6150.0.55.001 - Labour Account Australia, Experimental Estimates, July 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/07/2017  First Issue
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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

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.

RELEVANCE

This publication contains experimental estimates of the Australian Labour Account. The Australian Labour Account provides a conceptual framework through which existing labour market data from different sources can be confronted and integrated, with the aim of producing a coherent and consistent set of aggregate labour market statistics.

The Australian Labour Account is macro-economic in scope, building on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) fundamentals and expanding them to ensure consistency with the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA). It aims to extend the analytical capacity of national accounts data by providing a labour-specific lens.

The Australian Labour Account produces a set of statistical tables of employment related data that are consistent with the ASNA.

TIMELINESS

It is intended that future releases of the annual Australian Labour Account will be published within twelve months of the end of the reference period.

ACCURACY

Different data sources have been used in compiling the four quadrants of the Australian Labour Account. In general, the same data sources have been used to compile both quarterly and annual labour account estimates. Quarterly survey estimates have also been benchmarked to annual survey estimates where possible.

Australian Labour Account data at an industry level are derived where possible from data classified by industry reported in both business and household surveys. Where Australian Labour Account data at an industry level are not reported in surveys, the industry detail has been modelled using alternative sources.

The Australian Labour Account uses both published and unpublished data from various sources. These are detailed in Appendix 2 of the Concepts, Sources and Methods 2017 manual. Where unpublished data sources are referenced, for example using an ABS catalogue number, this is intended to provide background information relating to the underlying survey data only. It is not intended that users be able to fully replicate published Australian Labour Account data.

After adjusting for conceptual and scope differences between data sources, a statistical discrepancy remains between the number of filled jobs as reported by businesses and the number of filled jobs as reported by households.

These discrepancies represent the cumulative impact of data source error, including survey error, and modelling error. Survey error includes both sampling error and non-sampling error. Sampling error is the predictable variability arising from the use of samples, rather than a complete enumeration of the populations of enterprises and households. Non-sampling error is all other error in the estimate, and includes error arising from the reliability of the survey population and related benchmark data and error made by respondents in reporting data. Further information on these issues can be found in the Concepts, Sources and Methods 2017 manual.

COHERENCE

There are currently no international standards regarding the production of a labour account, however a four step process has been documented by the ILO and was followed (to varying degrees) by the National Statistical Organisations in Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland in compiling their own labour accounts. The ILO process has been used as a guide in compiling the Australian Labour Account.

The ILO describes two approaches to compiling a labour account: a cross-sectional approach involving confrontation and reconciliation of key labour market measures, and a longitudinal approach which incorporates changes to population and labour force via births, deaths, and net migration, and includes measures such as duration of employment. The Australian Labour Account focuses on the cross-sectional approach (since this is the approach that supports data confrontation and reconciliation), and also provides a time-series dimension.

The development of an annual Australian Labour Account, and in particular a future quarterly labour account dis-aggregated by industry division, provides an opportunity to significantly improve the quality of aggregates such as the number of jobs occupied within each industry, measures of hours worked, and labour productivity growth.

INTERPRETABILITY

Contained within this release are Data Cubes. A detailed Concepts, Sources and Methods manual, Explanatory Notes and a Glossary are also included providing information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


DATA ACCESS

Experimental Estimates for the Australian Labour Account, 2010–11 to 2015–16 (cat no. 6150.0.55.001) is released electronically via the ABS website as Data Cubes in spreadsheet format.

The ABS welcomes comments from users on the new methodologies and the usefulness of the resulting estimates for their analytical purposes. If you are interested in contributing to the ABS review, please contact Household Income and Labour Market director on 02 6252 7988 or <labour.statistics@abs.gov.au>.