EXPLANATORY NOTES – Extract
INTRODUCTION: This publication contains estimates of the civilian labour force derived from the Labour Force Survey component of the Monthly Population Survey. The full time series for estimates from this publication are also available electronically. More detailed estimates are released one week after this publication in various electronic formats – see Labour Force, Australia, Detailed – Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) and Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003).
CONCEPTS, SOURCES AND METHODS: The conceptual framework used in Australia’s Labour Force Survey aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of International Conferences of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia’s labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling the estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) which is available on the ABS website <http://www.abs.gov.au>.
LABOUR FORCE SURVEY: The Labour Force Survey is based on a multi-stage area sample of private dwellings (currently approximately 26,000 houses, flats, etc.), a list sample of non-private dwellings (hotels, motels, etc.), and covers approximately 0.32% of the civilian population of Australia aged 15 years and over.
- Information is obtained from the occupants of selected dwellings by specially trained interviewers using computer-assisted interviewing, or self-completion online.
- Households selected for the Labour Force Survey are interviewed each month for eight months, with one-eighth of the sample being replaced each month. The first interview is generally conducted face-to-face. Subsequent interviews are conducted by telephone (if acceptable to the respondent).
- From December 2012 to April 2013, the ABS conducted a trial of online electronic data collection. Respondents in a single rotation group (i.e. one-eighth of the survey sample) were offered the option of self completing their labour force survey questionnaire online instead of via a face-to-face or telephone interview. From May 2013, the ABS expanded the offer of online electronic collection to 50% of each new incoming rotation group. For more information see the article in the April 2013 issue of this publication. From September 2013, online electronic collection has been offered to 100% of private dwellings in each incoming rotation group. From April 2014, 100% of private dwellings are being offered online electronic collection.
- The interviews are generally conducted during the two weeks beginning on the Sunday between the 5th and 11th of each month. The information obtained relates to the week before the interview (i.e. the reference week). Each year, to deal with the operational difficulties involved with collecting and processing the Labour Force Survey around the Christmas and New Year holiday period, interviews for December start four weeks after November interviews start (i.e. between the 3rd and 9th December), and January interviews start five weeks after December interviews start. As a result, January interviewing may commence as early as the 7th or as late as the 13th, depending on the year. Occasionally, circumstances that present significant operational difficulties for survey collection can result in a change to the normal pattern for the start of interviewing.
- Estimates from the Labour Force Survey are usually published first in this publication 39 days after the commencement of interviews for that month, with the exception of estimates for each December which are usually published 46 days after the commencement of interviews.
SCOPE OF SURVEY: 9 The Labour Force Survey includes all persons aged 15 years and over except members of the permanent defence forces, certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments customarily excluded from census and estimated population counts, overseas residents in Australia, and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia.
COVERAGE: In the Labour Force Survey, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection. The coverage rules are necessarily a balance between theoretical and operational considerations. Nevertheless, the chance of a person being enumerated at two separate dwellings in the survey is considered to be negligible.
SOURCE: Australian Bureau of Statistics. “Labour Force, Australia, April 2017.” ABS No. 6202.0 18 May 2017.
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