ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents information about people aged 15 years and over who are not in the labour force: that is, neither employed nor unemployed. The data measure the potential supply of labour not reflected in employment and unemployment statistics, and measure the characteristics of that potential supply.
Statistics in this publication were obtained from the Persons Not in the Labour Force Survey, conducted throughout Australia in September 2009 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Information collected in the survey includes details about whether people not in the labour force wanted to work, reasons why they were not actively looking for work, or were not available for work, and their main activity while not in the labour force.
Many people not in the labour force could be considered to have some attachment to the labour force. For example, they may want a job, but for a variety of reasons are not actively looking for work even though they are available to start a job. There is an expectation that many of these people could move into the labour force in the short term, or could do so if labour market conditions changed.
NOTES ABOUT THE ESTIMATES
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) sample size in September was approximately 9% higher than the sample size in September 2008. This is due to re-instated sample that was cut from the LFS and supplementary surveys from July 2008. Detailed information about the sample reduction/re-instatement is provided in Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Nov 2007 (Third edition) (cat. no. 6269.0).
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
From 2009, a new category, 'Believes ill health or disability discourages employers' has been included in data items relating to reasons not looking for work. This category is not presented in the publication tables, however, is available on request.
In addition, from 2009, 'Full-time or part-time preference' is collected based on the number of hours a respondent prefers to work, rather than a preference to work either full-time or part-time.
As a result of these changes, there has been a break in series. Users should exercise care when comparing estimates from 2009 with data from previous years. For more information, see paragraphs 26, 27 and 28 of the Explanatory Notes.
As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Market Statistics Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.