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Australians say Roy Morgan unemployment estimate ‘closer to reality’ than ABS

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted over three nights last week, March 14-16, 2017, with an Australia-wide cross-section of 622 Australians aged 14+.

A majority of Australians 58% (down 2% since April 2015) say the Roy Morgan February unemployment estimate (9.4%) is ‘closer to reality’ than the far lower official ABS February unemployment number (5.9%)*; 31% (up 2%) believe the ABS number while a further 11% (unchanged) can’t say according to a special telephone Morgan Poll conducted over three nights last week, March 14-16, 2017.

Analysis by Gender & Age

Analysis by gender shows women 62% (up 3%) are now more likely than men 53% (down 8%) to say the Roy Morgan unemployment figure is ‘closer to reality’. Now more men 36% (up 5%) than women 26% (down 1%) say the ABS unemployment figure is ‘closer to reality’ while 11% (up 3%) of men say they ‘can’t say’ compared to 12% (up 1%) of women.

Analysis by age groups shows people of all ages are more likely to believe the Roy Morgan figures - 55% of 14-24yr olds believe the Roy Morgan unemployment figure is ‘closer to reality’, along with 46% of 25-34yr olds, 54% of 35-49yr olds, 69% of 50-64yr olds and 62% of 65+yr olds.

Analysis by Voting Intention

Analysis by voting intention shows a clear difference between supporters of the two major parties – ALP supporters are far more likely to say the Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is ‘closer to reality’ than L-NP supporters, although supporters of both major parties indicate they are more likely to believe the Roy Morgan unemployment estimate than the ABS unemployment estimate.

Now 59% (down 9%) of ALP supporters say the Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is ‘closer to reality’ compared to 32% (up 9%) that believe the ABS unemployment estimate while 50% (down 2%) of L-NP supporters say the Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is ‘closer to reality’ compared to 38% (up 1%) that say the ABS unemployment estimate is ‘closer to reality’.

In addition Greens supporters also clearly believe the Roy Morgan unemployment estimate 64% (up 4%) ahead of the ABS estimate 25% (up 3%). Amongst One Nation supporters disbelief of the official ABS employment figures is even higher – 77% of One Nation supporters believe the Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is ‘closer to reality’ cf. 9% believing the ABS estimate.

Gary Morgan says:

“Once again a clear majority of Australians 58% (down 2% since April  2015) say the Roy Morgan unemployment estimate (9.4% in February – 1,253,000) is ‘closer to reality’ compared to 31% (up 1%) that say the official ABS unemployment estimate (5.9% in February) is ‘closer to reality’. The ABS only releases an estimate of under-employment every three months (Roy Morgan estimates there are 1,137,000 under-employed in Australia - 8.5%).

“This is the fourth time Roy Morgan has asked this question, and the overall results have shown a majority each time say the Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is ‘closer to reality’ – 58% of Australians in June 2013, 55% in June 2014, 60% in April 2015 and 58% last week.

“The recent decision by the Fair Work Commission to reduce excessive penalty rates on weekends and public holidays is a step in the right direction, however more must be done to significantly reduce the large pool of unemployed and under-employed labour in Australia – 2.39 million (17.9%) in February 2017 according to the latest Roy Morgan estimates.

“The Turnbull Government needs to acknowledge that more than 2 million Australians want work, or want more work and must explain to the electorate that employment of those people (mainly young) can only take place if they are offered jobs with training and remuneration at a reduced award by law until training has been achieved by those passing tests.”

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted over three nights last week, March 14-16, 2017, with an Australia-wide cross-section of 622 Australians aged 14+.

Australians were asked: “The ABS Unemployment rate in February was 5.9%. The Roy Morgan estimate for February was 9.4%. Which do you believe is closer to reality?” *Before the ABS February unemployment estimate was released on the morning of Thursday March 16, this question referenced the ABS January unemployment estimate of 5.7%.


ABS v Roy Morgan Unemployment figures

Australians were asked: “The ABS Unemployment rate in February was 5.9%. The Roy Morgan estimate for February was 9.4%. Which do you believe is closer to reality?” *Before the ABS February unemployment estimate was released on the morning of Thursday March 16, this question referenced the ABS January unemployment estimate of 5.7%.

Telephone Morgan Poll

Interviewing Dates

Electors

June
2013

June
2014

April
2015

March 14-16,
2017

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Ind/
Other#

Can’t say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Roy Morgan

58

55

60

59

50

59

64

77

62

65

ABS

21

33

29

30

38

32

25

9

22

24

Can’t say

21

12

11

11

12

9

11

14

16

11

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Figures for some these demographics must be treated with caution as there are under 50 interviews.

 

Telephone Morgan Poll

Australians 14+

Gender

Age

June
2013

June
2014

April
2015

March 14-16,
2017

Men

Women

14-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Roy Morgan

58

55

60

58

53

62

55

46

54

69

62

ABS

21

32

29

31

36

26

36

41

33

21

27

Can’t say

21

13

11

11

11

12

9

13

13

10

11

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Telephone Morgan Poll

Australians 14+

State

June
2013

June
2014

April
2015

March 14-16,
2017

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Roy Morgan

58

55

60

58

57

55

60

53

75

39

ABS

21

32

29

31

34

35

24

40

12

46

Can’t say

21

13

11

11

9

10

16

7

13

15

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

*In June 2013 the Roy Morgan unemployment figure was 9.7% and the ABS unemployment figure was 5.7%. In June 2014 the Roy Morgan unemployment figure was 10.6% and the ABS unemployment figure was 6.0%. In April 2015 the Roy Morgan unemployment figure was 10.8% and the ABS unemployment figure was 6.1%.


For further information

Contact

Office

Mobile

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 (2001-2017)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2017)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2017)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2017)

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment Estimate - February 2017 - 9.4%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment Estimate - December Quarter 2016 - 9.2%

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment & Under-employment Estimate - February 2017 - 17.9%


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