Glossary

Overview


This glossary provides definitions of indicators used in LSAY QuickStats using the following sections:

  • demographics
  • education
  • employment
  • living arrangements
  • life satisfaction
  • soft skills.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the information provided, please email: lsay@ncver.edu.au.

This glossary was last updated in September 2017.

Demographics


State/territory
The state or territory of the school the respondent attended at the time of the first interview.

Sex
The gender the respondent reported at the time of the first interview.

Indigenous status
Indigenous respondents are identified by recording responses to the following question asked at the time of the first interview:

  • ‘Are you an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander person?’ (for the Y95 and Y98 cohorts)
  • ‘Are you of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin?’ (for the Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts)
    Indigenous status is split into two categories: ‘Indigenous’ and ‘Non-Indigenous’.

Missing or invalid responses are coded to the ‘Non-Indigenous’ category. This applies to the Y98 cohort only as there were no missing or invalid responses for indigenous status for the Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts.

Geographic region
The geographic region of the school the respondent attended at the time of the first interview.

Geographic region is categorised as: ‘Metropolitan’ and  ‘Non-metropolitan’. Missing or invalid responses are coded to the ‘Metropolitan’ category.

  • Metropolitan areas are defined as those with a population size of 100 000 or more.
  • Non-metropolitan areas are defined as those with a population size less than 100 000.

Country of birth
The country of birth reported at the time of the first interview. Country of birth is categorised as: ‘Australia’ and ‘Other’. Respondents born outside of Australia, missing and invalid responses are coded to the ‘Other’ category.

School sector
The school sector for the school the respondent attended at the time of the first interview.

Socio-economic status

For the Y95 and Y98 cohorts
The ANU3 measure, an indicator of socioeconomic status based on occupational prestige, has been used in the calculation of socioeconomic status. ANU3 uses the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) schema to determine the socioeconomic status of the respondent based on their parents’ occupation.  Parental occupation is based on father’s occupation when available and mother’s occupation when information on father’s occupation is absent. The scale ranges from 0 to 100. More information about the scale can be accessed at: http://ipumsi.anu.edu.au/SiteTools/index.php

For the Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts
The socioeconomic status quintiles are calculated using the PISA  Economic, Social and Cultural Status (ESCS) index.

Overall achievement

For the Y95 and Y98 cohorts
The achievement quartile using a combined measure of achievement in literacy and numeracy from testing conducted at the time of the first interview.

Mathematics achievement

For the Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts
The mathematics achievement quartile derived using mathematics plausible values from testing conducted at the time of the first interview.

Reading achievement

For the Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts
The reading achievement quartile derived using reading plausible values from testing conducted at the time of the first interview.

Science achievement

For the Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts
The science achievement quartile derived using science plausible values from testing conducted at the time of the first interview.

Education


Education indicators were collected slightly differently for the Y95 cohort compared to the other cohorts. Effort has been made to project the data into similar categories as presented for the other cohorts.

Current school level
The school year level reported at the time of the interview. The category ‘Year 12’ includes respondents attending schools at year levels 12 or 13. Students undertaking school at year level 13 complete an additional year, but not an additional qualification.

Current qualification level
The qualification reported at the time of interview. The categories cover certificates through to postgraduate degrees.

The category ‘Not studying for a qualification’ includes respondents who are: at school, undertaking Year 12 at a TAFE or education provider other than a school, undertaking a short course or recreational course, undertaking a single module/subject only, undertaking some study other than the qualifications listed, or are not undertaking any study. Respondents who do not know whether they are undertaking a qualification are also classified as not studying for a qualification.

Respondents undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship are categorised under the appropriate certificate level.

Study status in VET
The study status in vocational education and training (VET) at the time of interview. Categories include whether respondents: are currently undertaking a VET qualification, have ever completed a VET qualification, have ever commenced but did not complete a VET qualification, or have never commenced a VET qualification.

‘VET qualifications’ includes:

  • apprenticeships and traineeships; and
  • diplomas and advanced diplomas undertaken at university.

‘VET qualifications’ does not include VET undertaken while at school.

The category ‘Currently undertaking’ a VET qualification does not include those who have already completed a VET qualification and are undertaking an additional VET qualification.

The category ‘Completed’ a VET qualification may include those who have completed a VET qualification and are currently undertaking an additional VET qualification.

Study status in bachelor degree or higher
The study status in a bachelor degree or higher at the time of interview. Categories include whether respondents: are currently undertaking a bachelor degree (or higher level qualification), have ever completed a bachelor degree (or higher level qualification), have completed a bachelor degree (or higher level qualification) and are undertaking further study at a bachelor degree (or higher level qualification), have ever commenced but did not complete a bachelor degree (or higher level qualification), or have never commenced a bachelor degree.

‘Bachelor degree or higher’ includes graduate diplomas and graduate certificates undertaken at a TAFE or VET institution.

Study mode
The study mode at the time of interview. This indicator is derived using responses to questions about whether respondents’ study is full-time or part-time. Respondents who are at school are assumed to be studying full-time.

