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6306.0.55.001 - Microdata: Employee Earnings and Hours, CURF, Australia, May 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/09/2011   
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  • Quality Declaration - Summary



Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (CSA). This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with CURFs can be found at the "How is CURF data confidentialised?" page.

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Employee Earnings and Hours CURF is only available as an expanded CURF, accessed via the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) or the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). The EEH survey produces estimates of the composition and distribution of employee earnings, the hours they are paid for, and the methods used to set their pay (i.e. award only, collective agreement, or individual arrangement).

The 2010 EEH CURF contains all data items available from the survey, with the exception of States and Territories, Sector and Level of Government. Some of the key data items on the CURF include:

Weekly earnings - Ordinary time, Overtime, Amounts salary sacrificed, and Total earnings (available as continuous variables)
Hours paid for - Ordinary time, Overtime, and Total hours paid for (available as continuous variables)
Methods of setting pay
Employee characteristics - e.g. Sex, Full-time/Part-time status, Managerial status, Occupation (available at the 1, 2 and 3 digit ANZSCO level)
Business characteristics - Industry (available at the 1 digit ANZSIC level) and Employer unit size.

For further details on the content of the CURF, please see the data items list.


The reference period for the May 2010 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours survey was the last pay period ending on or before 21 May 2010. Results from the survey were released on 27 January 2011 in the publication, Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, May 2010 (cat. no. 6306.0).


The EEH CURF contains individual employee level data (unit records) while the EEH publication contains aggregate data. Along with unit record data, the CURF contains finer levels of detail for data items than what is otherwise published. For more information on the level of detail provided in the CURF please see the data items list.

Steps to confidentialise the data made available on the CURF are taken in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents to ABS statistical collections. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all statistics produced from the CURF with previously published statistics. However, these differences are not significant and should not diminish the value of the CURF in analysis.

The steps taken to preserve confidentiality include:

  • omitting three data items included in previously published output - States and Territories, Sector and Level of Government;
  • reducing the level of detail available for one data item - Employer unit size is only available on the CURF in two broad groups;
  • industry data item is only available at the Division level (1-digit codes, ANZSIC06);
  • perturbation of all earnings data items; and
  • modifying the weights for some records.

For more information on the survey methodology, see Technical Manual: Employee Earnings and Hours, Expanded CURF, Australia, May 2010 (cat. no. 6306.0.55.002). For information on the survey sample size and response rates see the Explanatory Notes in Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, May 2010 (cat. no. 6306.0).


The ABS has conducted the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours since 1974, and is currently conducted on a two-yearly basis. The key changes made to the survey since 1974 are outlined in chapter 30 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


Technical Manual: Employee Earnings and Hours, Expanded CURF, Australia, May 2010 (cat. no. 6306.0.55.002) is a key source for consultation when using the CURF. It includes survey objectives, methods and design; survey content; data quality and interpretation; output data items; information about the availability of results; and the content of the CURF file.

Further information about the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours is available in the Explanatory Notes and Technical Note in Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, May 2010 (cat. no. 6306.0) and in chapter 30 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


CURF microdata are not available to the public without special access being granted. All CURF users are required to read and abide by the Responsible Access to CURFs Training Manual, September 2009 (cat. no. 1406.0.55.003). Application to access a particular CURF microdata can be completed and submitted for approval by following the steps listed in the 'Applying for CURF Microdata' in CURF Frequently Asked Questions. A full list of available CURFs can be viewed via the 'List of Available CURFs'.

The CURF can be accessed through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). More detail regarding types and modes of access to CURFs can be found on CURF Access Modes and Levels of Detail web page.

If you have any questions regarding access to CURF Microdata please contact the Microdata Access Strategies Section at <> or call (02) 6252 7714.

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