26 September 2023

Bureau of Stats funded for more data

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is to receive extra funding to measure the barriers facing disadvantaged people who are finding it hard to enter the labour force.

Announcing the initiative, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh and Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, said the move followed a Summit on Jobs and Skills.

Dr Leigh and Ms Rishworth said the $4 million package would increase the frequency of collecting the data from every two years as it is, to annually, with a partial data release to occur quarterly.

“The move will ensure Government, business and policy makers can be better armed with information on what is preventing disadvantaged cohorts from entering the workforce,” Dr Leigh and Ms Rishworth said.

“For Government in particular it will assist in targeting future policy responses,” they said.

“Current survey data does not allow for robust estimates on barriers and incentives for participation specific to key sub-populations.”

The pair said the ABS would work with key Departments across the Government to identify and leverage existing administrative datasets to supplement survey data and provide improved insights on the unique barriers and incentives relevant to the sub-populations,

Ms Rishworth said the combination of survey and administrative data would be aimed to provide information on barriers for women, unpaid carers, people with a disability, older people, First Nations people, culturally and linguistically diverse people and those living in remote areas.

Dr Leigh said while data had been collected over time, releasing more frequent data sets would help generate the best policy outcomes.

“Data is currently released every two years but will now be published every quarter alongside an annual release,” he said.

“This will include updated information in November.”

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