Survey Participant Information - Wage Price Index





Welcome to the help pages for completing the Wage Price Index (WPI) Survey. These pages contain information designed to help organisations understand and complete the questions asked on the survey form. The WPI survey will be transitioning organisations to online survey forms, replacing the traditional paper and spreadsheet forms.

For general information about participation in ABS surveys, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you have been asked to complete an online form, and need more assistance please see ABS Online Survey - Help

If your question about the Wage Price Index Survey is not answered on this page, or in the information provided in your paper or online form, please contact the ABS on 1800 238 335.


1. Why was your organisation selected?

A two stage sampling methodology is used to generate a sample of employee jobs for the Wage Price Index. The first stage selects a sample of organisations whilst in the second stage a sample of employee jobs are selected from within these organisations.

In the first stage of sampling, approximately 3000 private and public sector organisations are selected from the ABS Business Register. These organisations are selected by stratifying the target population of organisations by state/territory, sector (private/public), industry group and business size, and selecting a random sample from each stratum. For a number of complex organisations, further sampling is undertaken to simplify reporting arrangements.

Approximately 18,000 jobs are selected in the second stage.

For more information refer to WPI: Concepts, Sources and Method 2012 (cat. no. 6351.0.55.001) Chapter 6 "Sampling".

2. Why is the ABS collecting this data?

The WPI survey is used to construct the Wage Price Index which measures changes in the price of labour in the Australian labour market. In a similar manner to the CPI, the WPI follows price changes in a fixed "basket" of jobs and is therefore not affected by changes in quality and quantity of work. The WPI is a key economic indicator that is used by a wide range of organisations and individuals in industrial relations forums, developing wages policy, and economic analysis. The WPI is a major measure of inflationary pressure on wages and salaries and is one of the preferred information sources when assessing monetary policy. See point 11 below for major users of the data.

The results from this survey are published quarterly on the ABS website, 6345.0 - Wage Price Index, Australia

3. Can I have more time to complete the form?

Organisations experiencing difficulty in completing ABS survey forms by the due date can request an extension of time. Extensions may be granted on a case by case basis, and should be requested by contacting 1800 238 335 (free call excluding mobile phones). Please note that careful estimates are acceptable if actual data is not available.

The ABS is grateful for the cooperation of organisations in submitting completed forms promptly to enable early processing and timely release of results from our surveys. We look forward to your continued support.

4. Is it compulsory? What if I refuse to fill it in?

The ABS relies on the willing cooperation of organisations selected in our surveys to provide accurate information as requested. The vast majority of organisations respond regularly to our requests for information. However, the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (CSA) provides the Australian Statistician with the power, if necessary, to direct you in writing to answer the questions.

5. This is an intrusion into private business. Is confidentiality guaranteed?

Answers supplied to the ABS remains strictly confidential. Data is used to compile aggregate statistics and under no circumstances does the ABS publish any data which would enable your organisation to be identified. Further, it is an offence under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 for ABS staff to either directly or indirectly, divulge or communicate any information furnished in pursuance of the Act to any person (other than the person from whom the information was obtained). The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

6. How accurate do the answers need to be?

The ABS requires information that is as accurate as possible. The information supplied by your organisation is used to produce statistics for all organisations within the same industry operating in Australia. The more accurate the figures you supply, the more accurate the statistics will be. However, if accurate data is not readily available, careful estimates will be accepted. Our processing systems contain checks for consistency and validity and are usually able to identify figures which are seriously incorrect. These checks suggest that most organisations do behave responsibly and give the best answers that they can.

7. What if the organisation does not have any employees?

Some organisations operate without any employees (for example, organisations operated entirely by owners of unincorporated entities). In this case, please notify the ABS on 1800 238 335 (free call excluding mobile phones). In order for the ABS to determine the correct course of action for this organisation, you will be asked a few questions (for example, is there is any intention for the organisation to employ in the future?)

8. What if the organisation did not operate during the reference period (e.g. seasonal organisations)?

If the organisation you are reporting for has ceased operating or did not operate during the reference period please notify the ABS on 1800 238 335 (free call excluding mobile phones). In order for the ABS to determine the correct course of action for this organisation, you will be asked a few questions (for example, what is the seasonal pattern of the organisation or when did the organisation last operate?).

