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Labour market statistics



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INEWS RELEASE FROM THE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS THE HON. TONY STREET, M R

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LABOUR MARKET STATISTICS

The Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Mr Tony Street, stressed today the need for reliable information on the level of unemployment to be available on a regular basis. The recent Morgan Poll, showing wide discrepancies between its figures and those of the CES, has again demonstrated this need.

It has long been accepted by experts in the area that CES statistics are an inadequate measure of the total level of unused labour resources. This was recognised, for example, by the Advisory Committee on CES Statistics appointed by the Labor Government in 1973.

The defects of CES statistics as indicators of the absolute level of unemployment primarily arise from the fact that they are collected as a by-product of the CES job placement function. In consequence, the accuracy of the figures can be adversely affected by administrative procedures and changes in them.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics currently produces a Quarterly Labour Force Survey on a basis which closely conforms with widely accepted international practices.

The Norgard Review of the CES recommended that "the Australian Bureau of Statistics should as a matter of highest priority, introduce a Monthly Labour Force Survey to provide GovernĀ­ ment policy-makers with more reliable labour market information."

The ABS has had many years of experience in the collection and analysis of a variety of labour statistics and has a deservedly high reputation, both nationally and internationally, for its competence in the area. The ABS Quarterly Labour Force Survey figures are already used as an official source of information on unemployment in Australia by overseas publications.

A regular Monthly Labour Force Survey will be introduced as from February 1978 and the first results released in March.

This ABS Survey will provide the community with more accurate and additional information on the labour market. CES statistics will continue to be available, simulataneously with the ABS figures.

MELBOURNE 11 November 1977