might be happening even where they are not reported, and because the caring activities are of interest to many users, consideration was given to imputing episodes of care. This did not happen, in the interests of accuracy and of remaining faithful to the respondent's reporting. However, the supporting information was captured in the 'who with' codes for household members, which can provide measures of time spent with children under 12, people who are sick or have disabilities, and older people. Caution should be applied to treating these items as proxies for caring items - only a small proportion of people with disabilities or people aged 60 and over are in need of care. However, combinations of some of these with other items might suggest constraints on the way in which time can be used. 

Omitted activities

Many activities are likely to have been omitted from the diaries. Constant background activities, for instance, such as passive child care, and others such as smoking and drinking could be under-reported. Whether or when this happens is unknown. There are cases however where reported activities imply or suggest activities that are not reported, and provide the time at which they are likely to have happened. The most common of these is travel. For example, a person is at home and then is at work, or shopping, without an intervening travel episode. The methods for dealing with this were, in order: 

  • to check for comparable travel episodes elsewhere in the diary;
  • to check for similar travel in another diary in the household;
  • to use any available knowledge of the areas concerned; or
  • to impute travel time, usually ten minutes; this would normally be taken from the beginning of the new activity, unless this began at a standard starting time, for work or school for instance.

The other common case relates to eating. Respondents sometimes wrote 'made a cup of tea' or 'got lunch' without specifically mentioning drinking or eating. If there was little doubt that eating was implied, the activity was imputed, and the time split between preparing and eating. If it was possible that the preparation was for someone else, then it was coded as reported.

Where nothing was reported for a stretch of time, the main activity was coded as 'undescribed', unless it was clear that the previous activity was continuing. Diaries with episodes of undescribed time were examined, and the undescribed time reconstructed where possible by reference to the other diary day or other diaries from the household. 

The final average measure of time with an undescribed main activity episode is 7 minutes or 0.49% of the day. 

People present during the activity

Information collected in column 5 of the diary (Who was with you at home or with you away from home?) describes: 

  • who was with the person when they were at home. This referred to all present in the house and grounds, whether belonging to the household or not; and
  • those for whom the person is responsible, as well as those involved in the same activity when away from home (e.g. at a picnic, the person helping the respondent prepare the food, the others conversing with them and the associated children nearby).

Information collected from this column referred to the other people present, it did not include the respondent. Family refers to all relatives. There is a distinction between family living within the household and family from another household. The relevant household and family type data items described the family structure within the household. Age status and health status were also coded for household members only. The age group of the household members was identified from the household form. Health status was obtained from information in the diary as well as information from the questionnaire about whether the household members had a disability. Disability was recorded only where the other person present had a long-term restricting condition or impairment reported on the questionnaire. Short-term sickness or injury was only reported when the diary information indicated this.

Diary coding system

The diary coding system used for the 2006 Time Use Survey was similar to the diary processing system used for the 1997 survey. 

The data entry system contained a look-up list of activities and detailed category screens to make it easier for consistency in coding. There were also some interactive range and logical edits. These detected unacceptable values and ensured that certain fields were appropriately coded. This type of edit, however, could not ensure that activities were coded accurately or that identifying information was correctly entered. The main quality control measures for diary information were training of coding staff, consultation and documentation to establish consistent interpretations, and audits on coding and keying. 

A quality control system was devised to ensure that coding staff were accurately following the rules laid down in the comprehensive set of coding documentation. As the quality control system involved the duplication of diaries by different coding staff, it was easy to check that coding was consistent. 

Diary information was checked by allocating a certain proportion of a coder's diaries to be recoded by another coder. Differences between the coders' data were compared and feedback was provided to each coder on a regular basis to help improve the quality of their work and improve their familiarity with the coding rules. Only the more accurate data were used towards the final output. Initially 100% checking was carried out, diminishing as reliability was demonstrated.

Additional editing

A range of processes were applied to the diary information to check that specific conditions were correctly coded according to the coding rules; that errors had not occurred in coding; and that relationships between household and diary information were consistent. A Query Resolution System was also used to ensure that: 

  • an accurate record of decisions was kept;
  • coding of episodes was consistent;
  • the Activity Classification was updated for unusual or unknown situations; and
  • coders could continue to process diaries if they could not resolve an issue within a short time.

A range of edits was also applied to the household, individual and diary information to double check that logical sequences had been followed in the questionnaires; that specific values lay within expected ranges; and that relationships between items were consistent. Unusually high values for the continuous variables such as income, the number of hours worked and duration of activities were investigated to determine whether there had been errors in entering the data.

Imputation for missing values

Some households did not supply all the required information but supplied sufficient information to be retained in the sample. Where there was income data missing from the questionnaire this could be imputed in some cases. For the Time Use Survey missing income data was imputed in two ways. Firstly, missing data for income relating to government pensions and allowances was clerically imputed by looking at the other household information and using the guidelines from Centrelink and Department of Veterans Affairs to determine the missing value. Secondly, missing data for wages and salary income was imputed by replacing each missing value with a value reported by another person (referred to as a donor). 

Donor records were selected by finding fully responding persons with information on various characteristics, such as state, sex, age, labour force status and income, that matched the person with missing information. As far as possible, the imputed information is an appropriate proxy for the information that is missing. Donors were randomly chosen from the pool of individual records with complete information for the questions where the missing information occurred.

Creation of a hierarchical file

There were two data files which fed into the combined dataset for TUS, one that included information from the interview and one that contained diary information. These two files were merged into a combined dataset featuring six levels: 

  • the top level contains household information, including items such as occupation of the household reference person and whether the household has Internet access;
  • the second level contains family information (a household can contain multiple families), including items such as the age of the youngest child in the family and whether child care was used;
  • the third level contains person information for each person aged 15 years or over in the household/family such as marital status and types of income;
  • the fourth level is the "diary day" level, where the diary information begins. Most people have two diary days of information. This level contains items about the quarter of diary collection and the day of the week that the diary day pertains to;
  • the fifth level contains the information about diary "episodes" including when the episode started and finished and where the episode took place; and
  • the sixth level then breaks each episode into primary and secondary activities (where the person stated they were doing two things at the same time, such as cooking dinner and watching TV). It contains the information about what was happening during each episode (sleeping, eating, working and so on).

Weighting, benchmarking and estimation

Weighting

'Weighting' is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each sample unit, e.g. person-day, person or household. The weight is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit. 

The 2006 Time Use Survey was conducted over four 13-day collection periods and population distributions appropriate to each period were used in the weighting process. Significant changes in the weighting methodology from that used in the 1997 Time Use Survey have been instituted to: 

  • calculate more appropriate initial selection weights;
  • better deal with differences in non-response and sampling fractions for each State and Territory by region; and
  • utilise a finer level estimated distribution of the person and person-day populations.
Person-day weights

Person-day estimates obtained from the Time Use Survey were derived using a complex ratio estimation procedure. Estimates from the survey were obtained by weighting person-day responses to represent the in-scope population of the survey. Calculation of weights for person-days was carried out in two steps, the first being the calculation of the initial weight, and the second being the calibration to population benchmarks.

An initial weight was calculated for each person-day as the inverse of the person-day's probability of selection. The weight is a function of the probability of selection of the person with an adjustment applied for day type (weekday/Saturday/Sunday). 

Households were selected for the survey by selecting CDs within each State by region (Capital City / Balance of State) stratum by a method known as probability proportional to size. The selected CDs were then systematically randomly allocated to collection periods such that each State by region had an equal number of CDs in each period. Blocks were then selected within CDs, and households within blocks. The selection method was designed to achieve, as far as practicable, a known and equal chance of selection for each household within each State by region stratum. 

As CDs were allocated equally across collection periods, the probability of a CD and thus a household being selected in a particular period was not dependent upon the period. Therefore, the probability of a household being selected in any of the four enumeration periods was the same within each State by region stratum. 

All in-scope persons in a selected household were surveyed, therefore, the probability a person was selected for the survey is the same as the probability their household was selected, and a person's initial weight is the same as their household's initial weight. Each selected person was asked to respond for two diary days, therefore the person level initial weight was divided by two to get the person-day unadjusted initial weight. 

To ensure sufficient sample was collected for each day type (weekday/Saturday/Sunday), CDs (and thus households and persons) were assigned dates such that approximately 1/9 of the survey diary days were allocated to each of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 2/9 of the survey diary days were allocated to each of Saturday and Sunday. However, the sample was to be weighted up to the in-scope person-day population such that weekdays would comprise 5/7 of the population, and Saturday and Sunday 1/7 each. Therefore, the final person-day initial weight was calculated by dividing the person-day unadjusted initial weight by the proportion of the day type assigned to the sample, and multiplied by the appropriate fraction for that day type. 

The final person-day weights were determined by adjusting the initial weights so the estimated population distribution simultaneously conformed to two sets of population benchmarks. 

Person weights and household weights

Person and household estimates obtained from the Time Use Survey were also derived using a complex ratio estimation procedure. Person and household estimates from the survey were obtained by weighting person level and household level responses, respectively, to represent the in-scope population of the survey. Calculation of weights for persons and households was carried out in two steps, the first being the calculation of the initial weight, and the second being the calibration to population and household benchmarks, respectively. 

As all in-scope persons in a selected household were surveyed, a person's initial weight is equal to their household's initial weight. A household's probability of selection and initial weight, and therefore a person's initial weight was defined previously in the Person-day weight section. 

The final person weights were determined by adjusting the initial weights so the estimated population distribution simultaneously conformed to two sets of population benchmarks. Similarly, the final household weights were determined by adjusting the initial weights so the estimated household distribution simultaneously conformed to two sets of resident household distribution benchmarks. 

Benchmarking

For the person-day and person benchmarking, two sets of population distributions (benchmarks) were used for each collection period of the Time Use Survey. Similarly, for the household benchmarking, two sets of household benchmarks were used for each collection period. 

Person-day benchmarks

The first set of person-day benchmarks was at the State by region (Capital City/Balance of State or Territory) by sex level and was obtained by averaging population distribution estimates on each side of the time use collection periods. The averaged values were then divided by four, so that the benchmarks for each collection period summed to a quarter of the in scope population for that period. Therefore, the sum of the benchmarks over all four collection periods is an estimate of the total in scope population for the 2006 survey. 

The second set of benchmarks was at the sex by age group by employment status by day type level. These benchmarks were obtained by applying employment status proportion estimates (employed/not employed) to appropriate population estimates on each side of the Time Use Survey collection periods and then averaging the two resulting estimated population distributions for each period. Again, the averaged values were divided by four, so that the benchmarks for each collection period summed to a quarter of the in scope population for that period. Finally, the benchmarks were split by day type to ensure the final weighted sample would represent the appropriate population-day distribution. Each sex by age group by employment status population count was multiplied by 5/7, 1/7 and 1/7 to calculate the weekday, Saturday and Sunday benchmark estimates respectively. 

The benchmarks used in the final weights for TUS 2006 were: 

  • number of persons aged 15 years and over -
    • at State by region (Capital City/Balance of State or Territory) by sex
    • at sex by age group by employment status by day type
      • age groups are defined as 15-19, 20-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74, 75+
      • employment status is defined as employed or unemployed (Note that employment status is not calculated for persons aged 65 years or older as the estimated proportion employed is small, with a large associated standard error. Therefore a third code is defined: aged 65 years or older)
      • day type is defined as weekday/Saturday/Sunday
Person benchmarks

The first set of person level benchmarks are the same as those used for the person-day benchmarking. The second set of person benchmarks use sex by age group by employment status as for the second set of the person-day benchmarks, but without the split by day type.

Household benchmarks

The first set of benchmarks was at the State by region level, and the second at the household composition (number of adults and children) level. Both sets were obtained by averaging resident household estimates available for periods just before and just after each of the four 2006 Time Use Survey enumeration periods. These averages were then divided by four, so that the benchmarks for each collection period summed to a quarter of the in scope household population for that period. The sum of the benchmarks over all four collection periods is an estimate of the total population of households for the 2006 survey. 

The benchmarks used in the final weights for TUS 2006 were: 

  • at state by region; and
  • household composition.

Estimation

Person-day estimates

All person level time use estimates in the 2006 Time Use Survey publication were calculated from selected person-day weighted responses, using the weights described above. Formulae for five common types of estimates in this publication are:

1. the number of persons in classification \(c\) is estimated using: 

 \(\hat{N}_{c}=\sum_{i e c} w_{p d a y, i}\)

where \(w_{p d a y, i}\) is the final weight of the person-day and the summation is over all persons in classification \(c\) ;

2.  the number of persons in classification \(c\) participating in an activity on an average day is estimated using: 

\(\hat{M}_{c}=\sum_{i e c} w_{p d a y, i} m_{i}\)

where \(m_i \)is 1 if a person participated in the activity or 0 if they didn't;

3. the total number of minutes spent on an activity by all persons in classification c on an average day is estimated using:

\(\hat{Y}_{c}=\sum_{i e c} w_{p d a y, i} y_{i}\)

where \(y_i\) is the number of minutes spent by each person on the activity;

4. the average number of minutes spent by all persons (participant and non-participant) in classification c on an activity on an average day is estimated using: 

\(\hat{Y}_{c, a ll}=\hat{Y}_{c} / \hat{N}_{c} \)

5. the average number of minutes spent by participating persons only in classification c on an activity on an average day is estimated using:

\(\hat{\overline{Y}}_{c, \text { part }}=\hat{Y}_{c} / \hat{M}_{c}\)

Person estimates

Appropriate person level count and percentage estimates can be calculated from selected person weighted responses, using the weights described above. Note that you cannot calculate any time related estimates using these weights, as they are not applicable at the person-day level. Formulae for three common types of estimates are:

1. the number of persons in classification \(c\) is estimated using: 

\(\hat{N}_{c}=\sum_{i e c} w_{p, i}\)

where \(w_{p, i}\) is the final weight of the person and the summation is over all persons in classification \(c\);

2. the number of persons in classification \(c\) with some other attribute (e.g. self-description of own health, frequency of feeling pressed for time) is estimated using: 

\(\hat{M}_{c}=\sum_{i e c} w_{p, i} m_{i}\)

where \(m_i\) is 1 if a person holds the attribute of concern, or 0 if they don't; and

3. the proportion of persons in classification \(c\) with some other attribute is estimated using: 

\(\hat{\overline{M}}_{c}=\hat{M}_{c} / \hat{N}_{c}\)

Household estimates

All household level estimates in the 2006 Time Use Survey publication were calculated from selected household weighted responses, using the weights described above. Formulae for three types of estimates are:

1. the number of households in classification c is estimated using: 

\(\hat{N}_{c}=\sum_{i e c} w_{h, i}\)

where \(w_{h, i}\) is the final weight of the household and the summation is over all households in classification \(c\);

2. the number of households in classification \(c\) with a piece of equipment (e.g. microwave) or utilising a service (e.g. cleaner) is estimated using: 

\(\hat{M}_{c}=\sum_{i e c} w_{h, i} m_{i}\)

where \(m_i\) is 1 if a household had the piece of equipment or utilised the service, or 0 if they didn't; and

3. the proportion of households in classification \(c\) with a piece of equipment or utilising a service is estimated using: 

\(\hat{\overline{M}}_{c}=\hat{M}_{c} / \hat{N}_{c}\)

    Data quality

    Reliability of estimates

    Although care has been taken to ensure that the results of this survey are as accurate as possible, there are certain factors which affect the reliability of the results to some extent, and for which no adequate adjustments can be made. These are known as sampling error and non-sampling error. These factors, which are discussed below, should be kept in mind when interpreting the results of the survey. 

    Comparisons between estimates from surveys conducted in different periods, for example, comparison of 2006 TUS estimates with 1997 TUS estimates, are also subject to the impact of any changes made to the way the survey was conducted (see Chapter 5 'Changes from previous surveys'). 

    Sampling error

    Sampling error is a measure of the variability that occurs by chance because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. Since the estimates in the Time Use Survey publication are based on information obtained from occupants of a sample of dwellings they are subject to sampling variability. That is, they may differ from the figures that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. One measure of sampling variability is the standard error (SE). There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings, in the population described, had been included in the survey, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two SEs. 

    Another measure of the likely difference is the relative standard error (RSE), which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate: 

    \(R S E \%=\frac{S E}{e s t i m a t e} \times 100\)

    The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the percentage errors likely to have occurred due to sampling, and thus avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate.

    RSEs for estimates from the 2006 Time Use Survey are published for the first time in 'direct' form. Previously, a statistical model was produced that related the size of estimates with their corresponding RSEs, and this information was displayed in a 'SE table'. For 2006, RSEs for TUS estimates have been calculated for each estimate and published individually. The group jackknife method of variance estimation is used for this process, which involved the calculation of 60 'replicate' estimates based on 60 different subsamples of the original sample. The variability of estimates obtained from these subsamples is used to estimate the sample variability surrounding the main estimate. 

    In the tables in this publication, only estimates (numbers, percentages, participation rates and means) with RSEs less than 25% are considered sufficiently reliable for most purposes. However, estimates with large RSEs (between 25% and 50%) have been included and are marked with a cell comment to indicate they have a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution. Estimates with RSEs of 50% or more are marked with a cell comment to indicate that they are subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. 

    Standard errors of proportions and percentages

    Proportions and percentages formed from the ratio of two estimates are also subject to sampling error. The size of the error depends on the accuracy of both the numerator and the denominator. The RSE of a proportion or percentage can be approximated using the formula: 

    \(R S E\left(\frac{x}{y}\right)=\sqrt{[R S E(x)]^{2}-[R S E(y)]^{2}}\)

    This formula is only valid when \(x\) is a subset of \(y\) .

    The SE of an estimated percentage or rate, computed by using sample data for both numerator and denominator, depends on the size of both numerator and denominator. However, the formula above shows that the RSE of the estimated percentage or rate will generally be lower than the RSE of the estimate of the numerator. 

    Standard errors of differences

    The difference between two survey estimates (of numbers or percentages) is itself an estimate and is therefore subject to sampling variability. The SE of the difference between two survey estimates depends on their SEs and the relationship (correlation) between them. An approximate SE of the difference between two estimates can be calculated using the formula: 

    \(S E(x-y)=\sqrt{[S E(x)]^{2}+[S E(y)]^{2}}\)

    While this formula will only be exact for differences between separate and uncorrelated (unrelated) characteristics or sub-populations, it is expected to provide a good approximation for all of the differences likely to be of interest in this publication.

    Testing for statistically significant differences

    For comparing estimates between surveys or between populations within a survey it is useful to determine whether apparent differences are 'real' differences between the corresponding population characteristics or simply the product of differences between the survey samples. One way to examine this is to determine whether the difference between the estimates is statistically significant. This is done by calculating the standard error of the difference between two estimates (x and y) and using that to calculate the test statistic using the formula: 

    \(\frac{|x-y|}{S E(x-y)}\)

    If the value of the test statistic is greater than 1.96 then we may say that we are 95% certain that there is a statistically significant difference between the two populations with respect to that characteristic. Otherwise, it cannot be stated with confidence that there is a real difference between the populations.

    Non-sampling error

    Lack of precision due to sampling variability should not be confused with inaccuracies that may occur for other reasons such as errors in response and recording. Inaccuracies of this type are referred to as non-sampling error. This type of error is not specific to sample surveys and can occur in a census enumeration. The major sources are: 

    • errors related to scope and coverage;
    • response errors such as incorrect interpretations or wording of questions,
    • interviewer bias;
    • non-response bias; and
    • processing errors.

