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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Known unknowns about the same sex marriage survey

Following its failure to reintroduce the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016 to the Senate Notice Paper, the Government has directed the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to conduct a survey of all electors ‘about whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry’. In the absence of enabling legislation, and with no historical precedent of the ABS running a national survey of all electors, there remain many unanswered questions as to how the vote will proceed, both in terms of law and logistics. Read more...

Voluntary postal poll on same-sex marriage

On 8 August 2017 the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, announced that the Government would be re-introducing its 2016 legislation for a compulsory plebiscite on same-sex marriage (the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016). The Minister also stated that, should the Bill again fail to pass the Parliament, the Government will conduct a ‘voluntary postal plebiscite’ on same-sex marriage for Australians on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll, with results by 15 November 2017. On 9 August 2017 the Government’s motion to bring the Bill before the Senate failed, and Minister Cormann subsequently indicated that the Government will proceed with the postal po... Read more...

You work where? Where Australians Lived and Worked, 2006 and 2011

The Parliamentary Library has constructed two maps using Census data to illustrate the journeys Australians took to travel to work in 2006 and 2011.    Click for larger images.   About the data The lines on the above maps represent the net journeys between regions. The net journey is the difference between the number of people travelling to and from two regions. For example, if five people travelled from region B to region A and three people travelled from region A to region B, the net number of journeys to from region B to region A is two. No indication of direction of travel is given in these maps. A line’s thickness is representative of the net number of people trave... Read more...

What is a census-able way to run a census?

This is part of a series of FlagPosts exploring what the Census is, why it’s important, how other countries run censuses and what the alternatives—either officially proposed or informally discussed—may be (Part 1: Potential changes to the Australian Census: could it kill the goose that lays the statistical golden egg?). Read more...

ABS Labour Force revisions: a botch job or short term pain for long term gain?

Prior to releasing the September Labour Force Survey (LFS) results this month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced they were taking the unusual step of dropping the seasonally adjusted Labour Force estimates for July, August and September. Many users of the monthly survey results have since expressed concern about the quality and reliability of the estimates. Some of the commentary has suggested the recent issue with the estimates was due in part to budget cutbacks to the statistics agency. However, the recent volatility in the seasonally adjusted estimates is more likely to be associated with the changes the ABS has made to the LFS program rather than any budget pressures th... Read more...

Youth unemployment rates in small geographic areas - 2013

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently changed the dissemination of regional data from the monthly Labour Force Survey to reflect a new geographic standard. The Labour Force Survey is a key source of data on employment, unemployment, the labour force and associated rates and ratios.  Read more...

Snapshot of employment by industry, 2012 to 2013

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) release data on employed people by industry (in their main job, where a person holds more than one job) in the quarterly publication Labour Force, detailed, quarterly, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003. Data is available since November 1984, with the most recent data being November 2013. Read more...

Experience of violence in Australia

On the 11th of December 2013, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the results of its 2012 Personal Safety Survey (PSS). This much anticipated survey on the safety of Australians aged 18 years and over is the second release of the PSS, with the first being released in 2005. The PSS collects information about the nature and extent of violence experienced by men and women since the age of 15 and includes their experiences of violence in the 12 months prior to the survey. Information has been collected on: domestic violence by a current or previous partner; lifetime experiences of stalking; physical and sexual abuse and the general feeling of safety.The ABS defines violence in this cont... Read more...

Retirement intentions and labour force participation by older workers

On 9 December 2013, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the results of its 2012–13 survey on retirement and retirement intentions. The data collected by the survey provides information on retirement trends, the factors which influence decisions to retire, and the income arrangements that retirees and potential retirees have made to provide for their retirement. Another indicator of retirement behaviour is the participation by older workers in the labour force.Labour force participation amongst older workers has increased significantly over the past 15 years, particularly among females (Figure 1). The decision to retire is an important factor in understanding whether such an in... Read more...

Employed people or jobs: semantics or an important difference in terminology?

Image source: Wikimedia Commons.In March (2013), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released new analysis of the Australian labour market based on jobs. Their article, Estimating jobs in the Australian Labour Market, outlines the differences between the number of jobs and the number of employed people, and complements regular labour market data produced by the ABS. Estimates of the number of jobs were produced using the monthly Labour Force Survey, the quarterly Job Vacancies Survey and the 2007 Survey of Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation.Changes in estimates of employed people may mistakenly be referred to as jobs ’created’ or ‘lost’. However, a job is the (paid)... Read more...

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