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National Disability Agreement: PI g-Proportion of carers of people with disability participating in the labour force, 2013 QS

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term561720
Registration status:Help on this termDisability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 23/05/2013

Relational attributes

Indicators linked to this Quality statement:Help on this term

National Disability Agreement: g(1)-Proportion of carers (of people with disability) who are in the labour force, 2013 Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 23/05/2013

National Disability Agreement: g(2)-Proportion of carers (of people with disability) who are employed, 2013 Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 23/05/2013

National Disability Agreement: g(3)-Proportion of carers (of people with disability) in the labour force who are unemployed, 2013 Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 23/05/2013

National Disability Agreement: g(4)-Proportion of carers (of people with disability) who are underemployed, 2013 Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 23/05/2013

Data quality

Institutional environment:Help on this term

The SDAC is collected, processed, and published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS operates within the framework of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975. These ensure the independence and impartiality of the ABS, and the confidentiality of respondents.

For more information on the institutional environment of the ABS, including legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

Timeliness:Help on this termThe SDAC is currently conducted every three years. Results from the 2009 survey were released in April 2011.
Accessibility:Help on this termInformation is available to aid interpretation of SDAC data - see the Disability, Ageing and Carers User Guide, on the ABS website.
Interpretability:Help on this termSee Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2009 (cat. no. 4430.0) for an overview of results from the SDAC. Other information from the survey is available on request.
Relevance:Help on this term

The SDAC collects information about primary carers and non-primary carers of people with disabilities.

Tables for this indicator are presented for two groups of carers — ‘primary carers’ and ‘all carers’ (primary and non-primary carers combined) – with a third population group (‘non-carers’) included for comparison purposes.

A primary carer is a person who provides the most informal assistance, in terms of help or supervision, to a person with one or more disabilities. The assistance has to be ongoing, or likely to be ongoing, for at least six months and be provided for one or more of the core activities (communication, mobility and self-care). In this survey, primary carers only include persons aged 15 years and over for whom a personal interview was conducted.

Where the primary carer has more than one recipient of care, the person who the carer considers receives the most care and attention from him/her is referred to as the main recipient of care.

More generally, a carer is a person who provides any informal assistance, in terms of help or supervision, to persons with disabilities or long-term conditions or persons who are elderly (i.e. aged 60 years or over). The assistance has to be ongoing, or likely to be ongoing, for at least six months. Where the care recipient lives in the same household, the assistance is for one or more of the following core and non-core activities:

  • cognition/emotion
  • communication
  • health care
  • household chores
  • meal preparation
  • mobility
  • property maintenance
  • reading or writing
  • self-care
  • transport.

For this indicator, ‘primary carers’ consist of a subpopulation of primary carers identified in the SDAC. This category contains primary carers with main recipient of care aged:

  • 0–64 years, or
  • 65 years and over, but only where the carer is also caring for someone aged 0–64 years who lives with the carer and the recipient aged 0–64 years has a profound or severe core activity limitation.


‘All carers’ is a subpopulation of carers identified in the SDAC, and consists of two groups of carers: primary carers as specified above, and a group of non-primary carers (i.e. carers who are not primary carers). This latter group contains carers who are caring for someone who lives with the carer and the recipient is either aged 60–64 years and has a reported disability, or is aged 0–59 years. Included are some carers identified in the SDAC as primary carers but who are not included as ‘primary carers’ for this indicator — those caring for a recipient as specified in the previous sentence but whose main recipient is aged 65 years and over.

As age and disability status are collected or derived from information provided in interviews with the responsible adult and/or the recipient of care, these data items are only available for recipients of care (other than, for primary carers, the main recipient of care) where the recipient lives with the carer. Therefore, the data may exclude some carers who would otherwise be in-scope if age and disability status information was available for all their recipients of care.

'Non-carers’ consist of people not identified in the SDAC as having a caring role to people of any age.

Labour force participation data is collected in the SDAC using the ABS standard ‘minimum set’ of questions to produce estimates of the current economically active population. Aggregates produced from these questions are designed to be consistent with international concepts of employment and unemployment.

All tables for this indicator are restricted to people aged 15–64 years.

