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Current Household Surveys
 

MONTHLY POPULATION SURVEY (MPS)

Background
The Monthly Population Survey (MPS) has been carried out since 1960 to provide information about the Australian population and workforce on a regular basis. The nation's employment and unemployment figures are produced from this survey.

Your household is one of approximately 30,000 around Australia selected by the ABS to take part in the survey each month. It is an official survey conducted under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

The results from the MPS are used by Commonwealth and state government, industry business, trade unions and academics to make important decisions about employment, industry support and education.

What details are required?
The main component of the MPS is the Labour Force Survey (LFS). In the LFS, employed people will be asked some questions on topics such as hours worked, their occupation and the type of industry in which they work. People looking for work will be asked questions on topics such as steps taken to look for work and the length of time they have been looking for work. Retired people and people who are neither working nor looking for work will be asked some questions to clarify their current situation and future intentions.

In some months you might be asked additional questions on various topics including education, conditions of employment or child care arrangements.
A small portion of respondents will be asked about qualifications and employment outcomes, barriers and incentives to labour force participation, retirement and retirement intentions, household use of information technology, patient experience, crime and safety and household income.

The questions can usually be answered for all of your household members in a few minutes and the answers can be provided by any adult member of the household. The interview is conducted using a notebook computer

How long will I be in the survey?
You will be asked to complete our survey once every month for eight months. You have the option to register and complete the survey online for the eight months you have been selected. If you decide not register online an ABS interviewer (with an official identification card) will visit your home for the first interview. In the following months, where possible, interviews will be conducted by telephone.

Why do I have to do it for eight months?
One of the main reasons for the MPS is to measure changes in your households situation over time. To reduce burden on your household and to provide reliable information on the current status of the labour force, households are replaced every eight months. Seven-eights of the month-to-month sample is the same as the previous month.

Why is it important that all those selected take part in the survey?
The sample is designed to provide a balanced representation of all households in Australia so that the estimates made from the data reflect, as closely as possible, all households. If some households do not participate, this may result in one type of household being represented more often than another type, which may result in biases in the data.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?

Arrangements can be made for the interview to be conducted by an ABS Interviewer fluent in the language of the householder or using an interpreter.

Will respondents be paid for their time?
No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?
The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected as it can only be accessed by the interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data.

Using notebook computers helps to minimise the number of mistakes that can be made when information is being collected or processed. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. Additionally, notebook computers make it easier for interviewers to conduct the interview smoothly and speed up the interview process.

Is the survey compulsory?
The questions included in this survey are being asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information being requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Do householders have to give ABS interviewers right of entry to their home?
No. Interviewers can enter the household only by invitation from the householder; however, it would be helpful if a suitable chair and table was made available (inside or outside the house) as the interviewer will be using a notebook computer to collect the information.

Will the information provided be confidential?
The ABS privacy policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS privacy policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?
Full survey results are published monthly on the ABS website in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURE SURVEY (HES) 2015-16

Background
The Household Expenditure Survey (HES) is one of the most important social surveys run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The HES identifies the levels and patterns of household spending on a wide range of goods and services. The HES also shows how expenditure varies according to income levels and other characteristics of households, such as size, location and main source of income. One of the most important uses for the HES is updating the weighting pattern of the Consumer Price Index.
This cycle of the HES will select households between the 28th June 2015 and the 25th June 2016. The ABS collects the HES over a whole financial year because income and spending varies over the course of a year, due to holidays and seasonal work patterns.

What information is collected?
The HES collects information about expenditure, income, housing, assets, and loans. At the same time, the HES collects general information including age, birthplace, cultural background, employment, education and disability. This information is collected through group and individual interviews.

Who will be in the survey?
Each person aged 15 years and over in the household is asked to complete personal expenditure diaries covering two weeks. All persons aged 15 years and over are also asked to participate in a group interview to collect information about household expenses, loans and housing circumstances.
An individual interview is then used to collect information on employment and income from each person aged 15 years or above. The consent of a parent or guardian will be sought for interviews with household members aged between 15 and 17 years.

How are households selected for the survey?
About 10,900 households across Australia are selected in the HES. Households are selected at random within each state and territory, and each dwelling has an equal chance of being selected. The information collected from each household is used to represent others like them in terms of their key characteristics, expenditure patterns and financial situations.

Has a survey of this type ever been conducted before?
Yes, the HES was first run in June 1974 and is currently conducted every six years. The last HES was run in 2009-10.

How will households be contacted?
Each participating household will receive a Guide explaining that the household has been selected for the survey. The Guide provides background information about the survey and contact information. It also lets the household know that a survey invitation letter will arrive within the week to request that they register their contact details online or via phone. A reminder letter will also be sent encouraging selected households to register their contact details.
When the household's contact details are registered, an ABS Interviewer will contact the household to arrange a time to conduct the survey. If contact details are not registered, an ABS Interviewer will visit the address to arrange a time to conduct the survey.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?
Where possible, an ABS Interviewer who is fluent in the language of the householder will conduct the interviewer. Otherwise, an interpreter will help to conduct the interview.

Will respondents be paid for their time?
No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?
The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected. Information collected can only be accessed by the Interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data.
The Notebook computers help to reduce the number of mistakes that can be made during each interview. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. The Notebook computers also make it easier for the Interviewer to conduct the survey.

Is the survey compulsory?
The questions in the HES are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information that is requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Will the information provided be confidential?
The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps that the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS Privacy Policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?
Survey results will be available mid-2017. Results will be available, free of charge, on the ABS website.

