6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/04/2012   
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Forms of Employment Survey, conducted throughout Australia in November 2011 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who fell within the scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also applies to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


3 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


4 The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes the following people:

  • members of the permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from the Census and estimated populations;
  • overseas residents in Australia; and
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

5 Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for people with disabilities), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.

6 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded persons living in Indigenous communities in very remote parts of Australia.

7 This survey was restricted to employed persons aged 15 years and over who were not contributing family workers in their main job.


8 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in November 2011. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


9 Supplementary surveys are not conducted on the full LFS sample. Since August 1994 the sample for supplementary surveys has been restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the LFS sample.

10 The initial sample for the November 2011 LFS consisted of 36,604 private dwelling households and special dwelling units. Of the 29,675 private dwelling households and special dwelling units that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. households selected in the survey which had no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), 28,171 or 94.5% were fully responding to the Forms of Employment Survey. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwellings and special dwelling units (after taking into account scope and coverage exclusions) was 29,763.


11 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:
  • Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For more information, see the Technical Note.
  • Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers and effective processing procedures.


12 The estimates are based on information collected in the survey month (November) and, due to seasonal factors, may not be representative of other months of the year.


13 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), Second Edition, 2008 (cat. no. 1269.0).

14 From 2006, occupation data are classified according to the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, Revision 1, 2009 (cat. no. 1220.0). This classification replaced the ASCO - Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0).

15 Also from 2006, industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). This classification replaced the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).


16 People who were away from work during the reference week, were included in the 'Less than 1 hour/no hours' category for the data item 'Hours actually worked in main job'.

17 Employees are classified as 'With paid leave entitlements' if they said 'yes' to either of the following questions:
  • 'Does your employer provide you with paid sick leave?'
  • 'Does your employer provide you with paid holiday leave?' In all other cases, employees are categorised as 'Without paid leave entitlements'.

18 For the data item 'Days of the week usually worked in all jobs', people who reported that they worked from Monday to Friday, inclusive, were categorised as working Monday to Friday. These people may have reported that they also worked on Saturday and Sunday in their job/s. In addition, for those who did not work Monday to Friday, inclusive, these people would be counted in each day (e.g. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday) that they usually work. People who reported that the days of the week usually worked varied were categorised only to 'Days varied'. A response of 'Days varied' could not be provided with any other response.

19 The responses given by multiple jobholders for the data items 'Days of the week usually worked in all jobs', 'Number of days of the week usually worked in all jobs', and 'Whether worked weekdays and/or weekends in all jobs' does not imply that this was their usual pattern of work in each of their jobs, rather this was their total pattern of work in all their jobs.


20 The Labour Force Survey estimates, and estimates from the supplementary surveys, are calculated in such a way as to sum to independent estimates of the civilian population aged 15 years and over (population benchmarks). These population benchmarks are based on Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data. Generally, revisions are made to population benchmarks after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing (Census), however in the second half of 2010 revisions were applied to population benchmarks, including those used for the 2011 Forms of Employment Survey, to take into account more up to date information about Net Overseas Migration (a component of the ERP). For more details on population benchmarks, see the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), and for details about the revisions made, see the article in the September 2010 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

21 Care should be taken when comparing results from the 2011 Forms of Employment Survey to surveys prior to 2008.

22 In November 2008, the Forms of Employment Survey was redeveloped to better capture information about independent contractors, other business operators and employees. The change has resulted in a break in series for employees and users need to exercise caution when comparing with data about employees prior to the 2008 publication.

23 The data items 'Status in employment' and 'Employment type in main job' presented in the 2007 Forms of Employment publication are no longer presented in this publication, however are available on request. The main data item used to classify employed persons is 'Form of employment in main job'.

24 Further, prior to 2004, people working for payment in kind were excluded from the survey. From 2004 onwards, this group has been included. In addition, the 2001 survey excluded persons aged 70 years and over.

25 Additional information is presented about people who found their current job through a labour hire firm/employment agency. These are, 'Whether currently registered with a labour hire firm/employment agency', 'Whether still registered with the same labour hire firm/employment agency', 'Whether paid by a labour hire firm/employment agency', 'Number of work assignments through labour hire firm/employment agency in the last 12 months', 'Whether usually had continuous/ongoing work from a labour hire firm/employment agency', and 'All/Main reasons for using a labour hire firm/employment agency'. This information was previously collected in November 2008.


26 Due to differences in the scope of this supplementary survey and that of the monthly LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.


27 The Forms of Employment Survey was first conducted in August 1998 then in November 2001, November 2004 and annually since November 2006. Results of previous surveys on employment arrangements have been published in:


28 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in November 2012.


29 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act, 1905.


30 ABS publications which may be of interest include:
31 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the Statistics Page on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.