Categories include whether respondents are: studying full-time, studying part-time, not studying for a qualification, or unknown.

The full-time and part-time study categories include respondents who are at school and those who are studying for a qualification.

The category ‘Not studying’ includes respondents who are: undertaking Year 12 at a TAFE or education provider other than a school, undertaking a short course or recreational course, undertaking a single module/subject only, undertaking some study other than the qualifications listed, or are not undertaking any study. Respondents who do not know whether they are undertaking a qualification are also classified as not studying.

The category ‘Unknown’ includes those who are studying for a qualification but their study mode is unknown, and those who stated that their study mode is equally full-time and part-time.

Highest school level completed
The highest school level completed at the time of interview. The category ‘Year 12’ includes respondents who have completed Year levels 12 or 13. Students completing school at Year level 13 complete an additional year, but not an additional qualification.

Completed Year 12 or certificate II or higher
This indicator records whether respondents have completed Year 12 or a certificate II or a higher qualification level at the time of interview. Respondents whose highest qualification is at an unknown certificate level are not recorded as having completed Year 12 or certificate II or higher level qualification.

Completed Year 12 or certificate III or higher
This indicator records whether respondents have completed Year 12 or a certificate III or a higher qualification level at the time of interview. Respondents whose highest qualification is at an unknown certificate level are not recorded as having completed Year 12 or certificate III or higher level qualification.

Highest qualification completed
The highest qualification completed at the time of interview. The categories cover certificates through to postgraduate degrees.

The category ‘Did not complete a qualification’ includes respondents who have not completed any post-school qualifications which excludes Year 12 completed at a TAFE or education provider other than a school, short courses or recreational courses, single modules or single subjects.

Respondents who have completed an apprenticeship or traineeship are categorised under the appropriate certificate level.

Employment


Labour force status
The labour force status at the time of interview. This indicator categorises respondents as: employed, unemployed, not in the labour force or unknown labour force status.

The ‘Employed’ category includes respondents who reported they are not working but are waiting to start work.

Full-time or part-time employment status
The full-time or part-time employment status at the time of interview. This indicator categorises respondents as: employed full-time, employed part-time, not working (which includes those who are unemployed or not in the labour force), or working but their working time is unknown.

The category ‘Not working (unemployed or NILF)’ includes respondents whose labour force status is unknown.

The ‘Working, but working time unknown’ category includes respondents who reported they are not working but are waiting to start work.

Permanent or casual employment
The permanent or casual employment status at the time of interview. This indicator categorises respondents as: permanent or on-going, casual, not working (which includes those who are unemployed or not in the labour force), or working but their permanent or casual employment status is unknown.

The permanent or casual employment status is derived by using responses to questions about whether the respondent is entitled to paid annual or sick leave.

The category ‘Permanent/on-going’ includes respondents who are entitled to paid annual or sick leave. The category ‘Casual’ includes respondents who are not entitled to paid annual or sick leave or who do not know if they are receiving annual or sick leave.

The category ‘Not working (unemployed or NILF)’ includes respondents whose labour force status is unknown.

The category ‘Working, but employment status unknown’ includes respondents who are self-employed or are waiting to start work.

Status in apprenticeship or traineeship
The apprenticeship or traineeship status at the time of interview. This indicator categorises respondents as: currently undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship, having ever completed an apprenticeship or traineeship, having ever commenced but did not complete an apprenticeship or traineeship, or having never commenced an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Job mobility during last year
The job mobility at the time of interview. This indicator categorises respondents as: having the same employer or job as reported at the last survey, having a different employer/job from last survey, having gained employment since last survey, no longer employed since last survey, unknown or not in the labour force.

Occupation
The occupation at the time of interview.

For the Y95 cohort only
Occupations are categorised using the following ASCO Second Edition major groups:  Managers and Administrators, Professionals, Associate Professionals, Tradespersons and Related Workers, Advanced Clerical and Service Workers, Intermediate Clerical, Sales and Service Workers, Intermediate Production and Transport Workers, Elementary Clerical, Sales and Service Workers, Labourers and Related Workers.

For the Y98, Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts
Occupations are categorised using the following ANZSCO First Edition major groups: Managers, Professionals, Technicians and trades workers, Community and personal service workers, Clerical and administrative workers, Sales workers, Machinery operators and drivers and Labourers.

For all cohorts
The category ‘Unknown or not classifiable’ is used to code respondents who are working but whose occupation is unknown, or not classifiable using the ASCO/ANZSCO.

The category ‘Not working (unemployed or NILF)’ includes respondents whose labour force status is unknown.

Any spell of unemployment during the year

This indicator categorises respondents as: had a spell of unemployment during the year, did not have a spell of unemployment during the year, or unknown (at the time of interview).

Income and hours worked

Average weekly pay
The average weekly pay for those in employment at the time of interview.

For the Y95 and Y98 cohorts
Take-home pay is recorded at waves 1 and 2, while gross weekly pay is recorded for all remaining waves.

For the Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts
Take-home pay is recorded at wave 1, while gross weekly pay is recorded for all remaining waves.