    Errors related to scope and coverage

    Some dwellings may have been inadvertently included or excluded because, for example, the distinctions between private and special dwellings were unclear. Some persons may have been wrongly included or excluded because of difficulties applying the coverage rules concerning, for instance, household visitors, or scope rules concerning persons excluded from the survey. Particular attention was paid to question design and interviewer training to ensure such cases were kept to a minimum.

    Response errors

    Response errors may have arisen from three main sources: 

    • deficiencies in questionnaire design and methodology;
    • deficiencies in interviewing technique; and
    • inaccurate reporting by respondents.

    Errors may be caused by ambiguous or misleading questions, or, in the case of diaries, ambiguous column headings or example pages, inadequate or inconsistent definitions of terminology used, or by poor questionnaire sequence guides, causing some questions to be missed. Thorough testing occurred before the questionnaire and diary format were finalised to overcome problems in questionnaire and diary content, design and layout.

    Lack of uniformity in interviewing also results in non-sampling error. Thorough training programs, a standard Interviewer's Manual, the use of experienced interviewers and checking of interviewers' work were methods employed to achieve and maintain uniform interviewing practices and a high level of accuracy in recording answers on the survey questionnaire. 

    A respondent's perception of the personal characteristics of the interviewer can be a source of error. The age, sex, appearance or manner of the interviewer may influence the answers obtained. 

    In addition to the response errors described above, inaccurate reporting by respondents may occur due to misunderstanding of the question, inability to recall the required information and deliberately incorrect answering to protect personal privacy. 

    Non-response bias

    One of the main sources of non-sampling error is non-response when persons resident in households selected in the survey cannot be contacted, or if they are contacted are unable or unwilling to participate. Non-response can affect the reliability of results and can introduce bias. The magnitude of any bias depends upon the level of non-response and the extent of the difference between the characteristics of those people who responded to the survey and those who did not. For the 2006 TUS, some of the non-response resulted from logistical difficulty in aligning interview times with allocated diary days rather than the unwillingness of selected household members to participate in the survey. 

    As it was not possible to quantify accurately the nature and extent of the differences between respondents and non-respondents in the survey, every effort was made to reduce the level of non-response. The estimation procedures used make some adjustment for non-response. 

    Processing errors

    Processing errors may occur at any stage between initial collection of the data and final compilation of statistics. There are four stages where error may occur: 

    • coding, where errors may have occurred during the coding of various items by office processors;
    • data transfer, where errors may have occurred during the transfer of data from the questionnaires to the data file;
    • editing, where computer editing programs may have failed to detect errors which reasonably could have been corrected; and
    • manipulation of data, where inappropriate edit checks, inaccurate weights in the estimation procedure and incorrect derivation of new items from raw survey data can also introduce errors into the results.

    Steps to minimise errors

    A number of steps were taken to minimise errors at various stages of processing. These included:

    • thorough training of staff;
    • providing detailed coding instructions and regular checking of work performed;
    • computer edits designed to detect reporting or recording errors;
    • validation of the data file using tabulations to check the distribution of persons for different characteristics; and
    • investigation of unusual values on the data file.

    Data quality issues specific to time use

    The stages where error may be introduced, as listed above, also apply to diary data. There are, in addition, a number of other data quality issues which could affect the data from self-completion diaries, from specific coding problems to broader conceptual questions. 

    The use of a diary in which people record their activities by time of day for two specified days was a choice based on considerable research, testing and evaluation in Canada, Europe and Australia. The ABS has tested and evaluated a range of methodologies through the Time Use Pilot Survey conducted in Sydney in 1987 and smaller pilot tests for the 1992 and 1997 TUSs. 

    There are two possible choices with self-completion diaries: to ask people to select from a pre-coded list of activities; or to ask them to describe their activities in their own words. 

    The use of a pre-coded list limits the number of categories of activities, to avoid confusing respondents. This can provide useful information when the survey is intended for a particular purpose, where tables are usually presented with a relatively small number of categories. In addition, processing diaries completed from a pre-coded list is a relatively simple exercise. 

    Inviting people to record activities in their own words has the advantage that: 

    • people are able to put their own priority on the activities they select to report;
    • the more detailed activities people report can provide feedback on emerging trends, e.g. recycling activities, which may be useful for later classifications; and
    • there is less of a 'leading question' effect, prompting a socially desirable answer.

    The open ended survey was chosen by the ABS because the greater detail collected and stored will meet the needs of a wider variety of users and allow them to aggregate items according to their own purposes.

    Reporting variability

    Sample pages at the beginning of the diary demonstrated how to record the activities showing start and finish times and giving an idea of the level of detail required. There was considerable variation, however, in the descriptions provided by respondents. This variation showed in the level of detail and in the number of activities provided. One person might report 'reading,' another 'reading a newspaper'. One might give details about peeling vegetables, cutting meat and making a cake, where another might write 'getting dinner' or 'cooking', and another might just say 'housework'. The descriptions were coded at the level of detail provided by the respondent according to the relevant descriptions.

    Number of episodes

    The number of episodes recorded on the file ultimately depended on: 

    • the definition adopted for an episode; and
    • the level of detail of the activity classification.

    Where there is a separate code for the detail provided, a separate episode was recorded.

    Cooking and washing up are separate codes in the 1992, 1997, and 2006 Activity Classification, whereas in the 1987 pilot survey they were coded to 'meal preparation and cleanup'. On the other hand, where people reported making beds, dusting and vacuuming as a sequence, all of these were coded to one activity code, and therefore, if no other changes occurred, to one episode because the activity code is the same for all these activities. The most notable suppression of detail relates to employment related activities and educational activities, where all such activities were globally coded. The activity classification is not designed to capture specific types of employment related or educational activities. 

    The number of episodes per day is used as one indicator of data quality. In addition, analysis of domestic work, particularly where children are present, might examine the number of episodes and the number of simultaneous activities to point to the denser and more interrupted nature of this kind of work. For both of these purposes it is essential to recognise the limitations imposed by the structural features described above. 

    In particular, it is not valid to compare the number of episodes of paid work with the number of episodes of any other activity. As a consequence, it is not valid to compare the number of episodes per hour carried out by someone whose major activity is paid work with the number of episodes undertaken by someone whose main activity is domestic work, unless the paid work time is excluded. 

    Classification issues

    One fundamental difficulty with classifying activities is that one activity can be: several activities at once; or described at a number of levels. 

    An example of the first is walking, rather than driving, to the shops, and taking the dog along. This activity combines travel for shopping, exercise and pet care in one activity episode. If the respondent reported all of this in one column entry, in this kind of case the activity emphasised by the respondent would be coded as a primary activity and the others as secondary activities. 

    The second issue is more difficult. An activity can be named in many different ways, to reflect different aspects of time use. 

    The addition of a 'Who did you do this for?' ('for whom') column in the 1997 survey (and also used in the 2006 survey) provides direct information on the purpose of an activity. Activities which can be recorded as 'helping ', 'caring' or 'unpaid community services' are not always reported at the 'intent or purpose' level. In fact they consist of, and are usually described in terms of, a wide range of specific acts; visiting, cooking, nursing, lending books, washing clothes, moving furniture, organising fundraising and so on. The existence of the 'for whom' column allows the coding of the nature of the activity rather than the purpose. 

    Where the information provided was not enough to determine the nature of the activity then these episodes were classified directly to the voluntary work, helping or caring codes. 

    The 'quality' level of the activity did not appear as readily in the way people described their activities. 'Gardening', 'cooking' and 'clothes-making' are activities included in the sections of the classification that are aggregated as unpaid work. These activities can be perceived by the people doing them as leisure rather than work activities, or as both. The 'for whom' column in the diary can be used to identify whether the activity is a leisure activity or being done for some other purpose. Therefore, the identification of voluntary work activities has been made easier. 

    A positive side effect of the introduction of the 'for whom' column is that the coding of paid work activities is also more accurate. For example, if a respondent went to the bank, this would be coded to purchasing services, or if they were doing paperwork it would be coded to household management. If the respondent says that they did these activities for work, then it would be accurately coded as an employment-related activity.

    Limitations on data items

    Education

    Highest qualification may in some cases include qualifications not accredited in Australia, including overseas qualifications. 

    Employment

    A short labour force module was used. Users should refer to Labour Force, Australia (Cat. no. 6202.0) for more detailed information on employment. The population included in the question on 'reasons not looking for work' is very small. It is not intended to provide data on discouraged job seekers; the main reason for asking this question is to identify those constrained to stay out of employment by family responsibilities, and those who prefer to stay home while children are young. 

    As part of the labour force module in the interview part of the survey, respondents are asked to record their main activity. This question assesses respondents self perception of their main activity and does not use any strict definitions. Therefore, a respondent could say that their main activity is 'being ill or disabled'. However, in the disability module they may not indicate that they have any conditions lasting for six months or more. Furthermore, this question asks about the respondents 'current' main activity and therefore they may have indicated that they did not work last week in the Labour Force module but still indicate that their current main activity is working. 

    Income

    As the information was collected from a responsible adult in the household about other members, a limited subset of the more detailed income questions was used. 

    Disability and assistance

    The module of data items about disability is not designed to provide counts of people by disability status. The ABS conducts a regular large scale survey on this topic, the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, the most recent in 2003 (Cat. no. 4430.0). The purpose of this module is to allow the analyst to study the effect of disability on the person's and the household's use of time. 

    The data item relating to assistance given to children who have a condition lasting six months or more should be used with care for children under five years because of the difficulty of separating the assistance needed or given on account of the child's age from that given because of disability. Again, the purpose of this item is to show the impact of a child's disability or long-term health condition on the activity patterns of parents and other household members. 

    Care should also be used with the data item relating to why the household member gives assistance to a person outside of the household. The assessment that the person receiving assistance has a disability is made by the person responding and may not be medically correct or correspond with disability as collected by the disability module on the survey form. 

    Child care

    The data items about child care were not designed to be used for information about children using child care or the adequacy of child care provision. Fewer questions were asked than in the ABS Child Care Survey, which is a regular large scale survey conducted by the ABS on this topic, see Child Care Australia (Cat. no. 4402.0). These items were included to assist in interpreting the parent's patterns of time use, as the use of child care frees a parent's time for other activities. 

    For whom

    In 2006 an additional category was added for the coding of the 'for whom' column of the diary to include activities that were done for family members within the household who were ill or with a disability. This can be used to some extent to look at the time spent caring for family members who are ill or have a disability. Activities were coded as being for someone who was ill or with a disability based on information within the diary and the interview. If household members indicated in the disability module of the interview that they had a condition that was likely to last for six months or more then activities that were done for these household members would be coded as being for a family member who was ill or with a disability. It cannot be determined whether the activity was being done for a respondent because of their disability or whether it was normal exchange between household members that is unrelated to the disability. For example, someone could be cooking dinner for themselves and their family. If one person in their family happens to have a condition lasting for six months or more (for example asthma) this activity would have been coded as being for 'family who are well' as well as for 'family with a disability'. Even though the family member has asthma, they most likely would still have been able to cook their own dinner. Due to this there are limitations on the way this item can be used to provide information about the care given to household members with a disability. However, the category provides the potential to capture conversations for emotional support, or TV watching as a form of supervision. The most useful way to study the activities of carers is to look at the overall balance between their own personal care and other activities. 

    Secondary activities

    For primary activities, information is captured about who the activity was done for as well as the type of communication and technology used during the activity (if any). For secondary activities this supporting information is not captured. Therefore, assumptions cannot be made about the purpose of these activities. When looking at use of computers a distinction between the different types of computer use could only be made for primary activities. For example, for primary activities there is a distinction between computers used for communication and for computer use that does not involve communication. There is also a distinction between computer use without the Internet and computer use that involves the Internet. None of these distinctions can be made if the computer use was occurring as a secondary activity.

    Changes from previous surveys

    Overview

    The 2006 survey was designed to be as comparable as possible with the 1997 survey. However, the 2006 Time Use Survey did introduce some changes. The changes were largely designed to improve survey quality but may impact on the comparability between the 2006 estimates and earlier data. Notwithstanding these changes, a high level of comparability with 1997 survey results has been achieved. This chapter outlines the main changes.

    Changes to the 2006 survey instruments

    The 2006 survey introduced a number of data items that had not been collected in previous surveys. The main additions were: 

    • questions in the diary about:
      • self assessed health status;
      • trust of people;
      • satisfaction with the time spent on the diary days;
      • satisfaction with time spent alone or with other people;
      • attitude towards gardening; and
      • volunteer work.
    • questions in the questionnaire about:
      • household use of computers and the Internet;
      • proficiency in spoken English;
      • indicators of casual employment;
      • working from home as an arrangement with an employer, and technology used to work from home;
      • whether the dwelling is managed by a body corporate; and
      • whether respondents are grandparents and whether they provide care for their grandchildren.

    Changes to the classifications and coding lists

    Activities

    The same nature and purpose activity classifications were used for the 2006 survey as was used for 1997 (with the exception of some minor revisions). There were, however, significant changes between the 1992 Activity Classification and the 1997 and 2006 classifications. A concordance data item has been built applying the 'for whom' and 'communication/technology' data items to the 1997 and 2006 activity classifications to achieve a reasonable level of comparability with the 1992 classification. 

    Communication and Technology

    Communication in 1997 and 2006 was coded in a different way from 1992. In 1997 and 2006, the communication/technology supplementary classification allows the coding of communication episodes to the activity being discussed. For example, if the respondent recorded that they phoned their daughter to ask her to bring in the washing, this would be coded to 'bringing in and hanging out the washing' with a communication/technology code of 'phone'. To allow for direct comparisons with 1992, the 'purpose of the activity' data item was amended to move these episodes of communication to correspond with the 1992 communication codes. 

    Communication in 2006 was coded in a different way from 1997. There were additional categories used to capture different forms of communication and technology that may have been more commonly used in 2006 including mobile phones and the Internet. The coding list was also split into two groups so that activities involving communication were coded differently to activities that utilised technology but were not related to communication. For example, there was a different code used to distinguish communication via the Internet (such as email) than for an activity involving the use of the Internet (such as doing research) that does not involve communication. This allowed all technology use to be captured for the primary activities instead of only collecting information on the technology used for communication. Communication and technology codes were only coded for primary activities. 

    For whom

    The 'for whom' column records an important aspect of each activity: its purpose. This column identifies the activities people have done for themselves and those done for other people or organisations. The 2006 coding list for this variable was slightly different to the 1997 coding list. In 2006, activities that were done for family members within the household were coded differently depending on whether the household members were sick, frail or with a disability or whether they were well. In 1997 there was not a distinction between whether the activity was done for a family member in the household who was well or whether it was done for a family member who was sick, frail or with a disability. This information was only collected and coded for the primary activity. Secondary activities do not have any information associated with them about the purpose of the activity. 

    Location

    Location is coded for both the physical location (e.g. own house or workplace) and the spatial location (e.g. indoors or outdoors). For 2006, an additional category was added for physical location to distinguish time spent at beaches, rivers, or lakes from other country settings. Furthermore, an additional category was added to include a spatial location of waiting in cars separate from waiting indoors or outdoors.

    Coding rule changes

    There were some differences in the coding rules that were used to code the diaries that may have some impact on the comparisons made between the 2006 data and the 1997 data. Some coding rules were changed in 2006 to improve the consistency of the data, the major changes are outlined below. 

    Child care

    Talking/playing/reading to children is an activity category within the Activity Classification. There was a slight change in the way that talking activities were coded to this category. In 1997, when a respondent reported 'talking to family' and there were children under 15 as well as adults present this was usually coded to 'talking for recreation and leisure' and no time was allocated to 'talking to children' unless it was clear that the child was involved. However, in 2006 episodes of 'talking to family' were often split into two episodes to include the time for talking to the adults and talking to the children when there were children under the age of 15 present. The 'talking to children' was coded as the primary activity and the 'talking to adults' was coded as the secondary activity. This was because child care activities were seen as priority activities. In 1997, 'talking to children' was not always seen as a priority activity and was therefore not always recorded as the primary activity. This may have some impact on the comparisons between the time spent on this activity in 1997 and in 2006. 

    Communication

    Communication codes were used more consistently throughout the coding process in 2006. For certain activities such as: talking to adults or children; playing or reading to children; socialising; purchasing in a commercial area; and computer use, communication/technology codes were used unless there was specific information in the diary to the contrary. No communication/technology codes were used for employment activities because the majority of people did not provide detail in the diary about their employment activities and therefore no assumptions could be made about the type of communication or technology that was being used during these episodes. 

    For whom

    The 'for whom' column of the diary was also coded more logically in 2006. All personal care activities such as sleeping, eating or personal hygiene were coded as being 'for self'. This was because logically a person cannot be doing these activities for someone else. In 1997 this was not always the case. Some personal care activities such as sleeping and eating were coded as being for 'family' or other people. In 2006, although some respondents may have recorded that they were doing these activities for people other than themselves this was edited during the processing of the diaries so that a consistent logical rule was applied for the personal care activities of sleeping, eating and personal hygiene. 

    Furthermore, all employment related activities for the main job or other jobs (excluding work breaks) were coded as being 'for work'. Many people recorded that the activity was done for themselves or their family. Once again these were changed during the processing of the diaries to apply a consistent rule across the work episodes. In 1997 this was not the case. 

    Purchasing

    There were some differences in the way that purchasing activities were coded in 2006 compared with 1997. In 1997, activities such as eating at a cafe/restaurant, or having drinks at a pub or nightclub were coded entirely to either eating or social/alcoholic drinking. However, in 2006 the first five minutes of the episodes at the eating or drinking locale were coded to purchasing consumer goods and the remainder was coded to either eating or drinking. 

    Travel

    Furthermore, travel to and from all eating and drinking locales was coded to travel associated with purchasing. In 1997, travel to nightclubs or pubs was coded to travel associated with recreation and leisure. This may contribute to an increase in the amount of time spent on travel associated with purchasing and a decrease in the amount of time spent on recreation and leisure. 

    In 1997, travel to and from work was mostly coded as travel associated with employment related activities unless the activity was one of the priority activities such as domestic, child care or caring for adults/doing volunteer work. However, in 2006 all travel was coded to the purpose of the activity. For example, if someone dropped their child at child care on the way to work, the travel from home to the child care centre was coded to travel associated with child care and the travel from the child care centre to work was coded as travel associated with employment. However, in 1997 this would all have been coded to travel associated with employment activities. This may have an impact on the comparability of the estimates for travel activities.

    Changes to processing procedures

    There are three different versions of the Activity Classification data, the nature of the activity, the purpose of the activity and the activity as concorded to the 1992 classification. The purpose and concordance versions of the data were derived from the nature of the activity using other supporting information such as who the activity was done for and whether communication was associated with the activity. There are differences between the data for each of these versions of the activity data. In 2006, there was a change made to the purpose derivation to include additional activity codes in the derivation of care for adults. This has resulted in an increase in the amount of time spent on care of adults according to the purpose derivation. This change is not reflected in data from the concordance derivation as this was kept in line with how the data was derived in 1997.

    Survey output and dissemination

    Overview

    The range of data available from the 2006 Time Use Survey in both published and unpublished form is described below. More detailed information can also be obtained by telephoning the Family and Community Statistics section on (02) 6252 7880.

