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In October: Real unemployment in Australia is 8.8% (up 0.5% in a month); but down 0.3% from a year ago (9.1%)

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 456,107 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – October 2015 and includes 4,201 face-to-face interviews in October 2015.

In October 2015:

  • 12,663,000 Australians are in the workforce (up a large 654,000 since October 2014) and 11,553,000 Australians are employed (up a large 634,000 since October 2014);

  • 7,677,000 Australians are employed full-time (up a large 443,000 since October 2014);

  • 3,876,000 Australians are employed part-time (up 191,000 since October 2014);

  • 1,110,000 Australians are looking for work: 8.8% of the workforce – up 20,000  since October 2014 (but the unemployment rate is down 0.3% due to population growth);

  • 1,088,000 Australians are under-employed – working part-time and looking for more hours: 8.6% of the workforce  – down 29,000 (or 0.7%) since October 2014;

  • Now 2,198,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed: 17.4% of the workforce – down 9,000 (down 1%) since October 2014.

  • This month’s increase from 8.3% to 8.8% means the latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is now 2.6% higher than the figure currently quoted by the ABS for September 2015 (6.2%).

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimate

Unemployed or ‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2014

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

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

Jul-Sep 2014

2,237

18.2

1,179

9.6

594

585

1,058

8.6

Oct-Dec 2014

2,449

19.6

1,251

10.0

559

692

1,198

9.6

2015

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

Months

September 2014

2,223

18.2

1,208

9.9

613

595

1,015

8.3

October 2014

2,207

18.4

1,090

9.1

461

629

1,117

9.3

November 2014

2,491

19.7

1,260

10.0

564

696

1,231

9.7

December 2014

2,648

20.6

1,402

10.9

653

749

1,246

9.7

January 2015

2,266

18.0

1,233

9.8

635

598

1,033

8.2

February 2015

2,542

20.3

1,381

11.0

590

791

1,161

9.3

March 2015

2,344

18.5

1,368

10.8

742

626

976

7.7

April 2015

2,446

19.4

1,309

10.4

656

653

1,137

9.0

May 2015

2,310

18.5

1,289

10.3

646

643

1,021

8.2

June 2015

2,321

18.2

1,192

9.3

552

640

1,129

8.9

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

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

Gary Morgan says:

“The headline monthly Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is extremely important as it represents the number of Australians looking for work at a point in time. However, unemployment is seasonal because of events such as football finals (AFL & NRL), Spring Racing Carnival, Christmas & New Year retailing season, Easter-break and other events during the year, so to see how the economy is going it is useful to compare the point in time year on year.

“Australian employment was 11,553,000 (up a large 634,000 since October 2014). The strong rise in employment has been led by a large increase in full-time employment over the past year to 7,677,000 (up 443,000) while part-time employment has increased at a slightly slower rate to 3,876,000 (up 191,000) according to today’s Roy Morgan October employment estimates.

“Although employment in Australia has increased strongly over the past year, the unemployment rate has only fallen slightly to 8.8% (down 0.3% from a year ago) while under-employment is now at 8.6% (down 0.7%). The increase in jobs over the past year hasn’t been enough to make much difference to the overall level of unemployment and under-employment – now a total of 2.198 million Australians (17.4%, down 1.0%) are unemployed or under-employed (down only 9,000 from a year ago).

“The biggest challenge facing new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison before next year’s Federal Election is to implement policies that make a real difference to the over 2 million Australians looking for work or looking for more work. The continuing speculation about major taxation reform is a promising sign – but only if the hard decisions are made and the contentious reforms are implemented.

“Successful right-wing political leaders in recent years including New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and former Prime Minister John Howard have all made courageous decisions on reforms including introducing a GST (Howard) and increasing the rate of the GST (Key). Their successful stewardship of significant reforms increased their political capital to make further reforms down the road in subsequent years.

“For Turnbull & Morrison to be successful in the current economic climate they need to make their mark on improving the productivity of the Australian economy by increasing the flexibility of the Australian labour force. The Coalition’s policy of increasing the GST may be both fair and needed, but it doesn’t solve the big issue that confronts the Australian economy.

“The Government’s main priority must be to eliminate the sizeable ‘cash economy’ in Australia which will free-up the Australian labour market and have a much bigger impact on increasing productivity and employment growth throughout Australia than a simple increase in the GST.

“The widespread wage sham and payroll falsification uncovered at 7-Eleven Stores and alleged at several other franchisors including United Petroleum, Bakers Delight, Dominos, Nandos and Subway confirm what we have been saying for years about the ‘cash economy’ – it must be stopped by the Federal Government.

“The ‘cash economy’ consists of hundreds of thousands of Australians in hospitality, retail, trades, building and the like. The only viable solution to deal with the cash ‘rorts’ uncovered throughout the economy in recent months is to declare an amnesty and allow the economy to start afresh. Unfortunately the issues created by Australia’s large ‘cash economy’ are ignored by politicians and the Fair Work Judiciary.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 456,107 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – October 2015 and includes 4,201 face-to-face interviews in October 2015.

*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 (2001-2015)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2015)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2015)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2015)

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment Estimate - October 2015 - 8.8%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment Estimate - September Quarter 2015 - 8.7%

Roy Morgan Monthly Under-employment Estimate - October 2015 - 17.4%


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.