2007.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Consultation on Topics, 2021  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/04/2018   
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INCOME AND WORK

The ABS is consulting to seek views on the information to be collected in the next Census and this topic brief provides detail about what has been previously included on income and work.

The opportunity to participate in the consultation will be available from 3 April to 30 June 2018 via consult.abs.gov.au


WHAT WAS INCLUDED IN THE 2016 CENSUS?

Income and work topics on the Census included:

  • income
  • labour force status
  • status in employment
  • hours worked
  • self-employed - number of employees
  • occupation
  • industry of employment.


HOW IS THIS INFORMATION USED?

Questions on the Census about income and work provide insight into Australian society and the performance of the economy.

Income data provides an indication of living standards within various household types, across different areas of Australia. Employment and unemployment figures can highlight how many people are working or looking for work at a local level across specific population groups. Occupation and industry of employment can be used to plan education and other services. For example, understanding how many health care professionals work in rural areas can highlight where shortages exist and influence programs to better meet community needs.

Workplace address information is collected to better understand how people travel to work. For more about the information collected on workplace addresses, refer to the Transport topic brief.

If you are interested in questions asked about unpaid work, read our Unpaid work and care topic brief.


THE QUESTIONS ASKED ON THE 2016 CENSUS
  • What is the total of all income the person usually receives?
  • Last week, did the person have a job of any kind?
  • In the main job held last week, was the person: Working for an employer/ Working in own business?
  • Was the person's business: Unincorporated/Incorporated?
  • Does the person's business employ people?
  • In the main job held last week, what was the person's occupation?
  • What was the employer’s business name?
  • What are the main tasks that the person usually performs in that occupation?
  • What best describes the industry or business of the employer at the location where the person works?
  • What are the main goods produced or main services provided by the employer's business?
  • Last week, how many hours did the person work in all jobs?
  • Did the person actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?
  • If the person found a job, could the person have started work last week?


DATA PRODUCED FROM THE 2016 CENSUS

Questions about income and work provide data on:
For more information view 2901.0 - Census Dictionary


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2016 CENSUS ON INCOME AND WORK
Source: 2071.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia - Stories from the Census, 2016

Infographic showing the median personal income reported in each state or territory.
Infographic showing the median personal income reported in each state or territory.

Infographic showing the top four Occupations for males and females.
Infographic showing the top four Occupations for males and females.

Infographic showing the top four industries of employment for males and females.
Infographic showing the top four industries of employment for males and females.

Infographic showing the Average hours worked in week prior to Census for males and females by age groups.
Infographic showing the Average hours worked in week prior to Census for males and females by age groups.


STANDARDS

The ABS uses the standards below to classify statistics relating to labour force and income. Classifications of industry and occupation are also used for defining occupations and the industries of employment:
1287.0 - Standards for Income Variables, Jun 2015
1288.0 - Standards for Labour Force Statistics, Issue for Dec 2014
1220.0 - ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.2
1292.0 - Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 2.0)


WHAT HAVE WE HEARD FROM YOU ABOUT THE 2021 CENSUS?

The ABS has undertaken initial discussions and reviewed feedback from the 2016 Census in preparation for this consultation.

Feedback from stakeholders has indicated that income and work are critically important topics to include on the 2021 Census.

The work topic encompasses a number of data outputs. These include items such as industry of employment, occupation, hours worked and status in employment. These data items make up the core work topic the Census collects. The work data from Census is vital to government economic modelling and will continue to be collected on the Census. Knowing how many people work in different jobs and industries in particular areas provides the information required on skill shortages and training needs so that jobs for the future can be planned.

Understanding the sources of a respondent's income, such as government pensions, allowances, investment income, wages and superannuation, has been noted by some stakeholders as a way to better understand income paths and patterns of various populations in Australia. This information may be useful to support planning for population segments who rely on government assistance, as an example.

This consultation is an opportunity for you to provide your views on what income and work information should be collected on the 2021 Census.


OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON THIS TOPIC

The ABS collects data on work and income through a number of different collections. Listed below is a selection of ABS publications and other relevant sources.

A key data collection for Income and Work is the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). SIH is conducted every two years as a standalone survey and combine with Household Expenditure Survey every three cycles (six years). Detailed user guides on SIH and the combined SIH and HES are included in the technical and supporting documentation section below. In addition, comprehensive microdata is available on the ABS website.

6523.0 - Household Income and Wealth, Australia, 2015-16
This publication features key information about household income and wealth from the Survey of Income and Housing 2015-16. Tables and commentary show the distribution of income and wealth across the population, over time and by various household characteristics (e.g. income and wealth quintiles, main source of income, wealth, household type, tenure and employment status).

6530.0 - Household Expenditure Survey, Australia, Summary of Results, 2015-16
The Household Expenditure Survey (HES) collects information about all sources of income, wealth, housing and expenditure from residents in private dwellings in Australia (excluding very remote areas). The HES also collects detailed information about financial stress.

6524.0.55.002 - Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas, 2011-2015
This information paper based on data sourced from the Australian Tax Office and presents regional data on the number of income earners, amounts they receive, and the distribution of income. Data is available for income from employment, own businesses, investments, superannuation and annuities and any other income excluding government pensions and allowances.

6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia
The Labour Force Survey is the leading source of data for monitoring Australia’s labour market conditions, and produces the most authoritative and recent estimates of labour market information, including employment and unemployment. Labour force statistics are published monthly by the ABS.

6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2017
The Survey of Education and Work provides annual information on a range of key indicators of educational participation and attainment of persons aged 15-74 years, along with data on people's transition between education and work.

4159.0 - General Social Survey 2014
The General Social Survey (GSS) aims to provide an understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of relative advantage and disadvantage across the population, and to facilitate reporting on and monitoring of people's opportunities to participate fully in society. The survey collects information on various aspects of work and income including occupation, main duties and hours worked. The next GSS will be conducted in 2019.

Household, Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) survey
The Melbourne Institute runs the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. This longitudinal panel survey collects valuable information about economic and personal well-being, labour market dynamics and family life. One portion of HILDA collects a measure of time spent in domestic activity.


TECHNICAL AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

6503.0 – Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2015-16
This user guide contains details about the combined cycle of Survey of Income and Housing and the Household Expenditure Survey conducted in 2015-16. It includes information about the purpose of the survey, the concepts and contents, and the methods and procedures used to collect the data and derive the estimates.

6553.0 - Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013-14
This user guide contains details about the non-HES cycle of the Survey of Income and Housing conducted in 2013–14. It includes information about the purpose of the survey, the concepts and contents, and the methods and procedures used to collect the data and derive the estimates.

2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia, 2016
This publication provides information to help people use and interpret 2016 Census data. The articles 'The 2016 Census and the Labour Force Survey' and 'Place of Work' include additional information on specific concepts relevant to the topics outlined in this brief.

What are your income and work data needs? Share your views with us on the most useful information we should collect in the 2021 Census. Make your submission to our review of 2021 Census topics at the ABS Consultation Hub.