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Labour Market Statistics: March 2015 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  06 May 2015
Revisions

Household Labour Force Survey

Each quarter, we apply the seasonal adjustment process to the latest quarter and all previous quarters. Every estimate is subject to revision each quarter as new data is added, which means that seasonally adjusted estimates for previous quarters may change slightly. In practice, estimates more than two years from the end-point will change little.

The December 2014 quarter unemployment rate was revised from 5.7 percent to 5.8 percent after seasonal adjustment was applied. However, this change takes into account the revised unemployment rate after the rebase from the 2013 Census.

See Household Labour Force Survey population rebase from 2013 Census: Includes regional benchmarks for more information.

While the rounded unemployment rate after the rebase was unchanged at 5.7 percent, in unrounded terms it was very close to the rounding boundary.

The following table lists the changes in estimates between the current and previous quarters for the seasonally adjusted data. 

Percent revision from last estimate, seasonally adjusted
Quarter Male employed Female employed Male unemployed Female unemployed Male not in labour force Female not in labour force
Mar 2014 0.00 0.00 -0.73 -0.39 0.20 0.06
Jun 2014 -0.01 0.04 -0.01 -0.10 -0.01 -0.12
Sep 2014 0.00 0.00 0.10 0.09 -0.03 0.07
Dec 2014 0.02 -0.03 0.62 -0.43 -0.18 -0.02

The following table presents revisions for the trend estimates. Trend revisions are generally larger than those of the seasonally adjusted data.

Percent revision from last estimate, trend
Quarter Male employed Female employed Male unemployed Female unemployed Male not in labour force Female not in labour force

Dec 2013

0.00

-0.07

 -0.27

0.05

0.07

0.18

Mar 2014

-0.01

-0.12

-0.31

0.15

0.07

 0.26

Jun 2014

0.01

-0.06

-1.07

0.10

0.19

 0.43

Sep 2014

0.10

-0.16

2.45

 -1.20

-0.73

1.06

The table below shows the average of all such absolute revisions, expressed relatively, and gives some indication to what extent the current estimates might be revised when the revised data for the next quarter becomes available.

Mean absolute percent revisions
Seasonally adjusted Trend
1-step 4-step 1-step 4-step
Male employed 0.04 0.08 0.16 0.17
Female employed 0.06 0.10 0.24 0.24
Male unemployed 0.48 0.78 1.78 1.81
Female unemployed 0.49 0.87 1.81 1.85
Male not in labour force 0.09 0.16 0.36 0.36
Female not in labour force 0.09 0.14 0.35 0.36

In the table above, a ‘1-step ahead’ revision is one made to an estimate one quarter later. For example, if in the March 2010 quarter the seasonally adjusted estimate of females employed was first published as 1,020,000, and then in the June 2010 quarter this same estimate was revised to 1,022,000, this would be an upward revision of 0.20 percent.

A ‘4-step ahead’ revision is one made to an estimate four quarters later. For example, if in the March 2010 quarter release the trend estimate of females not in the labour force was first published as 665,000 and then in the March 2011 release, one year later, the trend estimate of females not in the labour force for the March 2010 quarter was revised to 664,000, this would be a decrease of 1,000, or a downward revision of 0.15 percent.

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