    Publications and catalogued releases

    Releases for 2006 survey

    How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (Cat. no. 4153.0) 

    Release date: 21 February 2008 

    This publication presents some interesting findings about Australians' use of time and how this is changing. It provides an opportunity to compare the results of three national time use surveys: 1992, 1997 and 2006. The publication presents an Australian profile of average time use and focuses on how various groups in society allocate their time. Insight is provided into issues such as unpaid work, paid work and family caring, time spent on education and leisure, and time spent alone or with others. 

    This is available from the ABS website free of charge. 

    Time Use Survey, Australia - Confidentialised Unit Record File, 2006 (Cat. no. 4152.0.55.001) 

    Release date: 21 February 2008 

    A data file containing confidentialised variables from the master file at the unit record level (household, family, person and activity levels). This file provides purchasers with the opportunity to satisfy their detailed data needs. Technical details of the format of the file are provided in Chapter 7 (Using the CURF) of this publication. A listing all the data items is available in electronic format from the ABS website. 

    For clients wanting to produce their own tabulations and conduct manipulations of survey estimates a file containing unit records relating to almost all the survey respondents can be supplied. To protect the confidentiality of individual persons and households some data items are removed from the file and the level of detail for some items is reduced. 

    Two microdata files are available from these surveys: 

    • a basic CURF available on CD-ROM or through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL); and
    • an expanded CURF accessible only through the RADL

    The expanded CURF contains more detailed data for some variables than the basic CURF, as well as some additional variables. The RADL is a secure on-line data query service that clients can access via the ABS website. Because the CURFs are kept within the ABS environment, the ABS is able to release more detailed data via the RADL than can be made available on CD-ROM.

    Clients interested in finding out more about the CURFs should contact the Microdata Access Strategies section by emailing microdata.access@abs.gov.au or by phoning (02) 6252 7714. 

    Special data services

    The published data are only a small portion of the data collected in the surveys. The ABS offers specialised consultancy services to assist clients with more complex statistical information needs. Clients may wish to have the unit record data analysed according to their own needs, or require tailored tables incorporating data items and populations as requested by them. A wide range of data items are available - the detailed list of possible data items is provided in Appendix 2. 

    Tables and other analytic outputs can be made available electronically or in printed form. However, as the level of detail or disaggregation increases with detailed requests, the number of contributors to data cells decreases. This may result in some requested information not being able to be released due to confidentiality or sampling variability constraints. All specialist consultancy services attract a service charge, and clients will be provided with a quote before information is supplied. For further information, contact National Information and Referral Service 1300 135 070. For clients with specific requirements, customised tables can be produced. 

    Releases from previous surveys

    How Australian Use Their Time, 1997 (Cat. no. 4153.0) 

    Released: December 1998 

    This publication presents some interesting findings about Australians' use of time and how this is changing. The publication presents an Australian profile of average time use and focuses on how various groups in society allocate their time. Insight is provided into issues such as unpaid work, paid work and family caring, and time spent on education and leisure. 

    Time Use Survey, Australia - User's Guide, 1997 (Cat. no. 4150.0) 

    Released: December 1998 

    An essential reference tool for understanding data released from the 1997 Time Use Survey. This publication contains information about the concepts and methods used in sampling, data collection and processing for the above survey, including details of the classifications used. The survey presents a different perspective on topics such as paid work, leisure and parenting, allows measurement of household work and the sharing of domestic responsibilities, and examines activity profiles by life stages and socio-economic status. 

    Time Use Survey, Australia - Confidentialised Unit Record File, 1997 (Cat. no. 4152.0) 

    Released: February 1999 

    A data file on CD-ROM containing variables from the master file at the unit record level (household, family, person and person-day levels). To protect the confidentiality of persons and households, some data items have been removed and the level of detail for some items has been reduced. This file provides purchasers with the opportunity to satisfy their detailed data needs. A paper containing technical details of the format of the file and listing all the data items is included with the unit record file. 

    Information Paper: Time Use Survey, Australia - Confidentialised Unit Record File, 1997 (cat. no. 4151.0) 

    Released: February 1999 

    This paper contains information on the data available on the unit record file, conditions of issue and order details. 

    How Australians Use Their Time, 1992 (Cat. no. 4153.0) 

    Released: February 1994 

    This publication contains selected tables at the national level analysing the allocation of time to activities in Australia from the 1992 Time Use Survey. It contains data on the time spent in paid work, unpaid household work and shopping, caring for children and frail, sick and disabled people, community participation, education, leisure and personal maintenance, by usual residents of private households aged 15 years and above. Tables present activities for men and women and examine how various sub-groups of the population distribute their time among broad groupings of activities. 

    Time Use Survey, Australia - User's Guide, 1992 (Cat. no. 4150.0) 

    Released: November 1993 

    An essential reference tool for understanding data released from the 1992 Time Use Survey. This publication contains information about the concepts and methods used in sampling, data collection and processing for the above survey, including details of the classifications used. The survey presents a different perspective on topics such as paid work, leisure and parenting, allows measurement of household work and the sharing of domestic responsibilities, and examines activity profiles by life stages and socio-economic status. 

    Information Paper: Time Use Survey, Australia - Unit Record File, 1992 

    Released: January 1995 

    This publication contains technical details of the tape format and record structure, data items, conditions of issue and order details. 

    Time Use Survey, Australia - Confidentialised Unit Record File, 1992 (Cat. no. 4152.0) 

    Released: January 1995 

    A data file on floppy disks, magnetic tape or CD-ROM containing variables from the 1992 master file at the unit record level (household, person and person-day levels). Deletion of some variables and aggregation of categories in other variables ensures that confidentiality of individual respondents is maintained. Provides purchasers with the opportunity to satisfy detailed and extensive data needs. 

    Related publications

    Occasional Paper: Recent Changes in Unpaid Work, 1995 (Cat. no. 4154.0) 

    Released: May 1995 

    This publication describes some important changes occurring within Australian households. The paper deals chiefly with those activities in which households take raw materials and domestic capital, and through their own labour produce goods and services of greater value. Much of the output of these activities is consumed by the household itself. For the purposes of the paper, the household production just described is called unpaid work. 

    Occasional Paper: Unpaid Work and the Australian Economy, 1997 (Cat. no. 5240.0) 

    Released: October 2000 

    Discusses the issues involved in measuring unpaid household work and volunteer and community work. It also shows a range of experimental estimates of the value of total unpaid work in 1997, based on data from the 1997 Time Use Survey. 

    Time Use on Culture/Leisure Activities, 1997 (Cat. no. 4173.0) 

    Released: April 1999 

    This brochure contains a selection of national data on time spent by persons aged 15 years and over, on culture/leisure activities based on the 1997 Time Use Survey.

    Using the CURF

    Introduction

    This chapter provides information about the basic and expanded Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) from the 2006 Time Use Survey (TUS). Two microdata files are available from this survey: 

    • a basic TUS CURF available on CD-ROM or through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL); and
    • an expanded TUS CURF accessible only through the RADL.

    The expanded CURF contains more detailed data for some variables than the basic CURF, as well as some additional variables.

    The RADL is a secure on-line data query service, that clients can access via the ABS website. Because the CURFs are kept within the ABS environment, the ABS is able to release more detailed data via the RADL than can be made available on CD-ROM. Further information about this facility and obtaining access to the CURFs is available on the ABS Website (see Services We Provide/CURF Microdata/Accessing CURF Microdata). 

    In addition to this chapter, TUS CURF users should also use the information in other chapters of this User Guide.

    About the microdata

    The 2006 TUS CURFs contain unit records relating to almost all survey respondents. 

    The data are released under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, which has provision for the release of data in the form of unit records where the information is not likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. Accordingly, there are no names or addresses of survey respondents on the CURFs and other steps have been taken to protect the confidentiality of respondents. These include: 

    • removing persons from large households on the file to reduce them to a maximum household size of 8 persons on the expanded CURF and 6 persons on the basic CURF;
    • reducing the level of detail for many data items (e.g. geography, industry and occupation items);
    • perturbing income items or presenting deciles only;
    • ranging, collapsing or top-coding some variables (e.g. age of person); and
    • changing demographic information for a small number of records.

    As a consequence, aggregated data obtained from the CURFs are slightly different to that published in How Australians Use Their Time (Cat. no. 4153.0). See the section 'Reconciliation of the data' in this chapter for more information.

    Steps taken to confidentialise the datasets made available on the CURFs are undertaken in such a way as to ensure the integrity of the datasets and optimise the content, while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents. Intending purchasers should ensure that the data they require, at the level of detail they require, are available on the CURFs. Data collected in the survey but not contained on the CURFs may be available in tabulated form on request. For a complete list of the data items and categories on the basic and expanded CURFs see Appendix 2.

    Data items

    The detailed data item list and categories for the TUS CURFs is contained in Appendix 2. The data item list contains an index based on subject and an index based on field name. The data items included on the CURFs, and the categories within the data items, differ between the basic and expanded CURFs. The expanded CURF contains more variables than the basic CURF as well as more detailed data for selected variables. Table 8.1 shows the differences between the 2006 basic and expanded TUS CURFs. Most of the differences result from the difference in the level of detail and the difference in the maximum household size permitted on the basic and expanded CURFs. On the basic CURF, households with 7 or more members have been reduced to a maximum of 6, while on the expanded CURF households with 9 or more members have been reduced to a maximum of 8.

    Table 8.1 Comparison of data between 2006 basic and expanded TUS CURFs

    Table 8.1 Comparison of data between 2006 basic and expanded TUS CURFs
    Data ItemTreatment in Expanded CURFTreatment in Basic CURFItem number
    Household level
     Number of persons in householdNUPSHEC Maximum of 8 persons.NUPSHBC Maximum of 6 persons.EH14, BH14
     Number of persons aged 14 and under in householdNO14HEC Topcoded at 7 or more persons.NO14HBC Topcoded at 5 or more persons.EH15, BH15
     Capital city/balance of stateCAPBALCFNot on datasetEH18
     State or territorySTATETERNot on datasetEH19
     Index of relative socio-economic disadvantage - decilesSEIFANot on datasetEH21
     Index of relative socio-economic disadvantage - quintilesNot on datasetSEIFAQBCBH19
     Landlord typeHDT03EC 10 categories.HDT03BC 4 categories.EH23, BH21
     Dwelling structureDWLSTEC 8 categories.DWLSTBC 4 categories.EH25, BH23
     Occupation of household reference personANZCHEC 53 categories.ANZCHBC 10 categories.EH26, BH24
     Occupation of spouse of household reference personANZSPEC 53 categories.ANZSPBC 10 categories.EH27, BH25
     Hours usually worked by household reference personHRSWKEC Not applicable/less than one hour, 1 to 5 hours, single hours from 6-59. Top coded at 60 or more hours.HRSWKBC Not applicable/less than one hour, 1 to 15 hours, 16 to 24 hours, 25 to 34 hours, 35 to 39 hours, 40 hours, 41 to 49 hours. Top coded at 50 or more hours.EH28, BH26
     Hours usually worked by spouse of household reference personHRWKSEC Not applicable/less than one hour, 1 to 5 hours, single hours from 6-59. Top coded at 60 or more hours.HRWKSBC Not applicable/less than one hour, 1 to 15 hours, 16 to 24 hours, 25 to 34 hours, 35 to 39 hours, 40 hours, 41 to 49 hours. Top coded at 50 or more hours.EH29, BH27
     Household gross weekly incomeOINCO16Not on datasetEH32
     Household gross weekly income decilesHHDECNot on datasetEH33
     Household equivalised gross weekly incomeEQUIVINCNot on datasetEH34
     Number of income earners in householdINCEREC Top coded at 8 or more income earners.INCERBC Top coded at 6 or more income earners.EH36, BH31
    Family level
     Family number (in household)ABSFID Maximum of 8 non-family individuals.ABSFID Maximum of 6 non-family individuals.EF3, BF3
     Number of dependent children in familyNUMDPEC Top coded at 7 or more persons.NUMDPBC Top coded at 5 or more persons.EF13, BF13
     Number of persons aged 15 and over in familyNO15FEC Top coded at 8 or more persons.NO15FBC Top coded at 6 or more persons.EF14, BF14
     Number of children aged 14 and under in familyNOPS14E Top coded at 7 or more persons.NOPS14B Top coded at 5 or more persons.EF15, BF15
     Level of highest educational attainment of reference person in familyEDUAFEC 14 categories. Postgraduate Degree separate from Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate.EDUAFBC 13 categories. Postgraduate Degree, Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate combined.EF23, BF23
     Level of highest educational attainment of spouse of reference person in familyEDUASEC 14 categories. Postgraduate Degree separate from Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate.EDUASBC 13 categories. Postgraduate Degree, Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate combined.EF24, BF24
     Number of hours (reference child) usually attends formal child care each weekHRFCCEC Single hours, top coded at 40 or more hours.HRFCCBC 5 hour range categories from 1-40. Top coded at over 40 hours.EF33, BF33
     Number of hours (reference child) usually attends informal child care each weekNHICCEC Single hours, top coded at 40 or more hours.NHICCBC 5 hour range categories from 1-40. Top coded at over 40 hours.EF41, BF41
     Placement in family of youngest child with disabilityPLACEDEC Top coded at 6th youngest or more.PLACEDBC Top coded at 5th youngest or more.EF48, BF48
     Placement in family of youngest child with disability who is restricted in everyday activitiesPLACERECNot on datasetEF49
    Person Level
     Family number (in household)ABSFID Maximum of 8 non-family individuals.ABSFID Maximum of 6 non-family individuals.EP3, BP3
     Age of personAGEEC Single years from 15-84. Top coded at 85 or more years.AGEBC 5 year range categories from 15-84. Top coded at 85 or more years.EP9, BP9
     Social marital statusSOCMARCFNot on datasetEP11
     Family composition codeFAMCODENot on datasetEP13
     Country of birthCOBEC 21 categories.COBBC 4 categories.EP15, BP13
     Country of birth of motherCOBMEC 21 categories.COBMBC 4 categories.EP16, BP14
     Country of birth of fatherCOBFEC 21 categories.COBFBC 4 categories.EP17, BP15
     Year of arrival in AustraliaYOAEC Born in Australia, Arrived 1955 and before, 5 year range categories from 1956 to 2000, Arrived 2001 to year of collection.YOABC Born in Australia, Arrived 1985 and before, 5 year range categories from 1986 to 2000, Arrived 2001 to year of collection.EP18, BP16
     First language spokenFLGSPEC 9 categories.FLGSPBC 2 categories.EP19, BP17
     Main language other than English spoken at homeMLGOEECNot on datasetEP21
     Level of highest non-school qualificationNONSQUAL 10 categories. Postgraduate Degree separate from Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate.NONSQBC 9 categories. Postgraduate Degree, Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate combined.EP28, BP25
     Level of highest educational attainmentLHEAEC 14 categories. Postgraduate Degree separate from Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate.LHEABC 13 categories. Postgraduate Degree, Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate combined.EP29, BP26
     Level of education of current studyLEVLCUR 13 categories. Postgraduate Degree separate from Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate.LEVLCBC 12 categories. Postgraduate Degree, Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate combined.EP32, BP29
     Type of educational institution attending for current studyTEIACEC 6 categories.TEIACBC 4 categories.EP33, BP30
     OccupationANZSCEC 53 categories.ANZSCBC 10 categories.EP35, BP32
     Hours usually worked each week in all jobsWRKHREC Not applicable/less than one hour, 1 to 5 hours, single hours from 6-59. Top coded at 60 or more hours.WRKHRBC Not applicable/less than one hour, 1 to 15 hours, 16 to 24 hours, 25 to 34 hours, 35 to 39 hours, 40 hours, 41 to 49 hours. Top coded at 50 or more hours.EP49, BP46
     Usual number of weekly overtime hours in all jobsOTIMEEC Not applicable/less than one hour, single hours from 1-19. Top coded at 20 or more hours.OTIMEBC Not applicable/less than one hour, 1 to 4 hours, 5 hour range categories from 5-19. Top coded at 20 or more hours.EP51, BP48
     Industry of employmentANZI6EC 68 categories.ANZI6BC 21 categories.EP53, BP50
     Time since last worked for 2 weeks or moreTMLSTWRK Under 4 weeks, single weeks from 4-103. Top coded at 104 or more weeks.TIMLWBC Under 4 weeks, 4 weeks and under 13 weeks, 13 weeks and under 26 weeks, 26 weeks and under 52 weeks. Top coded at 52 or more weeks.EP63, BP60
     Duration of looking for workDURLWRK Under 4 weeks, single weeks from 4-103. Top coded at 104 or more weeks.DULFWBC Under 4 weeks, 4 weeks and under 13 weeks, 13 weeks and under 26 weeks, 26 weeks and under 52 weeks. Top coded at 52 or more weeks.EP64, BP61
     Duration of unemploymentDURUNEMP Under 4 weeks, single weeks from 4-103. Top coded at 104 or more weeks.DUUNEBC Under 4 weeks, 4 weeks and under 13 weeks, 13 weeks and under 26 weeks, 26 weeks and under 52 weeks. Top coded at 52 or more weeks.EP65, BP62
     Weekly income from unincorporated businessOINCO05ANot on datasetEP80
     Weekly income from wages or salaryOINCO11ANot on datasetEP81
     Weekly income from government cash pensions and allowancesOINCO11BNot on datasetEP82
     Weekly income from rental incomeOINCO08Not on datasetEP83
     Weekly income from dividends and interestDIVINTWKNot on datasetEP84
     Weekly income from other cash sourcesOINCO10Not on datasetEP85
     Total weekly cash incomeOINCO12Not on datasetEP87
    Day level
     Family number (in household)ABSFID Maximum of 8 non-family individuals.ABSFID Maximum of 6 non-family individuals.ED3, BD3
    Episode level
     Family number (in household)ABSFID Maximum of 8 non-family individuals.ABSFID Maximum of 6 non-family individuals.EE3, BE3
    Activity level
     Family number (in household)ABSFID Maximum of 8 non-family individuals.ABSFID Maximum of 6 non-family individuals.EA3, BA3

    Notes on specific data items

    Geographic items

    To enable CURF users greater flexibility in their analyses, the ABS has included one Socio-economic Index for Area (SEIFA) and several sub-state geography items on the expanded 2006 CURF. Conditions are placed on the use of these items. Tables showing multiple data items, cross tabulated by more than one sub-state geography at a time, are not permitted due to the detailed information about small geographic regions that could be presented. However, simple cross-tabulations of population counts by sub-state geographic data items may be useful for clients in order to determine which geography item to include in their primary analysis, and such output is permitted. 

    Income items

    Continuous income items (expanded CURF)

    The person level records contain information on income by source (continuous) and total weekly income (continuous and in deciles). The household level records contain information at a broader level, derived from the income of all persons aged 15 years and over in the household (household gross weekly income and equivalised gross income are continuous and in deciles). Users should use the household income variables, as persons included in family and household level variables may not have person level records on the CURF files (refer to section 'Persons 15 years and over' in this chapter). As a result, users deriving family or household level income measures from the person level file will not derive the correct amounts. 

    When analysing income at person level, it is necessary to exclude the reserved values of 99,999,998 for 'Not known' and 99,999,999 for 'Not stated' for income items for specific sources. When analysing income totals at person and household level, it is necessary to exclude the reserved value of 99,999,998 for 'Not known or not stated'. Note that if more than one contributing income item at the person level has a value of 'Not known' or 'Not stated', then 'Total weekly cash income' and derived deciles are set to 'Not known or not stated', as it was not possible to derive an accurate total. Similarly, if more than one contributing person record in a household has a value of 'Not known or not stated', then household income (both equivalised and gross), and derived income deciles are set to 'Not known or not stated'. 