9. How long will this organisation be selected to complete the Wage Price Index survey?

The length of time you will be on the Wage Price Index Survey generally depends upon the size of your organisation. Some larger organisations will remain on the survey on an ongoing basis because of their significance to the survey results. Smaller organisations will generally be included in the quarterly survey for approximately five years. However, there can be some exceptions to this rule. For example, where a small organisation has a significant impact on the survey results, these organisations may also be included in the survey on an ongoing basis.

10. What types of organisations are included in the survey?

The Wage Price Index Survey collects data from the public and private sectors, from organisations of varying employment sizes and from all industries except those engaged primarily in agriculture, forestry or fishing; private households employing staff; and foreign embassies, consulates, etc.

All jobs in the target population of employers are in scope of the WPI, excluding:
  • Australian permanent defence force jobs;
  • Non-salaried directors;
  • Proprietors/partners of unincorporated organisations;
  • Persons paid by commission only;
  • Working proprietors/owner managers of proprietary limited (Pty Ltd) companies;
  • Employees on workers' compensation who are not paid through the payroll;
  • Non-maintainable jobs (i.e. jobs that are expected to be occupied for less than six months of a year);
  • Jobs for which wages and salaries are not determined by the Australian labour market (e.g. most employees of Community Development Programme or jobs where remuneration is set in a foreign currency); and
  • Self-employed persons such as subcontractors, owner/drivers, consultants.

If you believe your organisation has been incorrectly included in the Wage Price Index Survey, please contact the ABS on 1800 238 335 (free call excluding mobile phones).

11. Who uses the data?

The Wage Price Index statistics are drawn upon by a wide variety of individuals and organisations in both the public and private sector, with major users including:
  • Reserve Bank of Australia
  • The ABS National Accounts
  • The Australian Government Treasury and the states/territories treasuries
  • State and Commonwealth Government departments and agencies
  • Industry organisations and associations
  • Market analysts and economists
12. Will I be contacted about the information I supply on the form ?

Please note that an ABS officer may contact you for clarification on the answers that you provide. This additional information helps to ensure that statistics produced by the ABS are accurate and of a high quality.

  • 13. Have any more questions ?

    If your question about the Wage Price Index Survey is not answered on these pages, or in the information provided on your online form, please contact the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on 1800 238 335 (free call excluding mobile phones).


    Your organisation may have been sent an introduction letter from the ABS to complete an online survey form. For those organisations that are unable to complete the form online please contact the ABS on 1800 238 335 to request a paper form.

    1. How do I access the online form?

    To access your online form you will need to log in to your Survey Account at - . If you do not have a Survey Account you will need to create one using your email address and a password of your choice. This survey can then be added to your Survey Account by entering the Form Access Code that is included in your letter from the ABS. If you have misplaced your letter, please call 1800 238 335 (free call excluding mobile phones) to request your access code.

    2. Can I save an unfinished online form?

    Yes, there is a functionality to save the online form when partially completed so you can return to it later. To do this simply click the Print, Save and Exit button at the top of the form. This will save your answers in the online form and exit you from the system. After saving and exiting, you will be able to return to your online form by logging into your Survey Account and clicking on the 'Open Form' button. Please be aware that, for security reasons, if there is inactivity on your computer for 20 minutes the online form will time out. Your progress up to and including the last completed screen will be saved automatically.

    3. Can I keep a record of my completed online form?

    Yes, the ABS highly recommends that you keep a copy of your completed form for your own personal records.

    • After submitting your form, click the 'Print' button on the receipt page that appears after you click 'Submit'.
    • To print a copy of your answers provided in the online survey form (prior to submitting), click the 'Print' button on the Exit page (after clicking on the Print, Save and Exit button at the top of the form).
    • A sample PDF version of the survey form is available to download by clicking on "Preview of survey questions" link on the left hand side navigation bar within the online form. This sample PDF can assist you with previewing survey questions and/or in the preparation of answers to the questions. Please note, the ABS cannot accept survey responses submitted on a sample form.
    4. Can I get an extension or request assistance to complete the online form?

    If you need assistance in completing the online form, or require more time, please call 1800 238 335 (free call excluding mobile phones).

    5. I have already sent the information requested but I received a reminder notice.

    If you have received a reminder notice about your form, it probably means you have returned the form at the same time as your reminder notice was issued. If you wish to confirm this, feel free to call us on 1800 238 335 (free call excluding mobile phones) so we can check against our records.