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

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The question of sexual orientation... Something for Census 2021?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is exploring potential new topics to include in the 2021 Census of Population and Housing (‘Census’). They are also looking to enhance existing topics to make them more meaningful and reviewing the overall content to ensure it remains relevant. As part of this process, the ABS conducted a public consultation earlier this year. From the 445 submissions received, the ABS has created a short list of topics considered to have a strong or moderate case for change. While the options are still being explored, the inclusion of a question on sexual orientation would provide a depth of information not currently available at the population level. Qu... Read more...

Pregnancy and childbirth's impact on work

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the next instalment of data from the survey of Pregnancy and Employment Transitions. This little known survey is conducted every six years as a special topic in the November Labour Force Survey. The first survey was undertaken in 2005 and the most recent survey in 2017. The current release provides comparisons to 2011 data, where relevant.  Read more...

Working out the numbers—Unemployment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides monthly updates of labour force data, but what do these numbers mean and how are they interpreted? Previous posts have provided background information on the Labour Force Survey and on employment figures. This post focuses on the key unemployment numbers and rates. Read more...

Working out the numbers—Employment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides monthly updates of labour force data, but what do these numbers mean and how are they interpreted? An earlier post provided background information on the Labour Force Survey. This article focuses on the key employment numbers and rates produced from that survey. Read more...

Working out the numbers—the Labour Force Survey

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the country’s official statistical agency. They are responsible for running the five-yearly Census, but also for producing a range of other national data, including the monthly labour force. But, what do these figures mean and where do they come from? The focus of this piece is on the source of the data, the ABS Labour Force Survey. Future statistics FlagPosts will aim to explain some of the key numbers. Read more...

Use of 2016 Census data to inform on electorate level employment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released additional results from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. This includes information about people who work: where they work; who they work for; what type of work they do; their hours of work; and how they travel to and from work. The Census release also provides data on people who were studying or had completed a non-school qualification, those who did any unpaid work, and information on population mobility. The focus of this article is on employment.  Read more...

What can HILDA tell you about Australia?

The latest results of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey were released in a report published on 2 August 2017. The results relate to data collected from 2001 to 2015. HILDA is a nationally representative longitudinal study of Australian households funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and managed by the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne. The major advantage of the HILDA survey is its longitudinal nature. Since 2001, questions have been asked of the same individuals and households every year— allowing researchers to examine how aspects of these individuals and households’ lives change over time. If the... Read more...

Can we trust Census data?

 The 2016 Census didn’t run as smoothly as the statisticians would have liked. In response to privacy concerns, hardware failure and denial of service attacks on Census night, as well as ongoing criticism by media and the public, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) established an Independent Assurance Panel. The Panel’s task was to review and assure the quality of statistical outputs from the 2016 Census. Coinciding with the first major release of 2016 Census data, the Panel’s report  was released today.   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...

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