Incorrect claim that ABS admitted NT Labour Force statistics are 'skewed' (NT News, 10 December 2004)

NT unemployment numbers not skewed

The article that appeared in the NT News on Friday 10 December headed "Jobless numbers down" contains a significant error of fact. The ABS has not "admitted" that NT Labour Force statistics are skewed. What we have said is that these numbers are subject to greater volatility than those compiled for the other states and territory. This is a consequence of the Territory's relatively small population.

As I have outlined in previous public statements, including a letter published in this paper, NT labour force figures are compiled using well tested methodologies that are on a par with the best in the world. NT labour force figures are a good indicator of change over time, but there are times when caution in interpretation of short term movements is warranted.

Robyn Elliott
Regional Director
Australian Bureau of Statistics, NT