For all cohorts
This indicator includes those who are working for wages/salary or self-employed in their own business, and excludes those who are working in some ‘other way’.

Gross pay is recorded for those who are working for wages or salary, while weekly business earnings are recorded for those who are self-employed.

No information is provided for respondents who: are working in ways other than for wages/salary or self-employed, are waiting to start work, did not provide a rate of pay, or provided their hourly pay but did not provide their weekly hours worked.

Average hourly pay
The average hourly pay for those in employment at the time of interview.

For the Y95 and Y98 cohorts
Take-home pay is recorded at waves 1 and 2, while gross weekly pay is recorded for all remaining waves

For the Y03, Y06, Y09 and Y15 cohorts
Take-home pay is recorded at wave 1, while gross weekly pay is recorded for all remaining waves

For all cohorts
This indicator includes those who are working for wages/salary or self employed in their own business, and excludes those who are working in some ‘other way’.

Gross pay is recorded for those who are working for wages or salary, while weekly business earnings are recorded for those who are self-employed.

No information is provided for respondents who: are working in ways other than for wages/salary or self-employed, are waiting to start work, did not provide a rate of pay, or provided their weekly/fortnightly/annual pay rate but did not provide their weekly hours worked.

Average weekly hours worked
The average weekly working hours for those in employment at the time of interview. No information is provided for respondents who: are waiting to start work or did not provide the number of hours they work each week.

Satisfaction

Satisfaction with aspects of employment
The respondent’s satisfaction with aspects of their employment at the time of interview. No information is recorded for respondents who are waiting to start work.

Employment satisfaction indicators include: The kind of work you do, Opportunities to use your skills and experience, Your immediate boss or supervisor, Other people you work with, The pay you get, Opportunities for training, The tasks you are assigned, Recognition you get for tasks well done, and Your opportunities for promotion.

For the Y09 & Y15 cohort The Y09 and Y15 cohorts were asked to rate their satisfaction on an 11-point scale. All other   cohorts used a 5-point scale. The Y09 and Y15 data are projected onto a 5-point scale for comparability.

Other terms and definitions

Not in the labour force (NILF)
Respondents who are not working and are not actively looking for work are classified as being not in the labour force.

The Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO)
The ASCO is a skill-based classification system used to classify all jobs in the Australian labour market. It defines jobs and occupations according to level of skill and specialisation. It uses similarities between these attributes to organise them into three hierarchical levels: major group, minor group and unit group and occupation.

ASCO First Edition was released in 1986. The classification structure of the Second Edition was released in July 1996.

Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)
The ANZSCO is a skill-based classification system used to classify all jobs in the Australian and New Zealand labour markets. It defines jobs and occupations according to level of skill and specialisation. It uses similarities between these attributes to organise them into five hierarchical levels: major group, sub-major group, minor group, unit group and occupation.

ANZSCO replaced the ASCO and the New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (NZSCO) in 2006.

Living arrangements


Marital status
The marital status at the time of interview. This indicator categorises respondents as: married, de facto, single, separated/divorced/widowed, or unknown.

Living in own home
This indicator describes whether respondents own (or are buying) their home at the time of interview. It categorises respondents as: currently own or buying, currently renting, not living in own home, or unknown.

Living in parental home
This indicator describes whether respondents are living in their parental home or are living away from their parental home at the time of interview. It categorises respondents as: living at home, not living at home.

The category ‘living at home’ includes respondents who reported they are living with other relatives.

No. of dependent children
The number of dependent children at the time of interview. This indicator uses the following categories: 0 children, one or more children, or unknown.

Life satisfaction and soft skills


Happiness with different aspects of your life
Respondents reported happiness with different aspects of their life at the time of interview. Information is recorded for all respondents. From the following list, the Y15 cohort are only asked to rate happiness with ‘Your life as a whole’. For all other cohorts, respondents are asked how happy they are with the following:

  • The work you do at study, at home or in a job
  • What you do in your spare time
  • How you get on with people in general
  • The money you get each week
  • Your social life
  • Your independence - being able to do what you want
  • Your career prospects
  • Your future
  • Your life at home
  • Your standard of living
  • The way the country is run
  • The state of the economy
  • Where you live
  • Your life as a whole.

Please note that the Y09 and Y15 cohorts were asked to rate their happiness on an 11-point scale. All other cohorts used a 5-point scale.  The Y09 and Y15 data is projected into a 5-point scale for comparability.

Soft skills
This new bank of questions for the Y15 cohort has respondents report their perceived abilities regarding soft skills at the time of interview.  Information is recorded for all respondents. Respondents are asked  to rate their abilities as they relate to to the following statements:

  • I am good at coming up with new ideas
  • I have a good imagination
  • I can generally see a way out of problem situations
  • When I make decisions I am happy with them later
  • I have a lot of good ideas
  • I see problems as challenges to overcome
  • I compare the strengths and weaknesses of different ideas
  • I use logic to make my own decisions even if they are different from others
  • I think carefully before reaching conclusions