    The person level income items are: 

    • weekly income from unincorporated business (OINCO05A);
    • weekly income from wages and salary (OINCO11A);
    • weekly income from government cash pensions (OINCO11B);
    • weekly income from rental income (OINCO08);
    • weekly income from dividends and interest (DIVINTWK);
    • weekly income from other cash sources (OINCO10); and
    • total weekly cash income (OINCO12).

    The relevant household level income items are:

    • household equivalised gross weekly income (EQUIVINC); and
    • household gross weekly income (OINCO16).
    Income deciles (expanded and basic CURFs)

    When analysing income deciles at person or household level, it is necessary to exclude the reserved value of 00 for 'Not known or not stated'. Refer to the section above 'Continuous income items (expanded CURF)' for more details on how the 'Not known or not stated' values are derived from individual income components.

    The person and household level income items in deciles are: 

    • Total weekly cash income deciles (PERSDEC);
    • Household equivalised gross weekly income (EQUIVDEC); and
    • Household gross weekly income deciles (HHDEC) (expanded CURF only).

    Multiple response items

    There are two data items at the person level on the 2006 TUS CURFs that have multiple responses. In these instances respondents were able to select one or more response categories, and the output data items are multi-response in nature. This section describes these items and provides some information on how to use them.

    On the basic and expanded CURFs, the data items are: 

    • relationship of carer to recipient living in household (RELCRHA-RELCRHC); and
    • relationship of primary carer to recipient living in household (RLPCRHA-RLPCRHC )

    The item 'Relationship of carer to recipient living in household' captures multiple responses where a person provides care to more than one person with a disability in their household. The first response is captured in the first, or 'A', position (RELCRHA), and additional responses are in the second and then third, or 'B' and 'C', positions (RELCRHB, RELCRHC). If a person does not care for anyone then they will have a value of 99 'not applicable' in the first position (RELCRHA). The 'Null response' (value of 0) is a default code and should not be used in data analysis. The item 'Relationship of primary carer to recipient living in household' is set up in the same way.

    Imputation flags

    Imputation was undertaken for income from wages and salary income only, and an imputation flag (IMPFLAGP) exists at the person level to indicate whether an individual record had income from wages and salary imputed. A value of 1 'partially imputed' indicates that income from wages and salary for that record was imputed. On the expanded CURF this flag can be used to determine if 'Weekly income from wages and salary', and also if 'Total weekly cash income' includes an imputed wages and salary component. On the expanded and basic CURFs, the flag can also be used to indicate if 'Total weekly cash income deciles' includes an imputed wages and salary component. An imputation flag also exists at the household level (IMPFLAGH) to indicate whether a household contains one or more person records which had a wages and salary item imputed, and this can be used in a similar manner.

    Deciles

    Table 8.2 Total weekly cash income decile boundaries (PERSDEC) for Expanded CURF

    Table 8.2 Total weekly cash income decile boundaries (PERSDEC) for Expanded CURF
     MINMAXRANGE
    Lowest 10%-2 390.0018.00Less than $19.00
    Second decile19.00172.00$19.00 to less than $173.00
    Third decile173.00220.00$173.00 to less than $221.00
    Fourth decile221.00299.00$221.00 to less than $300.00
    Fifth decile300.00441.00$300.00 to less than $442.00
    Sixth decile442.00599.00$442.00 to less than $600.00
    Seventh decile600.00763.00$600.00 to less than $764.00
    Eighth decile764.00958.00$764.00 to less than $959.00
    Ninth decile959.001 249.00$959.00 to less than $1250.00
    Highest 10%1 250.006 772.00$1250.00 and greater

    Table 8.3 Household equivalised gross weekly income decile boundaries (EQUIVDEC) for Expanded CURF

    Table 8.3 Household equivalised gross weekly income decile boundaries (EQUIVDEC) for Expanded CURF
     MINMAXRANGE
    Lowest 10%zero241.85Less than $242.00
    Second decile242.00307.69$242.00 to less than $308.00
    Third decile308.00399.33$308.00 to less than $400.00
    Fourth decile400.00507.20$400.00 to less than $507.67
    Fifth decile507.67604.00$507.67 to less than $604.23
    Sixth decile604.23718.26$604.23 to less than $718.46
    Seventh decile718.46852.22$718.46 to less than $853.33
    Eighth decile853.331 021.11$853.33 to less than $1022.67
    Ninth decile1 022.671 301.33$1022.67 to less than $1302.66
    Highest 10%1 302.666 152.67$1302.66 and greater

    Table 8.4 Household gross weekly income decile boundaries (HHDEC) for Expanded CURF

    Table 8.4 Household gross weekly income decile boundaries (HHDEC) for Expanded CURF
     MINMAXRANGE
    Lowest 10%-2 390.00250.00Less than $251.00
    Second decile251.00399.00$251.00 to less than $400.00
    Third decile400.00538.00$400.00 to less than $539.00
    Fourth decile539.00728.00$539.00 to less than $729.00
    Fifth decile729.00954.00$729.00 to less than $954.73
    Sixth decile954.731 168.00$954.73 to less than $1170.00
    Seventh decile1 170.001 459.00$1170.00 to less than $1459.84
    Eighth decile1 459.841 825.00$1459.84 to less than $1826.00
    Ninth decile1 826.002 359.00$1826.00 to less than $2359.25
    Highest 10%2 359.259 229.00$2359.25 and greater

    Decile boundaries are similar for the Basic CURF but have not been published.

    File structure and use

    Nature of the levels

    Each of the CURFs contain the following record levels:

    • Household level - contains information about State or Territory and area (Capital City/Balance of State) of residence, type of dwelling, tenure type, landlord type, household type and composition, household income and number of income earners, disability, household items (such as televisions and vehicles), household use of Internet technology, and some information relating to the household reference person;
    • Family level - contains information about family composition, child care, disability, and some information relating to the family reference person;
    • Person level - contains information about each selected person, the family and household to which they belong, such as: sex, age, marital status, relationship in household, country of birth, year of arrival in Australia, family type, income unit type, labour force details, occupation and industry, education status, education qualifications and educational institution attending, income by detailed source of income, child care, carer and disability information, use of Internet technology, time use. Person records only exist for persons aged 15 and over;
    • Day level - contains information about the nature of the day, the quarter of collection and the day of the week the diary information related to;
    • Episode level - contains information about each segment of time throughout the day, such as: who was present, length of episode, start and stop time of episode, who activity was done for, health information about person(s) present, spatial and physical location of episode, mode of transport used, and type of communication/information technology used during the episode as recorded in the TUS diary; and
    • Activity level - contains information about what was happening during each episode such as the nature and purpose of activity as recorded in the TUS diary, and an activity concordance to 1992 Time Use Survey. It also provides information about whether the activity was a primary or secondary activity (where the person stated that they were doing two things at the same time, such as cooking dinner and watching television).

    Table 8.5 shows the number of records on each level.

    Table 8.5 Record counts
     TUS Expanded CURFTUS Basic CURF
    Household level3 6433 626
    Family level3 8153 793
    Person level6 9606 902
    Day level13 73013 617
    Episode level384 484381 355
    Activity level520 441516 219

    Identifiers

    There are seven identifiers on the expanded and basic CURFs.

    Every household has a unique random identifier (ABSHID). This identifier appears on the household level, and is repeated on the family, person, day, episode and activity levels for each record relating to that household. 

    Each family within a household is numbered sequentially commencing at 1. Non-family members, single person households and persons in group households have a sequential "family number" commencing at 50. Family number (ABSFID) appears on the family level and is repeated on the person, day, episode and activity levels for each record relating to that family. The combination of household and family number uniquely identifies a family. 

    A family has one or more income units and each income unit within the family is numbered sequentially. Income unit number (ABSIID) appears on the person, day, episode and activity levels. The combination of household, family, and income unit number uniquely identifies an income unit. 

    An income unit has one or more persons and each person within the income unit is numbered sequentially. Person number (ABSPID) appears on the person level and is repeated on the day, episode and activity levels. The combination of household, family, income unit and person number uniquely identifies a person. 

    A person has records for up to two days and each day within a person record is numbered sequentially. Day number (ABSDID) appears on the day level and is repeated on the episode and activity levels. The combination of household, family, income unit, person and day number uniquely identifies a day. 

    A day has one or more episode records and each episode within a day record is numbered sequentially. Episode number (ABSEID) appears on the episode level and is repeated on the activity level. The combination of household, family, income unit, person, day and episode number uniquely identifies an episode. 

    An episode has one or more activities and each activity within an episode record is numbered sequentially. Activity number (ABSAID) appears on the activity level. The combination of household, family, income unit, person, day, episode and activity number uniquely identifies an activity. 

    At higher levels, level identifiers for lower levels are set to zero. 

    Children aged under 15 years

    Children aged under 15 years do not have their own person level record on the file. Information on the number and ages of such children was collected and is included on the household and family level files. 

    Persons aged 15 years and over

    In some cases persons aged 15 years and over included in family and household level variables may not have individual person, day, episode or activity records on the CURF files. These individuals either had no useable diary information or interview details and were dropped based on the rules detailed in the section 'Number of records on the final file' (see 'Survey Methodology' section). 

    Use of weights

    The CURFs contain records which can be adjusted (weighted) to infer results for the total in-scope population in Australia. As the survey was conducted on a sample of private dwellings in Australia, it is important to take account of the method of sample selection when deriving estimates from the CURFs. This is particularly important as a person's chance of selection in the survey varied depending on the State or Territory in which the person lived, as well as the days of the week they were asked to respond for. If the chance of selection is not accounted for, by use of appropriate weights, the results will be biased. For information about the derivation of the weights for the 2006 TUS see 'Survey Methodology' section in this User Guide. 

    Each household, family, person, day, episode and activity record contains a weight. This weight indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit. Weights for each family record are the same as the weights for the household record. Likewise, weights for the episode and activity records are the same as the weights for the person-day record. Care needs to be taken to ensure the appropriate weight is selected when estimating for the desired Australian population (see Appendix 2 for weights at each level). 

    In addition, replicate weights have been included on the CURFs which can be used to calculate sampling error. Sampling error arises because the estimates are based on a sample of units and so will differ from estimates that would have been produced if all units in the population had been included in the survey. Each record on the CURFs contain 60 'replicate weights' in addition to the associated 'main weight'. Information on the use of these replicate weights is provided in the section 'Reliability of the estimates' below. 

    Weights are calibrated against population benchmarks to ensure that estimates conform to an independently estimated distribution of the population by certain characteristics, rather than to the distributions within the sample itself. Separate benchmarks are used for each enumeration period, and include households and persons residing in occupied private dwellings only. The benchmarks sum to an averaged "yearly" private dwelling population, and therefore do not, and are not intended to, match estimates of the total Australian resident population published by the ABS. For information about the benchmarks used in the calibration of the final weights please see 'Survey Methodology' section in this User Guide. 

    If estimates of population sub-groups are to be derived from the CURFs, it is essential that they are calculated using the appropriate weights of records in each category and not just by counting the number of records in each category. If weights for each category were to be ignored when analysing the data to draw inferences about the population of interest, then no account would be taken of the chance of selection or of different response rates across population groups. 

    It should be noted that as a result of some of the changes made to protect confidentiality on the CURFs, estimates of benchmarked items produced from the CURFs may not equal the benchmarked values. Further information about this difference in estimates is presented in the section 'About the Microdata' at the start of this chapter. 

    Reconciliation of the data

    It is not possible to reconcile exactly the data produced from the CURFs with published data. This is a result of the steps taken to preserve confidentiality. These steps are outlined in the section 'About the Microdata' at the start of this chapter.

    Using the episode and activity datasets

    Introduction

    The TUS 2006 CURFs comprise six datasets at different levels. One of these datasets relates to 'Episode' level data (TUS06EE for the expanded CURF or TUS06BE for the basic CURF), and another to 'Activity' level data (TUS06EA for the expanded CURF or TUS06BA for the basic CURF). Explanation of the nature and use of the data contained within these datasets is below. 

    An "episode" relates to a segment of time, whereas an "activity" describes what was being done during that segment of time. 

    The episode level contains information about episode start time (EPSTART) and episode stop time (EPSTOP), expressed as the number of minutes from midnight (for example, 10 am is 600), episode length (EPLENGTH), which is the duration of the episode in minutes, determined by subtracting the episode start time from the episode stop time, as well as information about where the episode took place, who else was present (their age groups and health characteristics), and who the activity was done for. 

    The activity level splits each episode into primary and secondary activities. For example, a person can be cooking dinner as their primary activity and can also be watching television which would be their secondary activity. The purpose of the activity level is to explain what was being done during each episode (e.g. sleeping, eating, working). 

    The activity level datasets present the information in three ways: 

    The item 'Nature of activity' (NATURACT) details the type of activity based on the current Time Use Activity Classification (refer to Appendix 1). 

    The item 'Purpose of activity' (PURPMN) also uses the Time Use Activity Classification but it looks at the purpose of the activity. For example, if a person was doing gardening for their elderly mother with a disability then the nature would be "gardening" whereas the purpose would be "caring for adults". 

    Activity as concorded to 1992 Time Use Activity Classification (CONCORD) details the activity based on the 1992 Time Use Survey Activity Classification. 

    The episode and activity levels can be used directly for all types of tables apart from tables that require ranged duration of time. Ranged duration of time looks at the total time spent by a person over all episodes which meet a given set of criteria. For example, a person who has three meal episodes in one day lasting 30 minutes each would have a total time for all episodes of eating of 90 minutes. They should therefore be counted in a ranged time table at the 90 minute point. This will only happen if you sum the episode lengths before they are ranged, otherwise, using the above example, each episode would be ranged incorrectly at the 30 minute point. 

    To sum episode length

    In order to sum episode length, the process has been explained in a step by step process below. Following these steps will result in the creation of a new data item that has the total time for all episodes that meet the given set of criteria: 

    • sort the episode level dataset by day. All records for a particular day must be sorted together. This can be done by sorting on the identifiers for household, family, income unit, person, and day (ABSHID, ABSFID, ABSIID, ABSPID, and ABSDID); and
    • for each record in the episode level dataset do as follows:
      • if the record is the first for a given day then set the new total field to zero. The "new total field" is the new item being created which will eventually have the total time summed for all episodes of interest;
      • if the record meets the criteria for the total then add the duration of the episode to the total. The summing criteria refer to fields on the episode level. For example, you may be interested in episodes that occur in one type of location and/or where the activity was done for a particular type of person. The duration is in minutes and is stored in the item EPLENGTH; and
      • if the record is the last for a given day then output a new episode summary record. The "new total field" item should now have summed together all the EPLENGTH values that have met the criteria for that particular day and the last record can be output with the total value.

    The summing criteria can also be applied to the activity level but require the episode level fields to be copied down to the activity level before summing.

    Copying data from episode to activity level

    In order to copy data from the episode level to the activity level: 

    • sort the episode and activity level datasets by episode. All records for a particular episode must be sorted together. This can be done by sorting on the identifiers for household, family, income unit, person, day, and episode (ABSHID, ABSFID, ABSIID, ABSPID, ABSDID, and ABSEID);
    • match the records in the episode and activity level datasets by episode. The records must be matched using the identifiers for household, family, income unit, person, day, and episode (ABSHID, ABSFID, ABSIID, ABSPID, ABSDID, and ABSEID); and
    • add the episode level fields to the corresponding activity level records.

    These steps will result in a new dataset containing all the episode level information (e.g. episode length) attached to the primary and secondary activity level data (e.g. nature of the activity). This activity level dataset can now be sorted and a "new total field" item created as per the "To sum episode length" steps detailed above. Note, however, that if you choose to include both primary and secondary activities, the algorithm must be modified to avoid double counting.

    This step: 

    • if the record meets the criteria for the total then add the duration of the episode to the total

    becomes:

    • if the record meets the criteria for the total and the current episode has not yet been counted then add the duration of the episode to the total

    Regardless of whether you sum episode length from the episode level or from the activity level, you will end up with a day level dataset containing the "new total field". This can then be ranged and used in the same way as any other day level data item. For example, if you wanted to cross tabulate "Total duration of all episodes of eating (30 minute ranges)" by "Sex of person", you would first need to copy the latter from the person level dataset to the new day level dataset by adapting the "To copy data from the episode level to the activity level" steps above.

    Reliability of estimtes

    Two types of error, sampling error and non-sampling error, are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey. More information is available in 'Data Quality' section in this User Guide. 

    Standard Errors (SEs) are one of the methods used to measure sampling variability. As mentioned in the section 'Use of weights' earlier in this chapter, each record on the CURFs contain 60 'replicate weights'. The SE for each estimate produced from the CURFs can be calculated using the replicate weights provided. 

    SEs can be calculated using what is known as the 60 group jackknife error estimator. When calculating SEs it is important to select the replicate weights which are most appropriate for the analysis being undertaken (see Appendix 2 for replicate weights at each level). 

    To obtain the SE of a weighted estimate y, calculate the same estimate using each of the 60 replicate weights. The variability between these replicate estimates (denoting y(g) for group number g) is used to measure the SE of the original weighted estimate y, using the formula: 

    \(S E(y)=\sqrt{59/60 \sum \limits_{g=1}^{60}(y_{(g)}-y)^{2}}\)

    where

    \(g\) = the replicate group number 

    \(y(_g)\) = the weighted estimate, having applied the weights for replicate group \(g\) 

    \(y\) = the weighted estimate from the full sample 

    Use of the 60 group jackknife method for complex estimates, such as regression parameters from a statistical model, is not straightforward and may not be appropriate. The method as described does not apply to investigations where survey weights are not used, such as unweighted statistical modelling. For more information on the 60 group jackknife method of SE estimated, see Research Paper: Weighting and Standard Error Estimation for ABS Household Surveys (Methodology Advisory Committee) (Cat. no. 1352.0.55.029). 

    Information on calculating the relative standard error (RSE) of an estimate is available in 'Data Quality' section in this User Guide. 

    CURF users should be aware that estimates produced from the CURFs will differ from those in the published data due to actions taken to preserve confidentiality on the TUS CURFs.

    Comparison with previous CURFS

    While efforts have been made to maintain comparability between CURFs where possible, changes in data collection, data item standards, analysis requirements and user preferences have resulted in changes to data items which may have an impact on data analysis and the assessment of changes over time. 

    Changes impacting on all items

    The main changes which could impact on all data items were: 

    • the final sample size for the 2006 TUS was increased from 1997 to improve the coverage of weekend diary days;
    • the scope of the survey was changed slightly. In 1997 visitors to the selected dwelling were considered to be within scope if they lived in a private dwelling and had not been at their usual dwelling for any part of the enumeration period. In 2006 all visitors to the selected dwelling were out of scope. In 2006 all people living in special dwellings such as hotels, hospitals or aged care establishments were also excluded;
    • the allowable time for uncodeable activities within a diary increased in 2006. In 1997 across all records this averaged to 5 minutes per day and in 2006 it averaged to 7 minutes per day;
    • an extra weight was added to the file in 2006. This is the person weight;
    • in 1997 the population distributions (benchmarks) for each quarter of the Time Use Survey were obtained by averaging population estimates from two Labour Force Surveys on each side of the Time Use collection periods. Household benchmarks for the Time Use Survey were derived from independent estimates of the resident population for June 1997. In 2006 the two sets of population distributions (benchmarks) were used for person-day and person benchmarking for each collection period of the Time Use Survey. Similarly, for the household benchmarking, two sets of household benchmarks were used for each collection period;
    • in 2006 wages and salaries information was imputed using donor records. No imputation was undertaken in 1997; and
    • RSEs were calculated differently in 2006 to 1997. In 1997 a statistical model was produced that related the size of the estimates with their corresponding RSEs, and this information was displayed via a 'SE table'. For 2006, RSEs have been calculated for each estimate using the grouped jacknife method and are published individually.

