Case Study: Improving the Labour Account
 

USING INTEGRATED DATA TO IMPROVE THE LABOUR ACCOUNT

WHAT IS THE DATA CHALLENGE?

The number of jobs and people employed in each industry is of significant interest to economic analysts and policy makers, as they are important social and economic indicators.

However, estimates of employed persons in each industry have historically been available only for the industry of the main job held – not for the industry of secondary jobs. Without information about the industries of secondary jobs, we are unable to get a complete picture of the total number of people employed in each industry.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) can identify the number of employed people who hold more than one job, however it does not collect details on the industries in which those secondary jobs are worked.

HOW CAN WE USE INTEGRATED DATA?

Through integrating information from the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset (LEED) with results from the LFS, the number of secondary jobs and employed persons in each industry is now able to be determined.

The LEED links together administrative data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for employed people to their employers, including those persons who have a number of jobs throughout the year with one or many employers. This detailed data provides a comprehensive picture of all jobs held in the labour market during each tax year and the characteristics of the employees who hold these jobs.

The LEED enables the industries in which employed people hold secondary jobs to be identified. This information can be combined with results from the LFS in the Labour Account compilation process to determine the number of secondary jobs and all of the employed persons in each industry.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Producing comprehensive estimates for secondary jobs in the Labour Account enables the ABS to produce high quality information on all jobs in the labour market, including the hours that are worked.

These Labour Account estimates of hours worked are consistent with measures of economic production. In the future, the hours worked information will be incorporated into the National Accounts, which will greatly improve the reliability of both labour and multi-factor productivity statistics.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Labour Account Australia, Quarterly Experimental Estimates, March 2019 (cat. no. 6150.0.55.003)