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Australian real unemployment virtually unchanged at 10.4% (down 0.1%) in August and under-employment drops to 7.1% (down 1.9%)

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 497,976 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – August 2016 and includes 3,966 face-to-face interviews in August 2016.
Australian real unemployment was virtually unchanged at 10.4% (down 0.1%) in August, nearly double the current ABS figure for July 2016 (5.7%). However this is a substantial increase in unemployment over the past year with 1.332 million Australians (up 159,000 since August 2015) now unemployed.

  • Although the Australian workforce increased to 12,855,000 (up 104,000 since August 2015) over the past year total employment actually decreased to 11,523,000 (down 55,000). There were simply not enough jobs created over the past year to soak up the increasing size of the workforce;

  • The good news is that full-time employment rose 64,000 from August 2015 to 7,811,000; however this good news was more than offset by the fall in part-time employment, down 119,000 to 3,712,000 – the primary driver of the increase in unemployment.

  • The lower part-time employment also contributed to the fall in under-employment; now 7.1% of Australians (917,000, down 27,000 since August 2015) are under-employed (down 0.3%) – working part-time and looking for more hours;

  • In August a total of 2.249 million Australians, 17.5% of the workforce (the lowest since October 2015), were either unemployed or under-employed. This is up 132,000 from August 2015 (up 0.9%).

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimate

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2015

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Jan-Mar 2015

2,384

18.9

1,327

10.5

656

672

1,057

8.4

Apr-Jun 2015

2,359

18.7

1,263

10.0

618

645

1,096

8.7

Jul-Sep 2015

2,061

16.2

1,109

8.7

518

591

952

7.5

Oct-Dec 2015

2,475

19.2

1,184

9.2

603

581

1,291

10.0

2016

Jan-Mar 2016

2,496

19.1

1,362

10.4

639

723

1,134

8.7

Apr-Jun 2016

2,322

18.1

1,317

10.2

637

680

1,005

7.8

Months

July 2015

2,074

16.4

1,097

8.7

525

572

977

7.7

August 2015

2,117

16.6

1,173

9.2

548

625

944

7.4

September 2015

1,994

15.6

1,058

8.3

482

576

936

7.3

October 2015

2,198

17.4

1,110

8.8

464

646

1,088

8.6

November 2015

2,536

19.6

1,186

9.2

623

563

1,350

10.4

December 2015

2,690

20.7

1,256

9.7

722

534

1,434

11.0

January 2016

2,575

19.7

1,346

10.3

696

650

1,229

9.4

February 2016

2,480

18.8

1,319

10.0

589

730

1,161

8.8

March 2016

2,433

18.8

1,422

11.0

631

791

1,011

7.8

April 2016

2,322

18.1

1,334

10.4

611

723

988

7.7

May 2016

2,316

18.1

1,369

10.7

661

708

947

7.4

June 2016

2,326

17.9

1,247

9.6

637

610

1,079

8.3

July 2016

2,536

19.5

1,365

10.5

645

720

1,171

9.0

August 2016

2,249

17.5

1,332

10.4

544

788

917

7.1

*Workforce includes those employed and those looking for work – the unemployed.

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In August Australia’s real unemployment was 10.4% (1.332 million people looking for work, 159,000 more than a year ago) and under-employment was 7.1% (917,000, down 27,000 in a year) – a total of 17.5% (2.249 million) Australians looking for work or looking for more work.

“Although the Australian workforce has increased over the past year – now at 12,855,000 (up 104,000 from a year ago), the increase in the workforce has outpaced the increase in overall employment leading to the rise in unemployment. The good news is that full-time employment increased over the past year to 7,811,000 (up 64,000), however, part-time employment fell by 119,000 to 3,712,000.

Part-time employment spiked in June and July leading into and encompassing the Federal Election period. This phenomenon is not surprising and is consistent with part-time employment increases measured by Roy Morgan before the 2010 and 2013 Federal Elections. Now that this period is past, part-time employment has fallen back as many of these employees are no longer employed while others are now employed full-time.

“Today’s Roy Morgan real unemployment figures show that much more must be done by the Turnbull Government to provide employment opportunities to Australians looking for work and looking for more work. For the last 51 months (more than four years) in excess of 1 million Australians have been unemployed, stretching back to May 2012, and clearly more than 2 million Australians have been either unemployed or under-employed in every month this year.

“Many commentators have taken aim at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in recent weeks for Turnbull’s supposed ‘inaction’ since becoming Prime Minister exactly a year ago. If Turnbull wants to turn this perception around the time implement reforms, reducing ‘red tape’ and regulations in the Australian labour market, is over the next 6-12 months.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 497,976 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – August 2016 and includes 3,966 face-to-face interviews in August 2016.

*The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or consultants who are looking for more work. (Unfortunately the ABS put their ‘heads in the sand’ and refuse to accept the reality and does not release this figure in their monthly unemployment survey results).


For further information

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Gary Morgan:     

+61 3 9224 5213  

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:       

+61 3 9224 5215  

+61 411 129 093


Unemployment Data Tables

Roy Morgan Research Employment Estimates (2001-2016)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2016)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2016)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2016)

Roy Morgan Real Unemployment - August 2016 - 10.4%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment - June Quarter 2016 - 10.2%

Roy Morgan August Under-employment - 17.5%


ROY MORGAN MEASURES REAL UNEMPLOYMENT IN AUSTRALIA

NOT THE ‘PERCEPTION’ OF UNEMPLOYMENT – JUNE 8, 2012

http://www.roymorgan.com/~/media/Files/Papers/2012/20120603.pdf

The Roy Morgan Unemployment estimate is obtained by surveying an Australia-wide cross section by face-to-face interviews. A person is classified as unemployed if they are looking for work, no matter when.

The results are not seasonally adjusted and provide an accurate measure of monthly unemployment estimates in Australia.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Unemployment estimates are obtained by mostly telephone interviews. Households selected for the ABS Survey are interviewed each month for eight months, with one-eighth of the sample being replaced each month. The first interview is conducted face-to-face. Subsequent interviews are then conducted by telephone.

The ABS classifies a person as unemployed if, when surveyed, they have been actively looking for work in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and if they were available for work in the reference week.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Unemployment estimates are also seasonally adjusted.

For these reasons the Australian Bureau of Statistics Unemployment estimates are different from the Roy Morgan Unemployment estimate. Gary Morgan's concerns regarding the ABS Unemployment estimate is clearly outlined in his letter to the Australian Financial Review, which was not published.


Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

% Estimate

 

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2