    Changes relating to data items

    There were also changes to specific data items. As TUS is run infrequently, these changes are too substantial to list individually. CURF users who are undertaking comparison with previous TUS CURFs should take care to compare items they are using for analysis by using the previous supporting information and data item lists in User Guides and CURF related publications for previous TUS releases. A brief summary of the types of changes, along with some examples, is presented below.

    Items not on both the 1997 and 2006 TUS CURFs:

    The 2006 CURFs have a large number of items that were not provided on the 1997 CURFs. For example, both CURFs have the person level item 'Occupation' although the 2006 CURFs provide further household information with additional items 'Occupation of household reference person' and 'Occupation of spouse of household reference person'. The 2006 CURFs also output a number of items on the use of Internet technology at both the household and person level which were not on the 1997 CURFs. New items, 'Flag for households with imputed wages or salary' and 'Flag for person with imputed wages or salary', also did not exist in 1997 as no imputation was performed on the data. On the 1997 CURFs, the Activity level items, 'Nature of activity' and 'Purpose of activity' were coded by primary and secondary activity, but are now items in their own right for the 2006 CURFs. A new item 'Activity priority' has been added which is used to classify the activity as either primary or secondary. 

    Many of the new items on the 2006 CURFs have replaced what used to be single output items on the 1997 CURFs. For example, in 1997 the item 'Regular cash income sources' was collected and output as a single item, while in 2006 the same item has been broken up into multiple output items e.g. 'Whether received regular government pensions or allowance', 'Whether received regular child support or maintenance' and so on. The multiple items add more detail to the output and allow for cross comparisons between each other as well. Most of the multi-response items that were collected and output in 1997 as single multi-response items have been split into separate singular items for 2006. 

    The 2006 CURFs have a 'Family' level which has resulted in additional family level items which were not available in 1997. Many of these new items were output at the household level in 1997 but have been output at the family level for 2006. For example, 'Sex of first youngest child under 15' has been replaced with 'Sex of first youngest child aged 14 and under in family' and 'Whether formal child care usually used' has been replaced with 'Whether family usually uses formal child care'. 

    A small number of items that were on the 1997 CURFs have been removed from the 2006 CURFs, such as income items 'Annual regular cash income' and 'Annual business cash income', and household items 'Household structure' and 'Number of dependents in household'. Any information that may have been lost from the removal of these items has been made up with the new items added to the 2006 CURFs. For example, while the 2006 CURFs do not output 'Household structure' and 'Number of dependents in household', they output at the person level 'Relationship in household' and at the family level 'Number of dependent children in family'. 

    Other data item changes:

    There are also some minor differences between items on the 1997 CURFs and the 2006 CURFs. The items are conceptually the same but have a different level of detail, different topcode or different category on either the basic or expanded CURFs. This is due to either changes in standards or in survey specific collection and output decisions. Some examples of these types of minor changes are provided below: 

    • there are several items which have changed from having labelled output categories in 1997 to 'Yes/No' output categories in 2006 - e.g. 'Household has a microwave oven' and 'Household has a dishwasher';
    • there are items which have different ranges or categories for the data in 2006. For example, in 1997, 'Duration of unemployment' was ranged '1-26 weeks', '26-103 weeks' and '104 weeks or more'. In 2006, this has changed to comply with current standards and has been ranged from 'Under 4 weeks', '4 weeks and under 13 weeks', '13 weeks and under 26 weeks', '26 weeks and under 52 weeks' and '52 weeks and over'; and
    • other items have had different topcodes applied in 2006. For example, 'Age' was topcoded at '75 years and over' in 1997, while in 2006 the data item name has been changed to 'Age of person' and is now topcoded at '85 years or over'.

    Contents of the CURFs

    This section provides details of the files included on each CURF, including information on the differences in files available for the basic CURF on the CD-ROM and through the RADL.

    Basic TUS CURF files

    The basic CURF is available either on CD-ROM or through the RADL, in several different formats (SAS, SPSS, STATA). The names of the basic CURF files are listed below: 

    SAS files:

    These files contain the data for the basic CURF in SAS for Windows format: 

    • TUS06BH.SAS7BDAT contains the Household level data
    • TUS06BF.SAS7BDAT contains the Family level data
    • TUS06BP.SAS7BDAT contains the Person level data
    • TUS06BD.SAS7BDAT contains the Day level data
    • TUS06BE.SAS7BDAT contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06BA.SAS7BDAT contains the Activity level data
    SPSS files:

    These files contain the data for the basic CURF in SPSS for Windows format:

    • TUS06BH.SAV contains the Household level data
    • TUS06BF.SAV contains the Family level data
    • TUS06BP.SAV contains the Person level data
    • TUS06BD.SAV contains the Day level data
    • TUS06BE.SAV contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06BA.SAV contains the Activity level data
    STATA files:

    These files contain the data for the basic CURF in STATA format:

    • TUS06BH.DTA contains the Household level data
    • TUS06BF.DTA contains the Family level data
    • TUS06BP.DTA contains the Person level data
    • TUS06BD.DTA contains the Day level data
    • TUS06BE.DTA contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06BA.DTA contains the Activity level data
    Information files:
    • README.TXT This is a text file describing the contents of the CURF.
    • RESPONSIBLE ACCESS TO ABS CURFs TRAINING MANUAL_MAR05.PDF This is an acrobat file explaining the CURF users' role and obligations when using confidentialised data.
    • Time Use Survey, Australia - Users' Guide, 2006 (Cat. no. 4150.0)
    • How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (Cat. no. 4153.0)
    • ABS CONDITIONS OF SALE.PDF This file describes ABS conditions of sale.
    • COPYRITE1.BAT This file describes copyright obligations for CURF users.
    • IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CURF USERS_300903.PDF This file directs users to the ABS website for more and up to date information on what is available from the ABS.
    • 4153_CURF_DATA_ITEM_LISTING_TUS06.XLS This file contains documentation of the TUS06 data items including data item labels, code values and category labels.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06BH.TXT This file contains documentation of the Household level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted household frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06BF.TXT This file contains documentation of the Family level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted family frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06BP.TXT This file contains documentation of the Person level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted person frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06BD.TXT This file contains documentation of the Day level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted day frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06BE.TXT This file contains documentation of the Episode level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted episode frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06BA.TXT This file contains documentation of the Activity level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted activity frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.

    Basic CURF files on CD-ROM only

    These files contain the raw confidentialised survey data in a comma separated file (CSV) format, and are available only on CD-ROM:

    • TUS06B.CSV contains the raw data for the Basic CURF
    • TUS06B.SAS - This SAS program can be used to translate data from the CSV format to SAS. It also creates the formats library and attributes the formats to relevant variables. This file is for use with other analysis packages and describes the CSV file data. Relevant changes will need to be made to reflect the load statement for your analysis package.

    Basic CURF files on RADL only

    The test files mirror the actual data files, but have random data and random identifiers. These files are on the RADL website and can be downloaded so users can use these to trouble shoot their code prior to submitting RADL jobs.

    SAS files:

    These files contain the test data for the basic CURF in SAS for Windows format: 

    • TUS06BH.SAS7BDAT contains the Household level data
    • TUS06BF.SAS7BDAT contains the Family level data
    • TUS06BP.SAS7BDAT contains the Person level data
    • TUS06BD.SAS7BDAT contains the Day level data
    • TUS06BE.SAS7BDAT contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06BA.SAS7BDAT contains the Activity level data
    • FORMATS.SAS7BDAT is the format file which provides labels for associated codes in the SAS version of the 2006 TUS basic CURF.
    SPSS files:

    These files contain the test data for the basic CURF in SPSS format:

    • TUS06BH.SAV contains the Household level data
    • TUS06BF.SAV contains the Family level data
    • TUS06BP.SAV contains the Person level data
    • TUS06BD.SAV contains the Day level data
    • TUS06BE.SAV contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06BA.SAV contains the Activity level data
    STATA files:

    These files contain the test data for the basic CURF in STATA format:

    • TUS06BH.DTA contains the Household level data
    • TUS06BF.DTA contains the Family level data
    • TUS06BP.DTA contains the Person level data
    • TUS06BD.DTA contains the Day level data
    • TUS06BA.DTA contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06BE.DTA contains the Activity level data

    Expanded TUS CURF files

    The expanded CURF contains more detailed data than the basic CURF and is only available via the RADL. It is available in several different formats (SAS, SPSS, STATA). The names of the expanded CURF files are listed below:

    SAS files:

    These files contain the data for the expanded CURF in SAS for Windows format: 

    • TUS06EH.SAS7BDAT contains the Household level data
    • TUS06EF.SAS7BDAT contains the Family level data
    • TUS06EP.SAS7BDAT contains the Person level data
    • TUS06ED.SAS7BDAT contains the Day level data
    • TUS06EE.SAS7BDAT contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06EA.SAS7BDAT contains the Activity level data
    SPSS files:

    These files contain the data for the expanded CURF in SPSS for Windows format:

    • TUS06EH.SAV contains the Household level data
    • TUS06EF.SAV contains the Family level data
    • TUS06EP.SAV contains the Person level data
    • TUS06ED.SAV contains the Day level data
    • TUS06EE.SAV contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06EA.SAV contains the Activity level data
    STATA files:

    These files contain the data for the expanded CURF in STATA format:

    • TUS06EH.DTA contains the Household level data
    • TUS06EF.DTA contains the Family level data
    • TUS06EP.DTA contains the Person level data
    • TUS06ED.DTA contains the Day level data
    • TUS06EE.DTA contains the Episode level
    • TUS06EA.DTA contains the Activity level data

    Expanded CURF test files

    The test files mirror the actual data files, but have random data and random identifiers. These files are on the RADL website and can be downloaded so users can use these to trouble shoot their code prior to submitting RADL jobs.

    SAS files:

    These files contain the test data for the expanded CURF in SAS for Windows format: 

    • TUS06EH.SAS7BDAT contains the Household level data
    • TUS06EF.SAS7BDAT contains the Family level data
    • TUS06EP.SAS7BDAT contains the Person level data
    • TUS06ED.SAS7BDAT contains the Day level data
    • TUS06EE.SAS7BDAT contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06EA.SAS7BDAT contains the Activity level data
    SPSS files:

    These files contain the test data for the expanded CURF in SPSS for Windows format:

    • TUS06EH.SAV contains the Household level data
    • TUS06EF.SAV contains the Family level data
    • TUS06EP.SAV contains the Person level data
    • TUS06ED.SAV contains the Day level data
    • TUS06EE.SAV contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06EA.SAV contains the Activity level data
    STATA files:

    These files contain the test data for the expanded CURF in STATA format:

    • TUS06EH.DTA contains the Household level data
    • TUS06EF.DTA contains the Family level data
    • TUS06EP.DTA contains the Person level data
    • TUS06ED.DTA contains the Day level data
    • TUS06EE.DTA contains the Episode level data
    • TUS06EA.DTA contains the Activity level data
    Information Files
    • FORMATS.SAS7BCAT This file is a SAS library containing formats.
    • README.TXT This is a text file describing the contents of the CURF.
    • Time Use Survey, Australia - Users' Guide, 2006 (Cat. no. 4150.0)
    • How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (Cat. no. 4153.0)
    • ABS CONDITIONS OF SALE.PDF This file describes ABS conditions of sale.
    • COPYRITE1.BAT This file describes copyright obligations for CURF users.
    • IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CURF USERS_300903.PDF This file directs users to the ABS website for more and up to date information on what is available from the ABS.
    • 4150.0 TUS 2006 CURF Data items.XLS This file contains documentation of the TUS06 data items including data item labels, code values and category labels.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06EH.TXT This file contains documentation of the Household level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted household frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06EF.TXT This file contains documentation of the Family level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted family frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06EP.TXT This file contains documentation of the Person level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted person frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06ED.TXT This file contains documentation of the Day level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted day frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06EE.TXT This file contains documentation of the Episode level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted episode frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.
    • FREQUENCIES_TUS06EA.TXT This file contains documentation of the Activity level data. Data item code values and category labels are provided with weighted and unweighted activity frequencies of each value. This file is in plain text format.

    Conditions of release

    The 2006 TUS basic and expanded CURFs are released in accordance with a Ministerial Determination (Clause 7, Statutory Rules 1983, No. 19) in pursuance of section 13 of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. As required by the Determination, the CURFs have been designed so that the information on the files is not likely to enable the identification of the particular person or organisation to which it relates. 

    The Australian Statistician's approval is required for each release of the CURF. In addition, and prior to being granted access to the CURF, all organisations, and individuals within organisations, who request access to the CURF will be required to sign an undertaking to abide by the legislative restrictions on use. Organisations and individuals who seek access to the 2006 TUS basic and/or expanded CURF are required to give an undertaking which includes, among other conditions, that in using the CURF data they will: 

    • use the data only for the statistical purposes specified
    • not attempt to identify particular persons or organisations
    • not disclose, either directly or indirectly, the information to any other person or organisation other than members of their organisation who have been approved by the ABS to have individual access to the information
    • not attempt to match, with or without using identifiers, the data with any other list of persons or organisations
    • in relation to data made available via the RADL or the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL), access the data only in a manner specifically authorised in writing by the ABS; and
    • not attempt to access the data after the term of their authorisation is rescinded by the organisation which provided it, or after they cease to be a member of that organisation.

    Use of the data for statistical purposes means use of the content of the CURF to produce information of a statistical nature, i.e. the arrangement and classification of numerical facts or data, including statistical analyses or statistical aggregates. Examples of statistical purposes are:

    • manipulation of the data to produce means, correlations or other descriptive or summary measures;
    • estimation of population characteristics;
    • use of data as input to mathematical models or for other types of analysis (e.g. factor analysis); and
    • providing graphical or pictorial representations of the characteristics of the population or subsets of the population.

    All CURF users are required to read and abide by the Responsible Access to ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) Training Manual available on the ABS Website (see Services We Provide/CURF Microdata/Accessing CURF Microdata).

    Use of the data for unauthorised purposes may render the purchaser liable to severe penalties. Advice on the propriety of any particular intended use of the data is available from Micro Access Strategies Section via microdata.access@abs.gov.au

    Conditions of sale

    All ABS products and services are provided subject to the ABS conditions of sale. Any queries relating to these Conditions of Sale should be referred to intermediary.management@abs.gov.au

    While the utmost care is taken in handling each CURF on CD-ROM, deterioration may occur between the time of copying and receipt of the file. Accordingly, if the CD-ROM is unreadable on receipt and this is reported to the ABS within 30 days of receipt, it will be replaced free of charge. 

    Access method

    Due to the level of detail provided, the 2006 TUS expanded CURF is only available via the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL). The basic CURF is available on both CD-ROM and RADL. 

    Price

    The current recommended retail price of the TUS 2006 CURF is $1,320 (including GST) per CURF access type ($1,320 to access the basic CURF via CD-ROM and/or RADL, or $1,320 to access the expanded CURF via RADL). A bundled price of $1,980 (including GST) is available where clients request access to both the basic (whether on CD-ROM or RADL) and expanded CURFs in one single application. 

    Accessing the CURF

    All clients wishing to access the 2006 TUS basic and/or expanded CURF should refer to the ABS Website (see Services We Provide, CURF Microdata) and read the Responsible Access to ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) Training Manual, and other relevant information, before downloading the appropriate Application and Undertaking forms and applying for access. 

    Australian Universities:

    University clients should refer to the ABS Website (see Services We Provide, Services to Universities). The 2006 TUS basic and expanded CURFs can be accessed by universities participating in the ABS/Universities Australia CURF Agreement for research and teaching purposes. 

    Other clients:

    Other prospective clients should contact the Microdata Access Strategies Section of the ABS at microdata.access@abs.gov.au or on (02) 6252 7714. 

    Further information

    For further information about accessing the CURF, clients should contact the Microdata Access Strategies Section of the ABS at microdata.access@abs.gov.au or on (02) 6252 7714. The CURF is not available on CD-ROM to overseas customers.

    Data downloads

    Data files

    Survey material

    To view the Time Use Survey 2006 Questionnaire (sample only) click here

    To view the Time Use Survey 2006 Prompt Cards (sample only) click here

    To view the Time Use Survey 2006 Diary (sample only) click here

    Previous releases

     TableBuilder data seriesMicrodataDownloadDataLab
    Time Use, 1997 Basic microdataDetailed microdata
    Time Use, 1992 Basic microdata 

