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Drop in unemployment figures mask the job losses recorded in July – Australian workforce in contraction

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 389,788 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – July 2014 and includes 5,365 to-face interviews in July 2014.

In July 2014:

  • 11,102,000 Australians are employed: (down 80,000 since last month June; down 194,000 since July last year);
  • 1,265,000 Australians are looking for work (10.2% of the workforce): (down 61,000 since last month June; down 2,000 since July last year);
  • 12,367,000 Australians are in the workforce: (down 141,000 since last month June; down 196,000 since July last year);
  • 7,353,000 Australians are employed full-time: (down 116,000 since last month June; down 61,000 since July last year);
  • 3,749,000 Australians are employed part-time: (up 36,000 since last month June; down 133,000 since July last year);
  • 1,079,000 Australians are under-employed (working part-time and looking for more hours – 8.7%): (down 109,000 since last month June; down 52,000 since July last year).
  • 2,344,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed (18.9% of the workforce); (down 170,000 since last month June; down 54,000 since July last year);
  • Despite this month’s fall the latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate of 10.2% is a substantial 4.2% higher than the figure currently quoted by the ABS for June 2014 (6%).

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimate

 

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2013

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Jan–Mar 2013

2,391

19.2

1,352

10.9

703

649

1,039

8.3

Apr–Jun 2013

2,243

18.1

1,176

9.5

588

587

1,067

8.6

Jul–Sep 2013

2,314

18.5

1,272

10.2

618

654

1,042

8.3

Oct–Dec 2013

2,439

19.5

1,337

10.7

734

603

1,102

8.8

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan-Mar 2014

2,532

20.0

1,489

11.7

844

645

1,043

8.2

Apr-Jun 2014

2,360

18.9

1,273

10.2

638

635

1,087

8.7

Months

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2013

2,346

18.9

1,205

9.7

628

577

1,141

9.2

July 2013

2,398

19.1

1,267

10.1

616

651

1,131

9.0

August 2013

2,257

18.2

1,251

10.1

631

620

1,006

8.1

September 2013

2,286

18.3

1,297

10.4

607

690

989

7.9

October 2013

2,410

19.3

1,333

10.7

726

607

1,077

8.6

November 2013

2,404

19.3

1,268

10.2

700

568

1,136

9.1

December 2013

2,503

19.8

1,411

11.2

777

634

1,092

8.6

January 2014

2,545

20.0

1,440

11.3

851

589

1,105

8.7

February 2014

2,641

20.8

1,561

12.3

866

695

1,080

8.5

March 2014

2,410

19.1

1,465

11.6

814

651

945

7.5

April 2014

2,387

18.9

1,308

10.4

628

680

1,079

8.5

April 2014**

2,374

19.0

1,299

10.4

629

670

1,074

8.6

May 2014

2,179

17.8

1,186

9.7

603

583

993

8.1

June 2014

2,514

20.1

1,326

10.6

684

642

1,188

9.5

July 2014

2,344

18.9

1,265

10.2

654

611

1,079

8.7

*Workforce includes those employed and those looking for work – the unemployed. **The Roy Morgan employment estimates for May 2014 and going forward are based to a lower estimate of the Australian population aged 14 or more (from 19,365,000 in the original April figures to 19,205,000 for the revised April figures and 19,232,000 in May). The lower Roy Morgan national population estimate is a result of ABS revisions after fully including the results of the most recent ABS Census.

Gary Morgan says:

“In July Australian unemployment fell to 1.265 million Australians (10.2%, down 0.4% since June) and under-employment fell to 1.079 million (8.7%, down 0.8%). This is the first time unemployment has fallen in July since 2009. However, despite a fall in unemployment being good news, there was also a substantial contraction in the Australian workforce (12,367,000 down 141,000) which indicates that the fall in unemployment has been driven more by a contracting workforce than the creation of new jobs.

“The decline in the workforce was driven by a large fall in full-time employment (7,353,000, down 116,000) which was only partially offset by an increase in part-time employment (3,749,000, up 36,000). Slightly better news is that despite a rise in part-time employment, under-employment (those who work part-time and wish to work longer hours or full-time) fell to 1,079,000 (down 109,000). This result is slightly unusual as these figures usually move in the same direction.

“However, the overall picture of the Australian labour market still shows an economy that has a large amount of under-utilised labour – a total of 2.34 million Australians (18.9%) are now either unemployed or under-employed. This is the 32nd straight month more than 2 million Australians have been looking for work or looking for more work, and this is also the 26th straight month more than 1 million Australians have been unemployed.

“Clearly Australian unemployment and under-employment is far too high at present and if the Abbott Government wants to stand any chance of winning the 2016 Federal Election due in two years’ time it must enact significant reforms to Australia’s industrial relations laws to ‘free up’ the Australian labour market and increase the productivity of the broader Australian labour force and entice Australians who have ‘given up’ looking for a job back into the labour force to find gainful employment.

“In recent weeks the Abbott Government has introduced a number of measures to Federal Parliament as part of its first Federal Budget and has also floated the idea that unemployed Australians collecting the dole will need to make as many as 40 job applications per month if they are to keep receiving their unemployment benefits. Although this initiative aims to encourage job seekers to actually look actively for work, today’s Roy Morgan July employment figures show this policy is simply not realistic given the lack of jobs in the Australian economy at present.

“As well as specifically targeting comprehensive labour market reform through reducing ‘red tape’ and removing excessive regulations – including high weekend penalty rates – the best way for the Abbott Government to stimulate sustainable jobs growth is through pursuing comprehensive reform and de-regulation that creates a healthy, strong and growing Australian economy. Reducing Australia’s high level of unemployment and under-employment (2.34 million Australians) is the Abbott Government’s only chance of winning re-election in two years’ time.”


This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 389,788 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – July 2014 and includes 5,365 to-face interviews in July 2014.

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


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 (2001-2014)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2014)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2014)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2014)


Roy Morgan Australian Unemployment - July 2014 - 10.2%

Roy Morgan Australian Unemployment - June Quarter 2014 - 10.2%

Roy Morgan Australian Unemployment & Under-employment - July 2014 - 18.9%


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.