IMPROVEMENTS TO CHARACTERISTICS OF EMPLOYMENT 2017
A new focus on median weekly earnings
For the Characteristics of Employment survey, median weekly earnings are considered to be a more robust measure of centre for earnings data and have been given more prominence this issue. Some information regarding mean weekly earnings is still provided, with more detailed information available from ABS TableBuilder.
Introducing hourly earnings
Alongside weekly earnings, an hourly earnings measure has been introduced. This allows groups to be compared based on the value of one hour of work, regardless of the amount of hours that are usually worked or paid for each week.
From this issue onwards, Characteristics of Employment will move to regular rebenchmarking to reflect the most recently available release of Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data.
Estimates for the period 2004-2016 have been revised to incorporate the latest benchmarks and all estimates, including 2017, are comparable with estimates published in the November 2017 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
Trend factor adjustments
To reduce the impact of seasonal and irregular effects on total employment, the estimates have been adjusted by factors based on trend Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates (as published in November 2017). For measures collected in August, which have a seasonal pattern of typically lower estimates, the factors applied result in an increase to the total number of employed to match trend LFS estimates. For more information refer to the Explanatory Notes.
Data linking between surveys
In 2014, the Characteristics of Employment survey was introduced to replace the employment based surveys run in August and November. In this issue, historical data collected prior to 2014 from these August and November surveys have been linked together for respondents who remained employed and answered both surveys. Similarly, data relating to educational qualifications have been linked between May and August surveys. This provides more historical context to the current measures, but these data-linked estimates are based on a sample half the usual size, with larger margins of error and different seasonal impacts. See the Explanatory Notes for more details.
Definition of employees
Since 2014, the definition of employees was revised to include people who worked for commission only (without a retainer). From this issue, measures relating to employees for the period 2004-2013 have been revised to reflect this change.
Employees without paid leave entitlements are referred to as “casual employees,” and employees with paid leave entitlements are “permanent employees.”
Unless otherwise stated, owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIES) have been excluded from measures relating to employees.
Introducing skill level of main job
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is a skill-based classification used to classify all occupations and jobs in the Australian and New Zealand labour markets. In line with the ANZSCO, occupation data have been grouped by skill level alongside the standard major occupation groups, providing an alternative view on the nature of work. Under this classification every occupation is assigned a skill level from 1 (high-skilled) to 5 (low-skilled) based on the range and complexity of the particular set of tasks performed in that job.
Other classification updates
For the period 2004-2013, the Capital City and Rest of State estimates were updated to match the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) that was used from 2014 onwards.
For the period 2004-2005, Industry and Occupation estimates were updated to match the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) and ANZSCO standards that were used from 2006 onwards.
For more information, refer to the Explanatory Notes.
Improvements to Imputation
Improvements were made to the imputation and outlier process for earnings data, relating to the addition of skill level of main job and hourly earnings information into the process. These improvements have been applied to the period 2014-2017 resulting in revisions over this period.