In 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) assessed the feasibility of constructing experimental statistics on employee earnings and jobs from integrated person and business level administrative data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). In undertaking this assessment, the ABS complied fully with the High Level Principles for Data Integration Involving Commonwealth Data for Statistical and Research Purposes.
The purpose of the assessment was to:
- Demonstrate that person and business level taxation data can be integrated to generate experimental statistics that could fill a current gap in the available statistics or complement existing statistics.
- Demonstrate the utility of a future Linked Employer-Employee Database (LEED) for statistical purposes.
The Integrated Dataset used in this assessment was created by linking:
- person level data from the ATO Personal Income Tax (PIT) dataset, and
- business level taxation data from the ABS Expanded Analytical Business Longitudinal Database (EABLD). The EABLD incorporates the ABS Business Register (ABSBR) with business taxation data from the ATO and ABS business survey data.
Creating and using the Integrated Dataset has demonstrated that:
- integrating PIT and EABLD data is feasible;
- the Integrated Dataset can provide coherent information on employee earnings and jobs, as well as the number of employees in Australia; and
- further work is required to address identified limitations with the Integrated Dataset and the experimental statistics.
This paper provides the background to this assessment (hereafter called the LEED Foundation Projects), a description of the data sources, integration methodology and confidentiality process, summary of results and limitations of the experimental statistics. In addition, the paper outlines directions towards a future LEED. A data cube of the aggregate experimental statistics on employee earnings and jobs is available from the Downloads tab of this release.
The ABS is seeking feedback on the LEED Foundation Projects and the creation of an enduring LEED through this release.