    Appendix 1 - Activity classification

    Show all

    Time Use Activity Classification
    Classification Coding advice
    0 NO ACTIVITY
    00 No Activity001No recorded activity between episodes
      Used where information was missing between episodes in the diary that could not be imputed.
     002No further recorded activity
      Used where the diary day was incomplete.
     003Uncodeable activity
      Used when no suitable code was available to describe the activity.
    1 PERSONAL CARE ACTIVITIES
    10 Personal care activities nfd100Personal care activities nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about personal care but inadequate detail was given to code elsewhere. Includes when the respondent wrote 'private', 'personal' or 'none of your business'.
    11 Sleeping111Sleeping
     112Nap
      Napping during the day. Short periods of 'sleeping' during the day
    12 Sleeplessness121Sleeplessness
      Wakeful or restless periods during the night, insomnia.
    13 Personal hygiene131Personal hygiene
      Includes washing, showering, bathing, dressing, undressing, shaving, using mud packs, skin preparations (other than medicinal) and make-up, using the toilet, brushing teeth, hair.
    14 Health care140Health care nfd
      This code was used when the information given referred to health care but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     141Personal medical care
      Includes taking medications, injections, vitamins, exercising for specific conditions e.g. hand/foot exercise to increase mobility, sporting injuries, reading or writing out instructions for personal medical care, reading cautions/directions associated with medicinal products, preparing medications.
     142Rest because of illness
      Being in bed sick or resting at home because of illness.
     143Health treatments
      Includes ante-natal classes, meditation (not religious), relaxation baths, foot baths, aromatherapy, massage, other relaxation techniques (yoga, Tai Chi). Also includes reading instructions for personal health care, writing out instructions or schedules for same, reading directions associated with skin or hair care products.
     149Health care nec
      Includes feeling sick, vomiting, experiencing pain, crying and grieving.
    15 Eating/drinking150Eating/drinking nfd
      This code was used when the information given was inadequate to code elsewhere but referred to general eating or drinking.
     151Eating meal
      Eating a meal can include a beer or a glass of wine with the meal. Includes eating lunch during a work or school break, eating at a restaurant etc. Also includes dessert (if eaten as part of main meal).
     152Eating snack
      Includes having morning/afternoon tea, eating a piece of fruit, a cup of soup, dessert (if not part of main meal).
     153Drinking non alcoholic beverages
      Drinking non-alcoholic drinks such as tea, coffee, Milo, cocoa and soft drinks. Includes meeting a friend for a coffee/tea etc.
     159Eating/drinking nec
    17 Associated communication171Associated communication
      Communication associated with personal care activities, in person, via the telephone or written. This code was used when the conversation/communication was generally about personal activities.
     172Intimacy
      Includes kissing partner, sexual intercourse
     173Fighting, quarreling with partner.
    18 Associated travel181Associated travel
      Travel associated with personal care activities, waiting or in motion. Going somewhere to be looked after for an illness, to have hair done or facial treatment, e.g. mother's or friend's place, not a commercial provider's, to have a shower if your bathroom is being repaired etc., going home from work for lunch.
    19 Personal care activities nec199Personal care activities nec
    2 EMPLOYMENT RELATED ACTIVITIES
    20 Employment related activities nfd200Employment related activities nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about employment related activities but inadequate detail was given to code elsewhere.
    21 Main job210Main job nfd
     211Main job - usual hours - at work
      The nature of the main job and whether the person normally works at home was identified from the interview. If it was not clear whether a first or second job was involved, main job was assumed. If the usual workplace is home and work was taking place at home this was coded to 211 with location 1, not 213. If housekeeping, cleaning or child care were reported as main job, care was taken to determine whether the activity should have been coded to 211 or to unpaid household work.
     212Main job - extra hours - overtime
      This code was only used where overtime was specified. Where someone worked long hours without stating that it was overtime 211, 221 or 231 codes were used.
     213Main job - extra hours - work brought home
      This code was used where a respondent claimed to be working or doing work-related things at home (which isn't their normal work place) and without indicating that it was another job.
     219Main job nec
    22 Other job220Other job nfd
     221Other job - usual hours - at work
      The interview indicates whether the respondent had more than one job, and which is their main one. A second job may not be recognisable. However if someone is driving a taxi all day but the interview had 'clerk' or 'shop assistant' as the main job, then the taxi driving was treated as a second job.
     222Other job - extra hours - overtime
      As for 212.
     223Other job - extra hours - work brought home
      As for 213.
     229Other job nec
    23 Unpaid work in family business or farm231Unpaid work in family business or farm
      Identifiable from the interview. This code was also used where the interview showed no employment and no earned income, but the respondent was clearly doing clerical or other work for a (usually husband's) business. Also includes activities such as when the respondent reports 'pottering on the farm'.
    24 Work breaks241Work breaks
      Includes breaks for OHAS exercises, waiting for job to start, equipment to arrive etc. Does not include eating lunch at work, this was coded to 151. Where the person leaves the workplace for business, social or other reasons this was coded to the activity itself. Where the respondent reported eating while working, this was not treated as a break. Working was coded as the primary activity, and eating secondary.
    25 Job Search251Job Search
      This covers going to Centrelink interviews, checking job lists, looking up job advertisements, job interviews, research and preparation for interviews etc., benefit applications e.g. Job search, Newstart, Workers Compensation, Sickness allowance. Writing applications and resumes. Telephone interviews, making arrangements for interviews and calls seeking information about jobs.
    27 Associated communication271Associated communication
      Communication associated with employment related activities in person, via the telephone, computer or written. Specific conversations about work/job search activities were coded to the appropriate activity code with a technology code. This refers to conversations about work (or job search discussions/interviews), not conversations that happen while the person is working. As all work activities were coded globally as work, conversations about work at work were not identifiable.
    28 Associated travel281Associated travel
      Travel associated with employment related activities, in motion or waiting. Travel to and from work, job interview etc. or from one to another work episode (different jobs.) Travel from one to another episode of the same job was coded to 211 or 221 with a transit location code. Waiting for trains, buses, taxis, private lifts etc. Walking from car park to the office.
    29 Employment related activities nec299Employment related activities nec
      Activities for producing income, such as collecting/smashing aluminium cans or scavenging for items to sell. Work reported in diary, where respondent did not show employment in the interview. Also coded here are activities like packing bag/getting ready for work.
    3 EDUCATION ACTIVITIES
    30 Education activities nfd300Education activities nfd
      This code was used when the information given related to education but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
    31 Attendance at educational courses (excluding job related training)311Attendance at educational courses (excluding job related training)
      School or tertiary attendance can be confirmed from the interview. Includes attending exams, lectures, seminars, tutorials etc. Discussion with teachers about performance or projects; discussion with teachers, friends, colleagues etc. about subject matter or concepts would be coded here with a technology code.
    32 Job related training321Job related training
      Off-site training, retraining courses, work experience, on the job training, professional conferences.
    33 Homework/study/research331Homework/study/research
      Includes getting library books for studying, photocopying articles, time spent at library researching for assignments, homework.
    34 Breaks at place of education341Breaks at place of education
      Time between classes where the person stays at the school or institution. Does not include eating lunch at school, this was coded to 151. Also does not include eating at Recess or Morning tea, this was coded to 152.
    37 Associated communication371Associated communication
      Communication associated with education activities in person, via the telephone, computer or written. Discussion with staff about available courses and entrance requirements. This code was used when the conversation/communication was generally about educational activities. Any specific examples were coded to the appropriate activity code with an appropriate technology code.
    38 Associated travel381Associated travel
      Travel associated with education activities in motion or waiting. Includes going to/from school, library for study or other peoples' houses for study.
    39 Education activities nec399Education activities nec
      Includes attending passing out parades.
    4 DOMESTIC ACTIVITIES
    40 Domestic activities nfd400Domestic activities nfd
      This code was used when the information given referred to domestic activities but was inadequate to code elsewhere, e.g. working in the shed, domestic duties, working outside, working in study, various household jobs. Includes odd jobs around the house.
    41 Food and drink preparation/cleanup410Food and drink preparation/cleanup nfd
      This code was used when the information given referred to preparing or cleaning up food and drink but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     411Food and drink preparation/service
      Preparing vegetables and other foods for serving or cooking. Cooking meals, making cups of tea or preparing other drinks, serving food. Baking cakes, biscuits, pies etc. Includes getting baby food or child's food ready, making lunch for the next day.
     412Preserving/freezing
      Preparing food for later use, including preserving fruit and vegetables, making food to be frozen for later meals, freezing produce from the garden.
     413Wine/beer making
      Activities involved in making wine or brewing beer. Includes bottling beer, crushing grapes etc.
     414Set/clear table
     415Clean up after food preparation/meals
      Clearing and wiping down benches, tables, washing up, loading/unloading dishwasher, putting away food and dishes, cleaning BBQ, changing water in steriliser. Fighting about who does the dishes was coded here with the appropriate technology code.
     419Food and drink preparation/cleanup nec
    42 Laundry and clothes care420Laundry and clothes care nfd
      This code was used when the information referred to laundry or clothes care but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     421Washing, loading/unloading washing machine
      Includes filling up nappy buckets, washing clothes by hand etc.
     422Hanging out/bringing in washing
      Includes hanging clothes, linen etc. for airing, loading/unloading clothes dryer, checking washing hanging on the line.
     423Ironing
     424Sorting, folding clothes
      Sorting dirty clothes for washing, clean clothes for ironing or putting away, out of season clothes for storage, laying clothes out for the next day, cleaning out clothes wardrobes.
     425Clothes upkeep/care
      Includes mending, spot cleaning, brushing clothes, care of shoes, hats, belts, bags etc.
     426Clothes making
      Sewing and knitting where it was clear that clothes were being made. Also includes making patterns, cutting out material, setting up knitting, sewing or overlocking machines.
     427Sorting clothes for disposal
      Sorting/bagging up clothes for disposal, taking them to disposal bins.
     429Laundry and clothes care nec
    43 Other housework430Other housework nfd
      This code was used when information was given about housework but was inadequate to code elsewhere. Includes general house cleaning, home duties.
     431Dry housework
      Dusting, vacuuming, bed-making, sweeping, cleaning and tidying items inside the house.
     432Wet housework
      Mopping, cleaning the kitchen, toilet, bathroom, laundry, stove and fridge, washing floors, putting flowers in water.
     433Occasional dry housework
      Hanging a picture on the wall, rearranging furniture, beating floor rugs, hanging curtains, adjusting clock, cleaning cobwebs, spring cleaning, turning out cupboards.
     434Occasional wet housework
      Polishing silver/brass, furniture etc., cleaning windows, shampooing carpets, defrosting fridge.
     439Other housework nec
      Security, locking/unlocking house, emptying mouse traps, fumigating the house, looking for lost things, unusual housework.
    44 Grounds/animal care440Grounds/animal care nfd
      This code was used when information was given about grounds and animal care but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     441Gardening
      Includes tree and hedge care, caring for indoor plants, gathering materials for use in the garden, such as seaweed, leaves, manure, watering the garden, picking flowers, deadheading flowers, pruning shrubs/trees, walking around weeding, pottering in the garden.
     442Lawn care
      Includes mowing, laying fertilisers on grass, trimming edges with whipper snipper, weeding lawn etc.
     443Harvesting home produce
      Gathering fruit and vegetables directly from the garden. Includes collecting eggs from fowl run, taking honey from hives, slaughtering for domestic use, milking house cows and goats.
     444Cleaning grounds, garage etc.
      Sweeping, hosing down paths and paving, burning leaves. Includes cleaning inside sheds and garages, moving equipment in grounds, loading/tarping trailer.
     445Pool care
      Care for all types of pools including swimming, ornamental pools and fountains.
     446Pet, animal care
      Includes feeding, grooming, health care at home of domestic pets and other domestic animals, care of fowl runs, cleaning cages, cleaning bird feeder etc. Includes making/cooking food for pets. Does not include playing with pets, stroking, talking to or exercising pets, which code to 967 or 447 respectively.
     447Walking pets
      Includes walking dog, exercising pets.
     449Grounds/animal care nec
      Includes finding spiders (outdoors).
    45 Home maintenance450Home maintenance nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about home maintenance but inadequate to code elsewhere.
     451Home/equipment repairs
      Internal and external repairs to home structures or fixtures, painting, checking tiles, clearing guttering, repairing (inc. restoring) furniture and fittings, repairing appliances, fence and gate, soft furnishings, changing light bulbs.
     452Designing new home or interior design
      Includes the planning and research stages for building or interior decorating.
     453Home improvements
      Structural additions including buildings, screens, patios, paving, installing pools, new floor surfacing, refitting kitchens/bathrooms, putting up curtain rods/wall shelves, organising earthworks, pet proofing house/grounds, house painting, plastering.
     454Making furniture/household goods
      Making free-standing furniture, picture frames etc.
     455Making furnishings
      Includes measuring windows for curtains, making curtains, chair covers, cushion covers, bedspreads and doona covers.
     456Heat/water/power upkeep
      Includes gathering, chopping and stacking wood for heating, collecting water, building windmills, generators, laying water pipes (done for the home, not as an employment activities), bicycle-driven generating, new solar heating or plumbing (done by respondent, not a purchased service), setting/fixing pumps.
     457Car/boat/bike care
      Includes cleaning, maintenance and repair of cars and other transport such as bikes, motor bikes, boats and caravans. Does not include doing up old model cars or bikes as a hobby, this is coded to 925.
     459Home maintenance nec
      Includes checking house to make sure that rain is not coming in, computer maintenance including installing a printer.
    46 Household management460Household management nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about household management but inadequate to code elsewhere.
     461Paperwork, bills
      Includes completing tax returns, car registration, household surveys other than Time Use. Also includes sorting/writing cheques for accounts, filling out registration papers/applications for insurance for benefits other than work-related, checking bills.
     462Budgeting, organising rosters/making lists
      Organising personal time and money. Includes planning for trips, preparing shopping lists, organising rosters. Thinking about day or reviewing day was coded to 963.
     463Selling/disposing of household assets
      Selling own home or car, household items, clothes, junk. Covers garage sales and own stall at a trash and treasure market, sales or swaps through classifieds. Includes taking household goods to charitable organisations and selling of pets.
     464Recycling and other environmental activities
      Sorting refuse for recycling, folding and storing papers, putting out fruit and vegetable peelings for compost, crushing aluminium cans for recycling. Putting out recycle bin (putting out recycle and garbage bins, would be two episodes). Personally setting up grey water systems/installing tanks/installing solar panels around the house, permaculture. Includes research on how to proceed with these installation activities.
     465Mail organisation
      Mail collection and opening. Includes collecting mail from letter box, post box or post bag, sorting mail, opening parcels, taking delivery at the door. Reading mail was coded to 971.
     466Packing for journey/moving
      Packing activities including packing for a journey, loading/unloading car or trailers, packing to move house. Packing bag when no further information is given. Unpacking after a journey.
     467Packing away goods
      Unpacking groceries/shopping as well as unpacking goods other than shopping, bringing in milk or putting out bottles (but not money), putting goods in the car after shopping.
     468Disposing of rubbish
      Includes putting out garbage bins for collection, disposal of rubbish at the tip, also includes burying sewage and rubbish, emptying rubbish bins.
     469Household management nec
      Warming up the car, getting car out of garage, planning and setting up, decorating for parties etc., wrapping presents, breaking in to a locked house, collecting delivered newspaper, filling hot water bottle, setting a video to record. Organising family members 15 or over to go out.
    47 Associated communication471Associated communication
      Communication associated with domestic activities in person, via the telephone, computer or written. This code was used when the conversation/communication was generally about domestic activities. Any specific examples were coded to the appropriate activity code with a technology code. Arguing with family (other than partner).
    48 Associated travel481Associated travel
      Travel associated with domestic activities in motion or waiting. Taking family (from own household) anywhere - except children under 15.
    49 Domestic activities nec499Domestic activities nec
      Includes inspecting damage to house after break in or storm etc. Helping children 15 or over with homework.
    5 CHILD CARE ACTIVITIES
    50 Child care activities nfd500Child care activities nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about child care activities but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
    51 Care of children510Care of children nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about child care but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     511Physical care of children
      Carrying, holding, feeding, bathing, dressing, changing babies, putting to sleep. For older children, bathing, cleaning teeth, washing and brushing hair, taking to toilet, feeding, getting up, putting to bed, supervising these activities. Also includes minor first aid - putting Band-Aids on grazes, removing splinters. Includes when respondent states 'organised kids', 'put video on for children', 'woke children'.
     512Emotional care of children
      Includes cuddling, hugging and soothing child
    52 Teaching/helping/reprimanding children521Teaching/helping/reprimanding children
      Helping children do things or showing them how, listening to reading, helping with homework, directions about household chores, settling disputes, helping with problems, reprimanding.
    53 Playing/reading/talking with child531Playing/reading/talking with child
      Includes playing games, reading books, telling stories, listening to the activities of their day, watching TV with or for child, any conversation with a child.
    54 Minding child541Minding child
      Caring for children without the active involvement shown in the codes above. Includes monitoring children playing outside or sleeping, preserving a safe environment, being an adult presence for children to turn to in need, supervising games or swimming activities including swimming lessons, passive childcare.
    55 Visiting child care establishment/school551Visiting child care establishment/school
      Includes spending time at day care establishments, school etc., attending school assembly, parent-teacher nights, reading sessions, art/craft, school concerts etc.
    57 Associated communication571Associated communication
      Associated communication related to child care activities in person, via the telephone or written. This code was used when the conversation/communication was generally about child care activities. Any specific examples were coded to the appropriate activity code with a technology code. Includes conversations telling others about the things they have done, this can be with a spouse, other family members, friends, teachers, child care workers when the conversation is about the child not the terms of work.
    58 Associated travel581Associated travel
      Travel associated with child care activities in motion/waiting. Includes taking children to and picking them up from places - school, sports training, music/other lessons, friend's or relative's house, baby-sitter's, meeting trains etc. Also travel to parent teacher nights or doing something for children such as delivering things to/for them. Also includes waiting for children when picking them up.
    59 Care of children nec599Care of children nec
      Includes getting children's things ready for the day, packing bag for child.
    6 PURCHASING GOODS AND SERVICES
    60 Purchasing goods and services nfd600Purchasing nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about purchasing but was inadequate to code elsewhere. Includes paying bills.
    61 Purchasing goods610Purchasing goods nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about purchasing goods but was inadequate to code elsewhere. Used when respondent stated 'shopping' with no further indication of what they were shopping for. Includes shopping at markets.
     611Purchasing consumer goods
      Consumer goods include food, petrol, milk, papers, cleaners, toilet paper, medicine, plants, pets etc. Includes paying bills at shop or putting money out for regular deliveries, such as milk, papers. Also includes hiring videos and computer games, buying takeaway food, buying gardening supplies, telephone calls to order dinner, returning videos/dvds, ordering/paying in restaurant.
     612Purchasing durable goods
      Durable goods include cars, electrical goods, carpets, furniture etc. Buying a house also goes here. Lodging bids for house/furniture auctions by fax, buying clothes.
     613Window shopping
      Browsing, wandering around looking in shops to see what is there. Does not include looking around a number of shops in a directed way to find the lowest price for something you wish to buy - this activity was coded to 611 or 612. Also included in this code are product parties where no purchasing was indicated. For example Tupperware, perfume, shoe, pottery parties.
     619Purchasing goods nec
      Includes going to the RSPCA.
    62 Purchasing services620Purchasing services nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about purchasing a service but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     621Purchasing repair services
      Includes all types of repairs including car, electrical products, plumbing etc. Also includes making arrangements for repairs.
     622Purchasing administrative services
      Banking, legal, advertising, business or building approvals, undertaker's or marriage celebrant's services, stockbroking, estate management, renting accommodation, paying bills at offices etc., hiring a post box, posting a letter, using travel agency, ATM. Includes waiting at bank, purchasing parking permits/tickets
     623Purchasing personal care services
      Weight Watchers, haircut/style, manicure, beauty treatment, waxing etc., making a dinner booking
     624Purchasing medical care services
      Health services include medical, dental, physiotherapy, podiatry, nutrition advice, optometry, massage, alternative therapies, counselling, etc. Includes making appointments for same. Also having prescriptions filled.
     625Purchasing child care services
      Paying fees for child care. Includes crèche, day care/family day care, occasional care, preschool, baby sitters etc. Includes booking/organising child care services.
     626Purchasing domestic/garden services
      Includes purchasing laundrette, ironing, gardener, cleaner, dressmaking services etc.
     629Purchasing services nec
      Includes ringing/waiting for emergency car services, putting films in for development, paying for taxi (travel in taxi codes to appropriate travel code), phoning NRMA, getting a visa, getting ready to go to the doctors/vet
    67 Associated communication671Associated communication
      Associated communication related to purchasing goods and services in person, via the telephone or written. This code was used when the conversation/communication was generally about purchasing activities. Any specific examples were coded to the appropriate activity code with a technology code.
    68 Associated travel681Associated travel
      Travel (in motion or waiting) associated with purchasing goods and services. Includes waiting for bank to open, driving to/from doctors surgery, repairer etc., driving to a restaurant, travel to markets, driving children to and from doctors.
    69 Purchasing goods and services nec699Purchasing goods and services nec
    7 VOLUNTARY WORK AND CARE ACTIVITIES
    70 Voluntary work and care nfd700Voluntary work and care activities nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about voluntary work or care but information was inadequate to code elsewhere.
    71 Caring for adults710Caring for adults nfd
      This code was used when the information given referred to caring for adults but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     711Caring for adults - physical care
      Physical care for all adults including elderly, sick, disabled adults. Includes help with personal hygiene, such as washing and dressing, and eating. Activities such as cutting family members hair is also coded here. Any other type of caring apart from physical care or emotional support was coded to the activity itself with an appropriate for whom code.
     712Caring for adults - emotional support
      Providing emotional support for sick, frail, disabled adults. Includes listening to them, talking when upset/disturbed, counselling or advising on problems, comforting. Visiting people in hospital (e.g. when sick, new baby arrives).
     719Caring for adults nec
      Any other type of caring apart from physical or emotional care was coded to the nature of the activity with a 'for whom' of 6, 9, 11. For the purpose of the activity, these were transformed using the 'for whom' code and included in this category.
    72 Helping/doing favours721Helping/doing favours
      Used when the respondent does not give a clear indication of the nature of the help or favour performed. Includes favours for family (outside the household), friends, neighbours, and others outside of the household.
    73 Unpaid voluntary work731Unpaid voluntary work
      All voluntary work activities were coded to the nature of the work. This category was only used when specific information was not available or when the activities could not be coded to other categories e.g. bush fire fighting for rural fire brigade. Active involvement in Neighbourhood Watch and Safety House programs. Conversations related to giving donations were coded here with the appropriate technology code.
    77 Associated communication771Associated communication
      Associated communication related to voluntary work and care activities in person, via the telephone or written. This code was used when the conversation/communication was generally about voluntary work and care activities, any specific examples were coded to the appropriate activity code with a technology code.
    78 Associated travel781Associated travel
      Travel associated with voluntary work and care activities in motion or waiting. Includes driving to visit people in hospital, driving people to and from the airport and waiting for them.
    79 Voluntary work and care nec799Voluntary work and care nec
    8 SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY INTERACTION
    80 Social and community interaction nfd800Social and community interaction nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about social and community interaction but information was inadequate to code elsewhere.
    81 Socialising811Socialising
      Meeting other people in respondent's homes, other peoples' homes, or in other places. Includes entertaining guests etc. Includes such activities as talking to friends about where to go out for the evening, writing invitations coded with the appropriate technology code. Only used when specific activity is not described and when there is no secondary activity to move over to the primary.
    82 Visiting entertainment and cultural venues820Visiting entertainment and cultural venues nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about visiting entertainment and cultural venues but inadequate to code elsewhere.
     821Attendance at movies/cinema
      Watching a movie at a cinema, not home movies or videos. Includes talking about what movie to see and purchasing movie ticket(s).
     822Attendance at concert
      Includes rock, jazz and orchestral concerts. Purchasing ticket to concert.
     823Attendance at theatre
      Plays and music theatre, dancing and mime, solo recitations and comedy performances, opera and operetta. Purchasing theatre ticket.
     824Attendance at library
      Includes visiting a library for borrowing/changing books. Visiting library to research homework assignments is coded to 331.
     825Attendance at museum/exhibition/art gallery
      Includes attendance at places of archaeological, anatomical, historical, science and technology, local history (inc. places like Sovereign Hill) interest. Also includes waiting for places to open.
     826Attendance at zoo/animal park/botanic garden
     827Attendance at amusement park
      Includes Wonderland, Sea world, Dreamworld etc.
     828Attendance at other mass events
      Fairs, fetes, street events, fireworks displays, dances, balls. Does not include dancing at home or at a friend's house, this would be coded to 928. Dancing at nightclub.
     829Visiting entertainment and cultural venues nec
      Getting ready to go to the movies. Attendance at nightclub where activity not specified.
    83 Attendance at sports event830Attendance at sports event nfd
      This code was used when the information given was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     831Attendance at sports match
      Watching basketball, football, cricket, golf, tennis etc. Watching training is also included. Includes watching car and bike racing.
     832Attendance at racing event
      Going to the races, trots or dogs is included here. Only attendance at animal racing.
     839Attendance at sports event nec
      Includes horse trail rides, horse jumping etc.
    84 Religious activities/ritual ceremonies840Religious activities/ritual ceremonies nfd
      This code was used when the information was related to religious activities but was inadequate to code elsewhere. Includes 'Attendance at church' when it is unclear what is done.
     841Religious practice
      Prayer alone, in family, prayer groups or with congregation, religious services, participating in bible or theme study groups, meditation where it appears to have a religious context, taking communion etc. to sick people (If respondent is a priest or minister who is supported financially to do this work, these activities will be coded to 211), missionary work, reading the bible.
     842Weddings, funerals, rites of passage
      Weddings and funerals can be religious or secular, but have a 'rite of passage' quality. Christenings, first communion, confirmation, bar mitzvah, graduations and other religious initiation or coming of age ceremonies are also often treated as social rites of passage, particularly in some cultures.
     849Religious activities/ritual ceremonies nec
      Includes laying flowers on a grave, visiting a grave. Getting ready to go to a wedding.
    85 Community participation850Community participation nfd
      This code was used when the information given was related to community participation but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     851Attendance at meetings
      Includes waiting for meetings to begin.
     852Civic ceremonies
      Includes naturalisation or honour award ceremonies.
     853Civic obligations
      Includes voting, jury service, court appearances, police interrogations, breathalyser tests, driver's licence tests, car registration tests, interviews with government departments (e.g. Immigration) are included here. Also includes reporting accidents, crime or fires to relevant authority.
     854Filling in Time Use form
      Coded with a technology code of 15
     859Community participation nec
      Includes participating in a union march.
    86 Negative social activities861Negative social activities
      Includes conflict of some kind e.g. ordering people off the premises, fighting (not family in household). Also includes adverse social participation such as being the victim of an attack.
    87 Associated communication871Associated communication
      Communication related to social participation in person, via the telephone or written. This code was used when the conversation/communication was generally about social participation activities. Any specific examples were coded to the appropriate activity code with a technology code.
    88 Associated travel881Associated travel
      Travel associated with social participation in motion or waiting. Includes driving to and from meetings, concerts etc. Travel to visit friends or relatives.
    89 Social participation nec899Social participation nec
    9 RECREATION AND LEISURE
    90 Recreation and leisure nfd900Recreation and leisure nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about recreation and leisure but information was inadequate to code elsewhere.
    91 Sport and outdoor activity910Sport and outdoor activity nfd
     911Organised sport
      Includes practice or training. Covers archery, abseiling, orienteering, cycle or motor racing, marching, athletics, hang gliding, ballroom dancing, water-skiing, as well as tennis, golf, soccer etc. when done with a club, or as a competition or with a commitment to skill development rather than as primarily a social activity.
     912Informal sport
      Includes sports mentioned above when done for recreation or socialising rather than with the commitment needed for competitive sport. Also includes things described as 'play fights', surfing, skateboarding, skating and roller blading (other than competitive), horseplay.
     913Exercise (excluding walking)
      Includes breathing and other exercises done at home other than those listed under health care. Includes aerobics, Tai Chi, yoga, weight and circuit training, stretching, cycling, running, jogging, swimming for exercise etc. (except as competitive sport). Swimming if no stated reason. Also includes going to the gym or swimming pool.
     914Walking (including for exercise)
      Includes walking around the garden, the park or the street.
     915Hiking/bushwalking
      Includes nature study rambles, bushwalking, beachwalking.
     916Fishing
      Includes loading gear for fishing trip, catching bait.
     917Holiday travel, driving for pleasure
      Includes other forms of travel - long distance motor cycling, cycling, sightseeing, to attend a wedding or funeral.
     918Less active outdoor activity
      Includes simply sitting outside and enjoying nature. Includes when the respondent states 'sunbaking', 'watching surf and people'.
     919Sport and outdoor activity nec
      Canoeing and sailing (other than competitive), river or lake cruises, camping, going out to an outdoor setting to spend some time, watching the world go by, looking at views, bird watching, blackberrying, paintball, horseriding, boating, at beach, packing a picnic, packing a bag for sport.
    92 Games/hobbies/arts/crafts920Games/hobbies/arts/crafts nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about games, hobbies, arts or crafts but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     921Chess, card, paper, board games/crosswords
      Includes chess, charades, dictionary games, scrabble, wargaming, monopoly, bridge, jigsaw puzzles etc.
     922Games of chance/gambling
      Includes Lotto, Tattslotto, buying lottery, art union or raffle tickets as well as TAB activities, playing games for money, casino activities, running sweepstakes, bingo.
     923Home electronic games
      All electronic games, playing computer games, games machines and handheld games. Includes Sega, playstation, Xbox.
     924Arcade games
      Virtual reality, video games etc.
     925Hobbies, collections
      Includes ham radio and CB, doing up old cars, bikes or equipment, model making or collecting, other collecting, reading/researching family history, taking photos.
     926Handwork, crafts
      Sewing, scrapbooking, knitting and crochet (other than clothes), leatherwork, basket making, potting, quilting and embroidery, lacemaking, jewellery making, wood and metal work other than furniture or domestic repairs, making musical instruments other than professionally, china painting, spinning and weaving, candle making, making decorative and useful items for fetes etc.
     927Arts
      Art, literature, music composition, writing a book or poetry.
     928Performing/making music
      Either before an audience or in a participate way. Includes practising. Also includes singing, playing a musical instrument, dancing and whistling for or to express one's own delight.
     929Games/hobbies/arts/crafts nec
      Includes compiling a recipe book.
    93 Reading930Reading nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about reading but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     931Reading a book
      Reading books other than for study purposes.
     932Reading a magazine
      Includes reading travel brochures, newsletters.
     933Reading a newspaper
     934Reading a CD ROM
      Other than for research/studying.
     939Reading nec
      Reading operation manuals, e.g. for mobile phone.
    94 Audio/visual media940Audio/visual media nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about audio/visual media but was inadequate to code elsewhere. This includes when respondent stated 'Listening to music'
     941TV watching/listening
     942Video/DVD watching
      Watching videos/dvds at home/other persons home.
     943Listening to radio
     944Listening to records/tapes/CDs and other audio media
      Includes listening to Ipods and MP3 players.
     949Audio/visual media nec
      Using the Internet. General computing.
    95 Attendance at courses (excluding school and university)950Attendance at courses nfd (excluding school and university)
      This code was used when the information given was about attendance at a course (excluding school and university) but was inadequate to code elsewhere.
     951Attendance at personal development courses
      Includes attendance at life skills courses, practicing driving, taking a driving test or lesson. English courses (including study).
     952Attendance at DIY courses
      Includes car repair, home improvement courses.
     953Attendance at art/craft/hobby courses
      Includes art classes (for hobby). Professional art classes for career development were coded to 311.
     959Attendance at courses nec (excluding school and university)
    96 Other free time960Other free time nfd
      This code was used when the information given was about free time but was inadequate to code elsewhere
     961Relaxing, resting
      Includes staying in bed or going back to bed for a rest, 'sat down', 'dozing'.
     962Doing nothing
      Only used for primary activities when respondent stated 'doing nothing'.
     963Thinking
      Planning or thinking about the day
     964Worrying
      Worrying about job, family etc.
     965Drinking alcohol/social drinking
      Includes drinking non alcoholic drinks in a social setting, or when respondent states 'had a few drinks' when at home, drinks at a club or Hotel.
     966Smoking
     967Interacting with pets
      Includes stroking, petting, walking, playing with pets. Excluding walking pets (codes to 447).
     968Enjoying memorabilia
      Includes looking at photographs, old records, children's drawings (when child is not present), other objects which bring back memories or raise emotions and sharing these with others.
     969Other free time nec
      Includes taking recreational drugs, listening to strangers.
    97 Associated communication971Associated communication
      Communication related to recreation and leisure in person, via the telephone or written (only relates to the primary activity). All general conversation was coded here. This code was used when the conversation/communication was generally about recreation and leisure. Any specific examples were coded to the appropriate activity code with a technology code. Greeting and farewelling.
     972Associated communication - by telephone
      This code covers personal telephone conversations and all telephone calls with unspecified content (only relates to secondary activities).
     973Associated communication - written
      This code covers reading and writing letters, diaries etc. (only relates to secondary activities).
    98 Associated travel981Associated travel
      Travel associated with recreation and leisure in motion or waiting. Includes driving to or from a craft or embroidery meeting.
    99 Recreation and leisure nec999Recreation and leisure nec

