ABS responds to “ABS admits it produced bad statistics” (Canberra Times, 3 July 2012, page 2)

ABS jobless figures are accurate

The ABS labour force statistics are correct, contrary to Peter Martin’s article, “ABS admits it produced bad statistics” (Canberra Times 3 July 2012). The ABS provides the best available labour force estimates to the government, the market and the community, and it stands behind its methods. To produce the monthly labour force estimates, the ABS uses data from its labour force survey as well as population estimates. To incorporate information about changes in the population, the ABS routinely updates the population estimates which feed into the monthly labour force statistics. However, the impact of these recent updates is statistically insignificant.

The ABS is committed to producing the highest quality statistics about the labour market. The ABS labour force survey is the largest and most comprehensive household survey conducted nationally, collecting information about 60,000 people each month. ABS labour force statistics form a strong evidence base for decision makers.

Brian Pink
Australian Statistician
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra ACT