This statement provides background information on issues identified in seasonally adjusted labour force estimates over the period July-September 2014, on the investigations undertaken to understand these issues and the proposed approach for the release of the October 2014 labour force estimates on 6 November 2014.
The key points are:
- The ABS took the unusual step of setting the seasonal factors for most labour force series to one for July, August and September 2014.
- A review of labour force estimates has identified changes in the seasonal patterns of most labour force series as a result of changes in the supplementary survey program from February 2014.
- Labour force series other than those for aggregate monthly hours worked will be seasonally adjusted using a new method that treats effects from supplementary surveys as “prior corrections” rather than as ongoing seasonal influences.
- The new method will be introduced into labour force seasonally adjusted series from December 2013 onwards in the October 2014 labour force release
– prior to December 2013, the seasonal factors will be based on a concurrent analysis on the original (unadjusted) estimates up to and including September 2014
– as a result, the seasonally adjusted estimates have changed slightly prior to December 2013 compared with those published in the September issue of Labour Force, Australia
– these seasonally adjusted estimates will not change until the annual seasonal reanalysis is completed in early 2015
– the seasonal factors for months from December 2013 will be reanalysed as each extra month is added to the series so revisions to the seasonally adjusted estimates from December 2013 will continue to occur monthly.
- The new method will be introduced into the full length of the seasonally adjusted labour force estimates from February 1978 after the annual seasonal reanalysis is completed in early 2015
– some estimates in these earlier months will be revised but most estimates will not be materially affected by this process.