SURVEY OF DISABILITY, AGEING AND CARERS (SDAC) 2015

Background

The 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) is one of the most important social surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and is being enumerated from July 2015 to December 2015. The 2015 SDAC will be the eighth in the series, which were previously conducted in 1981, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2009 and 2012. The SDAC is designed to collect information about people with a disability, older people (those aged 65 years and over) and people who provide assistance to older people and people with disabilities (carers). Information that is collected will assist government and community agencies to plan appropriate types and numbers of services each year, and plan for future needs. Survey data is also used by groups advocating to government on behalf of people with disabilities, carers and aged persons.

The survey will approach over 35,000 households selected at random across Australia. Selected households will receive an explanatory letter informing them of their selection in the survey together with a brochure which outlines the survey and their role in it. Households will be offered the opportunity to register for the survey to help coordinate a convenient time for the interview. If a household does not register, a fully trained ABS interviewer will contact the occupants, explain the purpose of the survey, answer any questions they might have and make an appointment for the survey interview.

What information is collected?
In addition to collecting general information including age, birthplace, cultural background, employment, education and income, the survey will collect information about:

    • People with disabilities
      • how their disability affects their lives
      • what support they need and receive
      • who provides the support - family/friends, government, other support organisations
    • Older people
      • how growing older may restrict activity and community participation
      • what support they need and receive
    • People who provide support and assistance
      • their experience as carers
      • the effects of the caring role on the carer
    • People who are not carers and do not have a disability
      • basic demographics

How was the content of the survey determined?
The content of the survey was developed in consultation with a wide range of users of the survey data, including federal and state government agencies, non-government service providers and researchers. Topics included in the survey are those identified as being of the highest priority to address policy, planning and research questions. The range and type of information obtained from the survey are generally not available from other sources.

How will the information be collected?
For the most part, the survey is conducted using a face-to-face interview, capturing details on a notebook computer.

An adult member of the household will be asked to answer some questions to determine whether there is anyone living in the household who has a disability or who cares for a person with a disability, or an older person. This person will also be asked to provide a small amount of information about people in the household who are not in these population groups.

Information will then be collected via a personal interview for those household members who have a disability and/or are aged 65 years or over and/or care for a disabled or older person.

Although the survey is conducted over 6 months, each respondent is interviewed only once.

Persons with a disability, those aged 65 years or over and persons identified as a primary carer for a person with a disability will be asked if they are willing to participate in a planned voluntary Follow-Up.

Persons identified as primary carers will also be asked to complete a short paper form at the end of their face-to-face interview to collect information about their attitudes to, and experience in, their caring role.

How are people selected for inclusion in the survey?
Dwellings are selected at random across Australia (excluding very remote areas) so that within each State and Territory each household has a known chance of selection.

Each selected dwelling represents a number of others in that area, in that State and in Australia. The information collected from each selected household is used to represent a number of others which are like them in terms of their household composition, location, age, employment characteristics, lifestyle and health. The co-operation of all those selected is important to ensure all households/persons are properly represented in the survey and so are properly reflected in the survey results.


SURVEY OF INCOME AND HOUSING (SIH) 2015-16

Background
The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) is one of the most important social surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The SIH is used to understand the household income, wealth and housing costs across the Australian population.
This cycle of the SIH will select households between the 28th June 2015 and the 25th June 2016. The ABS collects the SIH over a whole financial year because income over the course of a year for many households, due to holidays and seasonal work patterns.

What information is collected?
The SIH collects information about income, housing, assets and loans. The SIH also collects general information including age, birthplace, cultural background, employment, education and disability. This information will be collected using individual interviews.

Who will be in the survey?
A Household Spokesperson aged 18 years and over will answer questions about loans and housing on behalf of the household. For each person aged 15 years and over, individual interviews will then collect information on their employment and income. The consent of a parent or guardian will be sought for household members aged between 15 and 17 years.

How are households selected for inclusion in the survey?
About 8,000 households across Australia will be selected in the SIH. Households are selected at random within each state and territory, and each dwelling has an equal chance of being selected. The information collected from each household is used to represent others like them in terms of their key characteristics, housing circumstances and financial situation.

Has a survey of this type ever been conducted before?
Yes, the SIH was first run in 1994-95, and is currently run every two years. It was last conducted in 2013-14.

How will households be contacted?
Each participating household will receive a Guide explaining that the household has been selected for the survey. The Guide provides background information about the survey and contact information. It also lets the household know that a survey invitation letter will arrive within the week to request that they register their contact details online or via phone. A reminder letter will also be sent encouraging selected households to register their contact details.
When the household's contact details are registered, an ABS Interviewer will contact the household to arrange a time to conduct the survey. If contact details are not registered, an ABS Interviewer will visit the address to arrange a time to conduct the survey.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?
Where possible, an ABS Interviewer who is fluent in the language of the householder will conduct the interviewer. Otherwise, an interpreter will help to conduct the interview.

Will respondents be paid for their time?
No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?
The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected. Information collected can only be accessed by the Interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data.
The Notebook computers help to reduce the number of mistakes that can be made during each interview. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. The Notebook computers also make it easier for the Interviewer to conduct the survey.

Is the survey compulsory?
The questions in the SIH are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information that is requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Will the information provided be confidential?
The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps that the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS Privacy Policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?
Survey results will be available mid-2017. Results will be available, free of charge, on the ABS website.

Further information
If you would like further information about any of these surveys, please contact the ABS office in your state and territory.


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