ESTIMATING JOBS IN THE AUSTRALIAN LABOUR MARKET
In March 2013, the ABS released a feature article attached to the February 2013 issue of Labour Force Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) that presents estimates of the number of jobs over time in the Australian labour market. These estimates complement other important indicators of the state of the labour market and the economy provided regularly by the ABS, for example, estimates of employment and job vacancies.
The article explains the difference between the concepts of employment and jobs, and demonstrates that while filled jobs and total jobs follow a similar long-term trend to employment, the levels are not the same, and they do not necessarily move in the same way from period to period. This distinction between employment and jobs is particularly important when analysing full-time or part-time status, since full-time and part-time employment relate to the number of hours worked over all jobs held, rather than the number of full-time or part-time jobs.
For the full article, please see Estimating Jobs in the Australian Labour Market.
NEW LABOUR FORCE SURVEY SAMPLE DESIGN
The current Labour Force Survey sample is selected using information collected in the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Following the release of 2011 Census based Estimated Resident Population (ERP), more up to date information is available for use in the selection of the Labour Force Survey sample. The ABS had previously advised in the July 2012 issue of Labour Force Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) that the new sample would be phased in over four months from March 2013. The phase in strategy has been updated to commence from May 2013. An information paper (cat. no. 6269.0) will be released in June 2013 with detailed information on the sample design.
ELECTRONIC COLLECTION OF LABOUR FORCE DATA
The ABS has been undertaking a trial of on-line electronic data collection of labour force data from households since December 2012. The trial is being conducted on one rotation group (i.e. one-eighth of the survey sample) and respondents are being offered the option of completing the survey on-line instead of a face-to-face or telephone interview. The trial will continue prior to a decision on rolling out progressively to the full Labour Force Survey sample. For more detailed updates as the trial progresses please see Labour Force Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
NEW TIMETABLE FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CONTENT OF THE LABOUR FORCE AND LABOUR SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEYS
The ABS is planning a number of improvements to the content of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and labour supplementary surveys. These were previously outlined in July 2012 in the Information Paper: Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review (cat. no. 6107.0). The Information Paper indicated that changes would be introduced to the LFS and supplementary surveys from July 2013. With a number of other key developments and enhancements in the LFS taking priority over the next 12 months, in particular regular rebenchmarking of labour force estimates, the ABS will now plans to implement the above improvements from July 2014. In the interim, the current labour supplementary survey program will continue for another year.
LONGITUDINAL LABOUR FORCE SURVEY CONFIDENTIALISED UNIT RECORD FILE
In December 2012, the ABS released Microdata: Longitudinal Labour Force, Australia, 2008-10 (cat. no. 6602.0) - the first longitudinal Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) to be produced from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). It contains details on the labour market participation and the transitions into and out of employment of Australians over a three year period, providing insights into how the labour market has changed over time.
The Longitudinal CURF is created from 36 monthly Labour Force Surveys (LFS) along with data collected from labour supplementary surveys and multipurpose household surveys run between January 2008 and December 2010. It includes a range of data to enable users to better understand the dynamics of the labour market and changes in individuals' employment, unemployment and moves in and out of the labour force. Data includes labour force status, hours worked, underemployment, industry and occupation, demographic characteristics, education, earnings, trade union membership, activities when not in the labour force, retirement intentions and detailed family and household characteristics.
It is expected that future releases of the LLFS will expand the data collection both forwards and backwards in time, providing even more insights into how the Australian labour market has changed over the years.
The CURF is available via the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). More information, including how to access it, is available through the ABS CURF Microdata page.
CHANGES TO AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS
The frequency of the Average Weekly Earnings survey changed from quarterly to six-monthly in 2012. The May 2012 publication (released in August 2012) was the last quarterly issue, with the November 2012 publication the first produced on a biannual basis (to be released in February 2013). From 2013 onwards, AWE data will be produced twice a year relating to the May and November quarters. This change was first advised to users in the May 2011 issue of Average Weekly Earnings, Australia (cat. no. 6302.0). The collection methodology has not changed - data is still collected for the reference week ending the third Friday of the third week of the middle month of the quarter, and released on the same basis as before for the two remaining quarters.
An assessment of the feasibility of releasing seasonally adjusted and trend estimates determined that seasonal factors remain present and can be calculated on a biannual basis. However, it should be noted that calculating seasonally adjusted and trend estimates using only two points of measurements each year, rather than the four points available in a quarterly survey, will likely result in a change in the level of these series.
An information paper containing further details about these changes was released in April 2012 and is available on the ABS website. Please see: Information Paper: Changes to Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, April 2012 (cat. no. 6302.0.55.002).
If you would like further information about the changes to Average Weekly Earnings statistics please contact the Manager, Survey of Average Weekly Earnings on Perth (08) 9360 5304.