    Appendix 2 - Data items

    Show all

    2006 TUS Data items

    The 2006 TUS data item list, titled '4150.0 TUS 2006 Data items.XLS' is available as an Excel spreadsheet from the Data downloads section of this product. 

    2006 TUS CURD Data items

    The 2006 TUS CURF data item list, titled '4150.0 TUS 2006 CURF Data items.XLS' is available as an Excel spreadsheet from the Data downloads section of this product.

    Appendix 3 - Survey instruments

    Show all

    2006 TUS Questionnaire

    The 2006 TUS questionnaire, titled '4150.0 TUS 2006 Questionnaire.pdf' is available from the Survey material section of this product. 

    2006 TUS Prompt cards

    The 2006 TUS prompt cards, titled '4150.0 TUS 2006 Prompt cards.pdf' is available from the Survey material section of this product. 

    2006 TUS Diary

    The 2006 TUS diary, titled '4150.0 TUS 2006 Diary.pdf' is available from the Survey material section of this product.

    Glossary

    Show all

    Activities 

    The description of particular tasks that were being done during a person's day. 

    Activity episode 

    Describes all the things which related to a particular activity; for whom, what else was being done, physical and spatial location, mode of transport used, communication or technology used during the activity and who else was there, at any particular time. A change in any of these elements identified a new activity episode. 

    Activity priority 

    Any activity recorded in the diary is coded to a different activity type depending on whether it was described in the first diary column 'What was your main activity' or in the third diary column 'What else were you doing at the same time'. If it was described as a main activity it is stored on the computer file as the item Primary Activity. If the description occurred in diary column 3, it was stored as the item Secondary Activity. 

    All persons 

    Refers to the whole population of the particular group being examined, for instance, the whole population of Australians, or of males, or of women in full-time employment. There are only a few activities that everybody does every day. Most activities are done by different numbers of people. In order to compare times between different countries or groups of people, the time spent on activities by the people who reported doing them was distributed over the whole population, and presented as average time spent by all persons. 

    Assistance received 

    Persons 60 years or older and persons with a restriction which has lasted or is likely to last 6 months or more were asked if they receive help with a range of tasks. These include: 

    • meal preparation;
    • laundry and linen;
    • light housework;
    • heavy housework;
    • home maintenance;
    • gardening/mowing; and
    • transport.
    Assistance to child with a disability

    Assistance is identified for a child aged under 15 years who receives more than usual assistance with the following tasks: 

    • bathing or showering;
    • dressing or undressing;
    • eating or feeding;
    • using the toilet;
    • bladder or bowel control;
    • moving around at home;
    • moving around away from home; and
    • understanding or being understood in own language.

    The intention was to identify households which included children (and adults) with limitations in personal activity, who required more intensive care than usually provided. The presence of people needing care is likely to have an effect on the activity patterns of many or all of the people in that household. Detailed information about people with disabilities and their level of limitation is collected regularly by the ABS, most recently in the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (Cat. no. 4430.0)

    Average time spent 

    The time spent by each person on a particular activity in a day was added to the time spent on that activity by everyone else. For 'average time spent by all persons', divide the total time spent on an activity, by the whole population (see All persons). For 'average time spent by participants' divide the total time spent on an activity by the number of persons engaged in that activity (see Participants). In an 'All persons' average time table, the time spent on activities by a particular population, for example 'males', can be added together. The time spent on activities by participants cannot be added together, as the average time calculation is based on a different population for each activity. 

    Carer 

    A carer is a person in the household specified as the provider of assistance to a person with a disability; or a person who identifies him/herself as the provider of assistance to a person with a long-term illness or disability living in another household. 

    Caring for adults 

    This activity category included physical care and emotional support as well as any other activities done for anyone outside the household who was sick, frail or who had a disability. 

    Child 

    A person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter of a couple or lone parent, usually resident in the same household. A child is also any individual under 15, usually resident in the household, who forms a parent-child relationship with another member in the household. This includes otherwise related children and unrelated children under 15. In these cases in order to be classified as a child, the person can have no child or partner of their own usually resident in the household. For the purpose of asking about the presence of a child with disabilities in the household, a child is defined as aged under 15 years; for questions about use of child care, the relevant age is under 13 years. 

    Child care activities

    A major activity classification group which relates to all activities done for children aged under 15 years. It contains activities such as the physical and emotional care of children, teaching, reprimanding, playing with and talking to children. It also includes minding children and visiting child care establishments or schools. 

    Commercial or service area 

    Includes banks, shops, offices and hospitals. 

    Committed time 

    Describes activities to which a person has committed him/herself because of previous acts or behaviours or community participation such as having children, setting up a household or doing voluntary work. The consequent housework, care of children, shopping or provision of help to others are committed activities. In most cases, services could be bought to provide the same activity (e.g. an exchange could be made of time for money). The activity classifications of domestic work, child care, purchasing goods and services, and voluntary work and care are all included in this time category. 

    Communication/technology 

    This was recorded when a person reported any type of communication or use of technology. It is used to describe how a person is communicating with others (e.g. in person, by phone) or the technology that they are using during the activity. 

    Concordance of activities 

    A concordance has been derived on activities to allow for comparison of data from 1992 with 1997 and 2006. 

    Confidentiality 

    The maintenance of privacy of information that has been provided by individual respondents, and assurance that information about individual respondents cannot be derived from published survey results. 

    Contracted time 

    Includes paid work and regular education. Activities within this category have explicit contracts which control the periods of time in which they are performed. These activities, therefore, constrain the distibution of other activities over the rest of the day. The activity classification of employment related activities and education activities are included in this time category. 

    Core activity limitation 

    Limitation in one of the three core activity areas namely self-care, mobility and communication, because of a long term health condition. 

    Couple 

    A couple refers to two usual residents, both aged at least 15 years, who are either married to each other or living in a de facto relationship with each other. 

    Couple family with dependent children 

    See family types. 

    Dependent child 

    All persons aged under 15 years; and persons aged 15-24 years who are full-time students, have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household. 

    Disability status 

    Whether has a disability, the level of core-activity limitation, and whether has a schooling or employment restriction. A disability or long-term health condition exists if a limitation, restriction, impairment, disease or disorder, had lasted, or was likely to last for at least six months, and which restricted everyday activities. 

    It is classified by whether or not a person has a specific limitation or restriction. Specific limitation or restriction is further classified by whether the limitation or restriction is a limitation in core activities or a schooling/employment restriction only. 

    There are four levels of core activity limitation (profound, severe, moderate, and mild) which are based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment with any of the core activities (self care, mobility or communication). A person's overall level of core activity limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities. 

    The four levels are: 

    • profound - always needs help/supervision with core activities
    • severe - does not always need help with core activities
    • moderate - has difficulty with core activities
    • mild - uses aids to assist with core activities.

    Persons are classified as having only a schooling/employment restriction if they have no core activity limitation and are aged 15 to 20 years and have difficulty with education, or are less than 65 years and have difficulty with employment.

    Domestic activities 

    A major activity classification group (See Total housework and Total other household work). 

    Duration of unemployment 

    The elapsed period to the end of the reference week since the time a person began looking for work, or since a person last worked for two weeks or more, whichever is the shorter. 

    Eating and drinking locale 

    Includes pubs, cafes, restaurants and food courts. Excludes canteens or eating areas in the workplace. 

    Education activities 

    A major activity classification group relates to formal education and training such as attending school, university and technical college courses, job related training (including time spent at professional conferences), studying and breaks at the place of education. As for 1997, but unlike in 1992, eating lunch or morning or afternoon tea at a school or other place of education is not included in Educational activities. 

    Educational institution 

    Includes preschools, schools, universities, TAFE, technical colleges, colleges etc. 

