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Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (Additional Information)

OVERVIEW OF LABOUR STATISTICS

PURPOSE

This publication provides a comprehensive account of the concepts and definitions underpinning Australian labour statistics, and the data sources and methods used to compile them. It explains:

What the statistics measure;How they can be used;How they relate to other economic series;How they are produced;Where they are published; andWhy they are subject to varying degrees of accuracy and reliability.It is designed to assist users in their understanding of Australian labour statistics, and thereby allow better analyses and interpretations of the resulting data.

WHAT ARE LABOUR STATISTICS?

Labour statistics are some of Australia’s key economic statistics. Labour is the aggregate of all human physical and mental effort used in the creation of goods and services. Labour statistics are, put simply, about people, their participation in the labour force, their success in finding employment, their earnings and other benefits, their type of work, their working hours and conditions.

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SEP
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Jobs in Australia

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Jobs in Australia

New insights into local labour markets (Media Release)Original link
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SEP
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ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-039: Higher Taxes on Less Elastic Goods? Evidence from German Municipalities

German municipalities have substantial autonomy in setting taxes on two distinct tax bases: business profits and property values. We use this setting and a two-step approach to explore whether implemented tax policy is consistent with the seminal inverse-elasticity rule. First, we estimate the tax elasticity of the two tax bases using event-study and generalized differences-in-differences methods based on the universe of municipalities in 1995-2010. Second, we compare the ratio of the observed tax rates for the two tax bases to the ratio of their estimated elasticities. We find that property is not very responsive to variation in tax rates, whereas business profits respond significantly....Original link
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ZEW Discussion Papers DP No. 18-033: Web Mining of Firm Websites: A Framework for Web Scraping and a Pilot Study for Germany

Nowadays, almost all firms have their own websites which they use to publish information about their products and services. Using the example of innovation in firms, we outline a framework for extracting information from firm websites using web scraping and data mining. For this purpose, we present an easy and free-to-use web scraping tool for large-scale data retrieval from firm websites. We apply this tool in a large-scale pilot study to provide information on the data source , which has as yet not been studied rigorously in terms of its qualitative and quantitative properties. We find, inter alia, that the use of websites and websites’ characteristics differs according to firm size,...Original link
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SEP
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Copper end-use PMI data indicate prices set to stabilise over Q4 2018

Forward-looking new order: inventory ratio indicator consistentwith flat copper pricesTariffs impact Chinese economic conditions, weighing on basemetal pricesSupply shortages tick up, albeit marginally

Copper prices have slumped since the recent peak of $6,954 pertonne during June, down to $6,039 during August. Prices have cooledas markets have reacted to three key developments: news of slowerglobal economic growth, subsiding fears of large-scale supplydisruptions, and the detrimental impact of US tariffs on economicconditions in China.

Nevertheless, the latest survey data indicate that demand andsupply fundamentals currently support a stabilisation in copperprices on a year-on-year basis in the final quarter of 2018.

Revisiting the new order: inventory ratio

The global PMI index tracking business trends at copper-usingmanufacturers exhibits a strong positive correlation with copperprices, beating the widely-used broader global manufacturing PMI interms of predictive ability. In particular, a ratio of new ordersto stocks of finished goods at copper-intensive firms gives apowerful forward-looking indicator for copper demand andprices.

Previous analysis of the new order: inventory ratio indicatorsignalled headwinds to copper prices in mid-June, unveiling anaspect of speculation behind rising prices seen at the start of themonth. In fact, the indicator was consistent with flat copperprices on a year-on-year basis, indicating that prices would likelyfall back to levels seen in the summer of 2017, which has indeedbeen the case following the recent correction.

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Copper end-use PMI data indicate prices set to stabilise over Q4 2018

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How has the EU progressed towards the Sustainable Development Goals?

Sustainable development aims to achieve a continuous improvement in citizens’ quality of life and well-being. This involves the pursuit of economic progress, while safeguarding the natural environment and promoting social justice. For these reasons, sustainable development is a fundamental and overarching objective of the European Union and the progress towards the goals agreed at UN level in this area is regularly monitored and reported.Original link
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SEP
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US manufacturing surveys send diverging signals

Manufacturing output rises a mere 0.2% in three months toAugust, corroborating IHS Markit PMIStrong ISM growth signals potentially reflect outperformance bylarger companies

Different surveys offer differing views on the health of the USmanufacturing economy. The widely-watched ISM gauge of the healthof the goods-producing sector rose to a 14-year high of 61.3 inAugust, extending a run of super-strong growth that has beenindicated by the surveys for over a year. In contrast, at 54.7 theIHS Markit PMI survey paints a picture of a more subduedmanufacturing sector, albeit one still enjoying reasonably solidgrowth.

Ascertaining which survey is sending the correct signal isimportant: although manufacturing only accounts for around 12% ofUS GDP, it remains an important bellwether of the wider economy.ISM and PMI manufacturing indices therefore often form importantcomponents of 'nowcast' models, which attempt to measure thecurrent rate of economic growth. False signals on the health of thefactory sector can therefore prove costly to investors, businessesand policymakers.

With official data for manufacturing output now available forAugust, we can get a better idea of which survey is providing thebest signal of actual production trends. The official data,produced by staff at the Federal Reserve, showed production risingby a disappointing 0.2% in August following a 0.3% rise in July anda more impressive 0.7% gain in June.

As the monthly data can be volatile, it's also useful to look atthe trend, which is commonly assessed by using the change in outputin the latest three months compared to the prior three months. Onthis basis, output was up 0.5% in the three months to August.

To compare survey performance, we use the ISM and PMI surveyoutput indices rather than the headline survey numbers (which areaggregates of various survey sub-indices), which are charted hereagainst the three-month-on-three-month change in the officialdata.

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US manufacturing surveys send diverging signals

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