Back To Listing

Unemployment rises to 9.7% in December - Under-employment at record high

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 463,173 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – December 2015 and includes 3,125 face-to-face interviews in December 2015.
Now 2.69 million Australians (20.7% of the workforce) are unemployed or under-employed in December as students hit the jobs market.

  • A record 13,007,000 Australians are in the workforce (up 106,000 since December 2014) and 11,751,000 Australians are employed (up a large 252,000 since December 2014);

  • Now 7,387,000 Australians are employed full-time – down 178,000 since December 2014;

  • However a record 4,364,000 Australians are employed part-time (up a large 430,000 since December 2014); Of concern is the record 1,434,000 Australians under-employed – working part-time and looking for more hours or a full-time job: 11% of the workforce – up 188,000 (or 1.3%) since December 2014;

  • As school-leavers seek jobs unemployment has increased for the third straight month to 1,256,000 Australians: 9.7% of the workforce – down 146,000  since December 2014 with the unemployment rate down 1.2%;

  • Now a record 2,690,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed: 20.7% of the workforce – up 42,000 (up 0.1%) since December 2014.

  • This month’s increase from 9.2% to 9.7% means the latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is now 3.9% higher than the figure currently quoted by the ABS for November 2015 (5.8%).

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

Oct-Dec 2015

2,475

19.2

1,184

9.2

603

581

1291

10.0

Months

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

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

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

Gary Morgan says:

“The significant number of unemployed workers (1.256 million – 9.7%), and the growing number of under-employed Australians (1.434 million – 11.0%) working part-time who want a full-time job, are the Government’s greatest concerns and responsibilities heading towards this year’s Federal Election.

“In December, the Australian workforce grew to a record 13.007 million – the first time over 13 million Australians have been either in work or looking for work. However, the growing workforce has not provided jobs at the same pace with a record high 2.69 million Australians (20.7%) now unemployed or under-employed.

“As school-leavers enter the workforce both unemployment – 1.256 million (9.7%, up 0.5% in a month, and up for a third straight month) and under-employment – 1.434 million (11.0%, up 0.6%) increased in December. Australian under-employment is now at a new record high, and has increased by nearly half-a-million workers over the past three months since September.

“The increase in under-employment reflects an increasing casual Australian workforce. In December full-time employment (7,387,000) represented only 62.9% (cf. 65.8% in December 2014) of employed Australians while part-time employment (4,364,000) represented 37.1% (cf. 34.2% a year ago) of employed Australians – a new record high ratio of part-time employment in Australia. Today’s results show that although increasing numbers of Australians are in part-time employment, a growing number of Australians in part-time employment want a full-time job.

“The key point for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition Government as they contemplate when to hold this year’s Federal Election is how to properly manage the Australian economy to ensure growth and provide jobs for the growing Australian workforce. Changing Industrial relations laws and work practices can only be effective if the ‘cash economy’ is tackled at the same time – otherwise any efforts at IR reform will be of limited benefit as Government revenue increases will be negligible.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 463,173 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – December 2015 and includes 3,125 face-to-face interviews in December 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 Unemployment Estimate - December 2015 - 9.7%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment Estimate - December Quarter 2015 - 9.2%

Roy Morgan Under-employment Estimate - December 2015 - 20.7%


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