INTRODUCTION TO LABOUR STATISTICS TRAINING
Introduction to Labour Statistics is a one-day training course that is designed for anyone who uses or needs to understand ABS Labour Statistics. The course provides an overview of the range of concepts and issues associated with ABS labour statistics. It explores the data produced by both household and employer based collections, and highlights the range of data available.
Courses are scheduled for delivery in 2013 for most state/territory capital cities. For more details about the training course, or to register interest in attending, please refer to the ABS Training page or contact Pourus Bharucha on (02) 6252 6218 or email <email@example.com>
Persons Not in the Labour Force
In March 2013, the ABS released Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, Sep 2012 (cat. no, 6220.0), which presents information about people aged 15 years and over who are not in the labour force: that is, neither employed nor unemployed. The data measures the potential supply of labour not reflected in employment and unemployment statistics, and measure characteristics of that potential supply.
The survey results show there were just over 6 million people, or a third of Australians aged 15 years and over who were not in the labour force in September 2012 and just under 1.3 million (21%) of them wanted to work. Of this 1.3 million people, 106,600 were discouraged job seekers, who wanted to work and were available to start work within the next four weeks if offered a job, but were not actively looking for a job because they believed they would not find one. More details are available from the publication.
In March 2013, the ABS released Industrial Disputes, Australia, Dec 2012 (cat. no. 6321.0.55.001), which presents number of disputes, employees involved, working days lost and working days lost per 1,000 employees in industrial disputes involving stoppages of work of 10 days or more, classified by state, industry, cause of dispute, working days lost per employee involved and reason work resumed.
The survey results show there were 27,300 employees involved in industrial disputes and 25,700 working days lost due to industrial disputation in the December 2012 quarter. The coal mining industry had the highest number of working days lost per thousand employees (56.8) in the the December 2012 quarter. More details are available from the publication.
In February 2013, the ABS released Underemployed Workers, Australia, Sep 2012 (cat no. 6265.0), which presents information about underemployed workers aged 15 years and over in Septermber 2012. The survey included information on the number of hours they usually worked, number of preferred hours, steps taken to find work with more hours and difficulties finding work with more hours.
The survey results show over a quarter of part-time workers (27%) aged 15-24 years want to work more hours. Nearly a quarter (24%) of all part-time workers stated they would prefer to work more hours, of which 36% were men and 64% were women. While more women were employed part-time, a higher proportion of male part-time workers were underemployed (28% compared with 19% of women). More details are available from the publication.
Average Weekly Earnings
In February 2013, the ABS released Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Nov 2012 (cat. no. 6302.0), which contains estimates of average weekly ordinary time earnings and average weekly total earnings for full-time adult employees, and average weekly total earnings for all employees, classified by sector and state or territory and by industry at the Australia level, for males, females and persons. The February 2013 issue was released in a new e-magazine (HTML) format, and includes a feature article examining salary sacrifice in Australia.
The survey results show that full-time adult ordinary time earnings were $1.489 per week for males and $1,228 per week for females in November 2012. More details are available from the publication.
In January 2013, the ABS released Job Vacancies, Australia, Nov 2012 (cat. no. 6354.0), which presents estimates of the number of job vacancies with state and territory and industry dissections.
The survey results show that total job vacancies in November 2012 were 169.9 a decrease of 2.2% from August 2012. More details are available from the publication.
Employee Earnings and Hours
In January 2013, the ABS released Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, May 2012 (cat. no. 6306.0), which presents statistics on the composition and distribution of earnings and hours of employees and whether their pay is set by award, collective agreement or individual agreement.
The survey results show that one in ten full-time employees earned $2,364 or more per week and also one in ten full-time employees earned $738 or less per week in May 2012. The highest average weekly total earnings reported for all employees were for Managers ($1,926) and Professionals ($1,438) and the lowest average weekly total cash earnings were reported for Sales workers ($607), Community and personal service workers ($707), and Labourers ($779). More details are available from the publication.
The ABS plans to release a CURF from the 2012 Employee Earnings and Hours survey in mid 2013.
Job Search Experience
In January 2013, the ABS released Job Search Experience, Australia, July 2012 (cat. no. 6220.0), presents information on the experiences of unemployed people seeking work such as, steps taken to find work, difficulties encountered in finding work, duration of current period of unemployment, whether looking for full-time or part-time work, educational attainment and number of spells of looking for work in the previous 12 months.
The survey results show that almost one in five (19.6%) unemployed people in July 2012 were unemployed for one year or more. Around 1.7 million people had started their current job in the last 12 months to July 2012 and nearly a quarter of people (23%) searched for less than a month before starting their job while 34 per cent did not look for work. More details are available from the publication.
This page first published 11 December 2012, last updated 12 April 2013