    Employment related activities 

    A major activity classification group which includes activities carried out in paid employment, or unpaid work in a family business or farm; job search activities such as travel to work or in the course of job search, and time spent in the workplace during work breaks. Looking at job advertisements in a newspaper, has been coded as job search. As for 1997, it does not include eating lunch or coffee breaks etc. In cases where respondents who were not in the labour force according to their interview, reported doing clerical and related work at home, and their spouse was self-employed, these activities were coded as unpaid work in a family business. 

    Employed persons 

    Persons aged 15 years and over who, during the week before the interview: 

    • worked one hour or more for pay, profit, commission, payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (includes employees, employers and own account workers)
    • worked one hour or more, without pay in a family business or on a family farm
    • had a job, business, or farm but was not at work because of holidays, sickness or other reason.
    Equivalised gross weekly household income

    Total household income that has been adjusted for the number of adults and children in the household using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household, it is equal to income received. For a household comprising more than one person, equivalised income is an indicator of the household income that would be required by a lone person household in order to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing as the household in question. 

    Family 

    Two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering; and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family. For the purposes of the Time Use diary, family members who are usually resident in the same household are referred to as 'in household' family while family members who live outside of the household are referred to as family 'living elsewhere'. 

    Family types 

    Families are classified to one of the following categories: 

    • Couple only - two persons in a registered or de facto marriage who usually live in the same household.
    • Couple family with dependent children - a family consisting of a couple with at least one dependent child. The family may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals.
    • One parent family with dependent children - a family comprising a lone parent with at least one dependent child. The family may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals.
    • Other families:
      • one couple with their non-dependent children only
      • one couple, with or without non-dependent children or other relatives, plus unrelated individuals
      • a lone parent with his/her non-dependent children, with or without other relatives and unrelated individuals
      • two or more related individuals where the relationship is not a couple relationship or a parent-child relationship (e.g. two brothers).
    Formal child care

    Formal child care refers to regulated care away from the child's home for children 12 years and under. This includes: 

    • before and after school care centres;
    • long day care centres;
    • family day care;
    • preschool and kindergarten centres;
    • occasional care centres; and
    • other formal care.
    For whom

    In column two of the diary, persons reported for whom they were doing the main activity. This information was used to gain details on the purpose of the activity performed. The 'for whom' code was used to identify voluntary work, caring activities and helping activities. 

    Free time 

    The amount of time left when committed, contracted and necessary time have been taken out of a person's day. Social and community interaction and recreation and leisure activities are included in this time category. 

    Full-time education 

    Education classified by an educational institution as being full-time. 

    Full-time student 

    A student classified by an educational institution as being full-time. 

    Full-time/part-time status 

    For employed persons, full-time/part-time status is determined by the actual hours worked in the reference week or, as in this survey, the usual number of hours worked in a week in all jobs. For unemployed persons, it is the respondent's perception of whether the work sought is full-time or part-time. Full-time work is defined as 35 hours or more per week. 

    Group household 

    A household consisting of two or more unrelated persons where all persons are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households. 

    Helping, doing favours 

    This category includes any activity that is performed for people outside the household who are not sick and do not have a disability. 

    Household 

    One or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 15 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling. 

    Household items 

    Persons were asked if particular household items were present in their household. These items included the number of televisions, motor vehicles and whether they had a computer, dishwasher or a clothes dryer in their household. 

    Hours usually worked each week 

    Hours usually worked each week is the amount of time a person usually spends at work each week as reported on the personal questionnaire, not the time diary. The time includes all paid and unpaid overtime but excludes time off. 

    Impairment 

    An impairment is a physical, psychological, intellectual or sensory loss of function. See 'Person with a disability' for list of impairments and restrictions used by the ABS to identify disability. 

    Income 

    Regular and recurring cash receipts including money received from: 

    • wages and salaries (whether from an employer or own incorporated enterprise), including income provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement
    • profit/loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships)
    • investment income (interest, rent, dividends, royalties)
    • government pensions and allowances
    • private cash transfers (e.g. superannuation, regular workers' compensation, income from annuities, child support, and other transfers from other households).

    Gross income is the sum of the income from all these sources before income tax or the Medicare levy are deducted. See also Equivalised gross weekly household income.

    Index of relative socio-economic disadvantage 

    Persons area of residence ranked according to the 2001 Census-based Index of Disadvantage. Greater disadvantage is at the low end of the scale. 

    Informal child care 

    Informal child care refers to non-regulated care for a child under 12 years, in either the child's home or elsewhere. Care may be charged for or provided free of charge. It includes care provided by: 

    • child's (step)brother or (step)sister;
    • child's grandparents;
    • child's other relative; and
    • other people.
    Labour force status

    Classifies all persons aged 15 years or over as employed, unemployed or not in the labour force (according to the relevant definitions), during the specified reference week. 

    Leisure, culture or sport establishment 

    Includes indoor sports centres, museums, cinemas and theatres, public swimming pools, gyms etc. 

    Location 

    Location refers to where the person was when an activity was taking place. This includes a person's physical location e.g. at home, at work or in a street; and spatial location e.g. indoors, outdoors, or in transit. 

    Lone parent 

    A person who has no spouse or partner present in the household but who has a parent-child relationship with at least one dependent or non-dependent child usually resident in the household. 

    Lone person household 

    A household consisting of a person living alone. See also Non-family households. 

    Major activity groups 

    There are nine major activity groups within the activity classification. These are at the one digit code level. They are: personal care activities; employment related activities; education activities; domestic activities; child care activities; purchasing goods and services; voluntary work and care activities; social participation; and recreation and leisure. 

    Main activity 

    The person's description of an activity in the first diary column is designated as their main activity. In many countries, only one activity is collected for a time slot. Thus main activity tables are required for some comparability between countries. For many time periods, only one (the main) activity is described by respondents. 

    Main English-speaking countries 

    The list of Main English Speaking countries provided here is not an attempt to classify countries on the basis of whether or not English is the predominant or official language of each country. It is a list of the main countries from which Australia receives, or has received significant numbers of settlers from overseas who are likely to speak English. These countries comprise the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, United States, New Zealand and South Africa. 

    Masking 

    Adjustment of variable values, for individual records, for the purpose of avoiding a possible breach of confidentiality. 

    Microdata 

    Unit record level statistical data. 

    Mode of transport 

    Mode of transport refers to the way in which people were travelling when they reported travel, e.g. driving or being driven in a car, walking, riding a bike, in a bus or train. 

    Nature of activity 

    Describes what people are actually doing regardless of the purpose. 

    Necessary time 

    Includes activities which serve basic physiological needs such as sleeping, eating, personal care, health and hygiene. These activities are identified in the activity classification as personal care activities. 

    Non-dependent child 

    Persons aged 15 years and over who: 

    • do not have a spouse or offspring of their own in the household
    • have a parent in the household
    • are not full-time students aged 15-24 years.
    Non-family household

    A household that consists of unrelated persons only. Non-family households are classified to one of the following categories: 

    • Group household - a household consisting of two or more unrelated persons where all persons are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households.
    • Lone person household - a household consisting of a person living alone.
    Non-school qualifications

    Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education. They include qualifications at the Post Graduate Degree Level, Master Degree Level, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate Level, Bachelor Degree Level, Advanced Diploma and Diploma Level, and Certificates I, II, III and IV levels. Non-school qualifications may be attained concurrently with school qualifications. 

    Not employed 

    A combination of those people not in the labour force and unemployed. See Not in the labour force and Unemployed. 

    Not in the labour force 

    Persons not in the categories employed or unemployed as defined. 

    Occupation 

    Occupation is coded according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), 2005 (Cat. no. 1221.0) from the respondents' descriptions of the kind of work they perform. 

    Older people 

    People aged 65 and over. 

    One parent family 

    A family which consists of a lone parent with at least one dependent or non-dependent child (regardless of age) who is also usually resident in the household. The family may also include any number of other dependent children, non-dependent children and other related individuals. 

    Other family member 

    A related individual who is not the spouse, child, parent or ancestor of any usual resident. 

    Other free time 

    An aggregation of activities such as relaxing, resting, thinking, worrying, drinking alcohol, smoking, enjoying memorabilia and interacting with pets. 

    Participants 

    Defined in respect of a particular activity, participants are those respondents who reported some time spent on that activity on a diary day. 

    Participation rate 

    The proportion of the whole population who reported on at least one of their diary days that they were taking part in a particular activity. Whole population refers to the population used for a table, or for part of a table. For example, where a table shows a disaggregation by sex, the male participation rate reflects the proportion of total males. Activity participation rates compare usefully between different populations within the table, but they do not present a similar proportion to the proportion of the population who report taking part in an activity during a longer reference period. 

    For activities that take place on every day of the week, such as sleeping, the participation rate will be similar to a weekly rate. For activities that take place at regular intervals, such as sports events at weekends, the relevant weekday or weekend participation rate will be more realistic than the participation rate for the whole week. For irregular and occasional activities the participation rate cannot be used as an accurate representation of the population taking part in the activity. In this case the participation rate is likely to be either an overcount or an undercount of the real value because the activity occurs at irregular periods of time which may or may not have occurred during the time when the survey was conducted. 

    Part-time education 

    Education classified by an educational institution as being part-time. 

    Part-time student 

    A student classified by an educational institution as being part-time. 

    Person with a disability 

    A person of any age with one or more of the following impairments or restrictions which has lasted or is expected to last 6 months or more: 

    • loss of sight;
    • loss of hearing;
    • speech difficulties;
    • blackouts, fits or loss of consciousness;
    • difficulty learning or understanding things;
    • incomplete use of arms or fingers;
    • difficulty gripping or holding things;
    • incomplete use of feet or legs;
    • nerves or emotional conditions which require treatment;
    • restriction in physical activities or in doing physical work (e.g. back problems, arthritis);
    • any disfigurement or deformity;
    • needs/requires help or supervision in doing things due to a mental illness or condition;
    • long-term effects as a result of a head injury, stroke or other brain damage;
    • treatment or medication for a long-term condition or ailment and is still restricted by that condition; or
    • any other long-term condition such as asthma, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, dementia etc. which is restricting.
    Person with severe or profound limitation in personal activity

    A person with a severe or profound limitation in personal activity is one who requires personal assistance with personal care, mobility or communication tasks. See 'Assistance to child with a disability' for list of tasks. 

    Personal care activities 

    A major activity classification group which includes activities such as sleeping, personal hygiene, health care and eating and drinking. 

    Personal hygeine 

    Includes getting up, getting ready, bathing, using the toilet and grooming. 

    Personal medical care

    Includes taking medications, vitamins, applying dressings or ointments, and exercising for specific conditions. 

    Perturbation 

    Adjustment of estimates to disguise individual values without affecting the statistical validity of aggregate data. 

    Primary activity 

    See Activity priority. 

    Primary carer 

    A primary carer provides the most assistance with the activities of self-care, mobility, or communication to another person who is either a co-resident or living elsewhere. The help or supervision has to be provided on a regular, unpaid, informal basis, because of the person's long-term health condition, or disability, and must be ongoing or likely to be ongoing for at least six months. 

    Principal source of cash income 

    Principal source of cash income refers to that source from which the greatest amount of cash income is received. 

    Private dwelling

    A residential structure which is self-contained, owned or rented by the occupants, and intended solely for residential use. A private dwelling can be a flat, part of a house, or even a room; but can also be a house attached to, or rooms above, shops or offices; an occupied caravan in a long-stay caravan park or boat in a marina; a houseboat, or a tent if it is standing on its own block of land. A caravan situated on a residential allotment is also classed as a private dwelling. 

    Public place 

    Includes streets, town halls, public gardens and churches. 

    Purchasing goods and services 

    A major activity classification group which includes activities such as purchasing consumer and durable goods, buying repair services and administrative services. 

    Purpose of activity 

    The reason why the person is doing what they are doing. For example, if someone is cooking for volunteer firemen, the purpose of the activity would be unpaid voluntary work. The nature of the activity is cooking. Purpose data is provided from the 'for whom' column. 

    Quintiles 

    Groupings that result from ranking all households or persons in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into five equal groups, each comprising 20% of the estimated population. 

    Recreation and leisure activities 

    A major activity classification group which includes activities such as playing sport, walking, participating in games or hobbies, reading and watching television. Also included is other free time such as relaxing, thinking, smoking and drinking alcohol. 

    Remoteness 

    Within the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2001 (Cat. no. 1216.0) the Remoteness classification comprises five categories each of which identifies a (non-contiguous) region in Australia having a particular degree of remoteness. The categories range from ‘Major Cities of Australia’ to ‘Very Remote Australia’. The degree of remoteness of each Collection District (CD) was determined using the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA). CDs have then been grouped into the appropriate category of Remoteness to form non-contiguous areas within each state. 

    Sample loss 

    Defined as those dwellings from which no interviews or diaries were obtained for reasons other than non-response. This occurred in cases where all persons in the household were excluded on scope or coverage, the dwelling was vacant, or the dwelling was under construction, converted to non-dwelling use, derelict or listed in error.

    School 

    Any recognised primary or secondary school, or secondary college. These include formal classes, correspondence and home tuition. 

    Secondary activity 

    See Activity priority. 

    Section of state 

    This geographical classification uses population counts to define Collection Districts (CDs) as urban or rural and to provide, in aggregate, statistics for urban concentrations and for bounded localities and balance areas. Section of State represents an aggregation of non-contiguous geographical areas of a particular urban/rural type. The Sections of State defined include Major Urban (population clusters of 100,000 or more), Other Urban (population clusters of 1,000 to 99,999), Rural Locality (200 to 999), Rural Balance (remainder of State/Territory) and Migratory, and in aggregate cover the whole of Australia. 

    Self-assessed health status 

    Respondent's perception of their current health status. 

    Social and community interaction 

    A major activity classification group which includes activities relating to social interaction participation such as attending a concert, a library or amusement park. Also included are attending sports events, participating in religious ceremonies and community participation such as attendance at meetings. 

    Socio-economic status of area 

    Person's area of residence ranked according to the 2001 Census-based Index of Disadvantage. Greater disadvantage is at the low end of the scale. 

    Status in employment 

    Status in employment is a person's classification as being either an employee, employer, own account worker, or contributing family worker in respect to their main job. 

    Status of student 

    Whether a student undertakes study full-time or part-time. 

    Support for adults 

    An aggregate covering both the physical and emotional care for adults and helping or doing favours. 

    Time saving services 

    Persons were asked whether their household used services such as house cleaning services, clothes care or laundry services and gardening services. They were also asked how many times, in the previous two weeks, anyone in their household had a takeaway meal or had eaten a meal in a restaurant. 

    Time stress questions 

    Persons were asked to fill in questions at the start of their diary. These questions asked for the person's perception on how often they felt rushed or pressed for time or whether they had time they didn't know what to do with. They were also asked the reasons why they felt this way. 

    Time use diary 

    The time use diary was used to collect information about people's daily activities. The diary was set out in columns requiring the respondent to enter what activity they were doing, who the activity was done for, if they were doing anything else at the same time, where they were and who they were with. 

    Topcoding 

    Reduction of all high values to a specified maximum value. 

    Total cash income 

    The sum of amounts of cash income from wages, salary, all government pensions and allowances, interest, dividends, superannuation, profit/loss from own business or rental property, and any other regular source reported for the applicable reference period in response to one or more questions, calculated as a weekly equivalent. 

    Total housework 

    The activity group Domestic activities has been further divided into two sub-groups, 'Total housework' and 'Total other household work'. Total housework includes food preparation, service and clean-up; washing, ironing and clothes care; and other housework such as indoor cleaning and tidying activities. The reason for this division is that previous time use studies have shown men's domestic work is mostly identified in 'Total other household work', and women's domestic work is mostly identified in 'Total housework'. 

    Total other household work 

    Includes domestic management, home and car maintenance and improvement, pet care and care of the grounds. Associated travel is not included. 

    Travel associated with activities 

    Whenever a respondent reported an episode of travelling in their diary, the travel was assigned to a particular activity group such as purchasing goods and services, depending on the activity following the travel episode, such as shopping at the mall or the preceding activity in the case of travelling home after shopping. 

    Types of time 

    The four types of time are: 

    • Necessary time includes activities which serve basic physiological needs such as sleeping, eating, personal care, health and hygiene;
    • Contracted time includes paid work and regular education. Activities within this category have explicit contracts which control the periods of time in which they are performed;
    • Committed time describes activities to which a person has committed him/herself because of previous acts or behaviours or community participation such as having children, setting up a household or doing voluntary work. The consequent housework, care of children, shopping or provision of help to others are committed activities. In most cases, services could be bought to provide the same activity (e.g. an exchange could be made of time for money); and
    • Free time is the amount of time left when the previous three types of time have been taken out of a person's day. Social and community interaction and recreation and leisure activities are included in this category.
    Undescribed

    This category is used where a characteristic for an activity, such as specific physical location, was not specified by the respondent in the diary entry. 

    Unemployed 

    Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the week before the interview and had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks before the interview and: 

    • were available for work in the week before the interview, or
    • were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the interview and would have started in the week before the interview if the job had been available then.
    Unpaid voluntary work

    Activities which are performed for community organisations without pay. 

    Unpaid work in a family business or farm 

    Worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm. Also includes reported episodes where diary schedule does not indicate employment and there is no earned income but the respondent was clearly doing clerical or other work for (usually the spouse's) business. It also includes activities such as when the respondent reported 'pottering on the farm'. 

    Usual resident (UR) 

    A person who lives in a private dwelling and regards it as his/her own or main home. 

    Voluntary work and care 

    A major activity classification group which includes physical and emotional caring activities for adults, unpaid work for organisations and assisting family, friends, neighbours and others. 

    Weekday/weekend 

    Monday to Friday are regarded as weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays as weekends. All persons were asked to complete a diary for two days, either or both of which could be weekdays or weekends. The seven days were spread through the whole population as evenly as possible. The type of day (weekday/Saturday/Sunday) was used in the weighting procedure for time estimates and the underlying populations, and is outlined in the Survey methodology section of this publication

    Who with 

    Other people present when an activity was taking place. In this survey, other people taking part in the activity are not identifiable. The emphasis was on all people within the area for which a person might be responsible. This means everyone at a person's home when that person reported being at home, and all the people accompanying him/her away from home. It is more likely that activities away from home are shared with the family or friends reported present. When the respondent is home, he/she may be reading, someone else watching television, a baby may be asleep and other children playing in the back yard; yet if the respondent is the only adult present there may be a monitoring role in respect of all these other people. For details of the 'who with' items classification, see the Data item list in Appendix 2

    Work breaks 

    Includes taking a break for OHAS exercises, waiting for a job to start, equipment to arrive etc. 

    Young people 

    Persons aged 15 to 24 years.

    Abbreviations

    Show all

    The following symbols and abbreviations are used in this publication:

    ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
    ABSDLAustralian Bureau of Statistics Site Data Laboratory
    BCBasic CURF
    cat. no.Catalogue number
    CAIcomputer assisted interviewing
    CDcollection district
    CSVcomma separated value
    CURFconfidentialised unit record file
    DACMUABS Data Access and Confidentiality Metholodology Unit
    ECExpanded CURF
    necnot elsewhere classified
    nfdnot further defined
    RADLRemote Access Data Laboratory
    RSErelative standard error
    SASsoftware package for preparing and executing computerised data analysis
    SEstandard error
    SPSSsoftware package for preparing and executing computerised data analysis
    STATAsoftware package for preparing and executing computerised data analysis
    TUSTime Use Survey

    Previous catalogue number

    This release previously used catalogue number 4150.0.