Accuracy:Help on this term

The 2009 SDAC response rate for private dwellings was 89.9 per cent, and for establishments was 90.9 per cent. SDAC data are weighted to account for non-response.

The SDAC is conducted in all states and territories including people in both private and non-private dwellings (including cared-accommodation establishments) but excluding those in gaols and correctional institutions and very remote areas. The exclusion of persons usually resident in very remote areas has a small impact on estimates, except for the Northern Territory, where such persons make up a relatively large proportion of the population. For more information on SDAC scope and coverage, see the Disability, Ageing and Carers User Guide on the ABS website.

Being drawn from sample surveys, data for this indicator is subject to sampling error. Sampling error occurs because a proportion of the population is used to produce estimates that represent the whole population. Sampling error can be reliably estimated as it is calculated based on the statistical methods used to design surveys.

This indicator has varied levels of sampling error, and in some cases data are not able to be provided for confidentiality and unreliability reasons. This particularly affects data for measure g.iii (unemployment rate). As the total labour force is the sum of those employed and unemployed, where unemployment data cannot be provided, corresponding data for measure g.ii (employment rate) are also not able to be provided. The SDAC sample in 2009 was double compared to 2003, and therefore data for 2003 may be subject to higher levels of sampling error than corresponding data in 2009.

Tables for measure g.iii (unemployment rate) have relative standard errors (RSEs) consistently 25 per cent or greater, with some of the data having RSEs of 50 per cent or greater.

Tables for measures g.i (labour force participation rate) and g.ii (employment rate) tend to have lower levels of sampling error, with most estimates having RSEs of less than 25 per cent.

Data with RSEs of 25 per cent to 50 per cent should be used with caution, and data with RSEs of 50 per cent or greater are not considered too unreliable for general use.

Disability status is derived from information provided in interviews with the responsible adult and/or the recipient of care. In a small number of cases (less than 1 per cent in 2009), the primary carer or the responsible adult indicated that assistance was provided with core activities, however the recipient (aged 0–59 years) did not have a reported disability (was either not identified in the disability screening questions answered by the responsible adult or, in the personal interview, stated that he/she did not need assistance with core activities). These carers remain in the data.

Coherence:Help on this term

The SDAC collects a range of demographic, financial and other information that can be analysed in conjunction with the labour force participation rate of carers of persons with a disability.

The labour force information collected in SDAC is designed to be comparable with data collected in the monthly Labour Force Survey and other surveys.

Both the numerator and the denominator are drawn from the same dataset, with the numerator being a subset of the denominator population. The denominator population is the same in all applicable tables (either total persons or total labour force, aged 15–64 years).

Estimates of primary carers in a particular population group presented in these tables may not match estimates for primary carers in the same population group presented in other NDA indicators.

Refinements have been made to the specifications of the two carer populations for this indicator, and therefore data for measure g.i (labour force participation – previously indicator 7) have been resupplied.

The particular specification of the in-scope carer population for this indicator represents only 55 per cent of the carer population (aged 15–64 years) identified in the SDAC, and therefore comparisons with other published information on carers sourced from the SDAC should be made with caution.

The sum of ‘all carers’ and ‘non-carers’ in these tables will not provide the total population aged 15–64 years as the tables exclude completely the remaining 45 per cent of carers (aged 15–64 years) identified in the SDAC who are out-of-scope for this indicator. Mostly, these carers are out-of-scope because they are not caring for someone aged 0-64 years.

In 2009, the identification process for primary carers in the SDAC was expanded to include members of the household who the recipient of care identified as their main care provider. Therefore, comparisons between 2009 data and previous years cannot be made. For some tables presented for this indicator, a primary carer definition based on the 2003 identification process is also included for the purposes of comparison with 2003 data. For further details on the methodology change, see explanatory notes in Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2009 (cat. no. 4430.0).

Data products

Implementation start date:Help on this term28/06/2009

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termThe Australian Bureau of Statistics
Steward:Help on this termDisability Policy and Research Working Group (DPRWG)
Origin:Help on this termSCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2012, National Agreement Performance Information 2011-12: National Disability Agreement, Productivity Commission, Canberra.
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