Time use data collection under threat

The national time use data collection in Australia is under threat and a campaign is underway to stop the cancellation of this important data source. If you haven’t signed the petition yet it’s not too late. Join the campaign here

National time use data has been collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) since 1992 with the most recent survey being in 2006. These surveys have been recognized internationally for their well-developed methodology and rich data about how people spend their time.

Recently a decision was made to incorporate the national time use data collection into  the Work, Life and Family Survey: Work, Care and Family Balance Survey (WoLFS)  with the next expanded survey  to  begin in 2013.

The WoLFS:

  1. was designed to collect detailed information about the caring responsibilities of people in a systematic way, and to include detailed information on working time arrangements and the perceived impacts of paid and unpaid work obligations on economic, physical and emotional wellbeing
  2. )would have updated information collected in the 2006 Time Use Survey, which is already out-of-date for policy purposes
  3. would support new analysis of the relationship between employment arrangements, family and caring responsibilities, retirement planning and broader social and economic participation;
  4. is a great improvement over a scatter of several disparate surveys conducted intermittently.

The WoLFS survey has been cancelled by the ABS because their budget has been cut by  AUD $1.4 million annually, according to reports. If the cancellation goes ahead there will be a lack of core information on the care economy and its impacts on individuals, households and communities. Join the campaign to reinstate the survey  here

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