Back To Listing

Unemployment rises to 10.3% in January - Under-employment down from record high in December

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 468,104 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – January 2016 and includes 4,931 face-to-face interviews in January 2016.
Now 2.575 million Australians (19.7% of the workforce) are unemployed or under-employed in January – third straight month over 19% of Australians are looking for work or more work.

  • A record 13,098,000 Australians are in the workforce (up a large 471,000 since January 2015) and 11,752,000 Australians are employed (up a large 358,000 since January 2015);

  • Now 7,864,000 Australians are employed full-time – up 144,000 since January 2015 and nearly half that number, 3,888,000 Australians, are employed part-time (up 214,000 since January 2015);

  • There are 1,229,000 Australians under-employed – working part-time and looking for more hours: 9.4% of the workforce – up 196,000 (or 1.2%) since January 2015;

  • As school-leavers continue to seek jobs during the Summer months unemployment has increased for the fourth straight month to 1,346,000 Australians: 10.3% of the workforce – up 113,000  since January 2015 with the unemployment rate up 0.5%;

  • Now 2,575,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed: 19.7% of the workforce – up 309,000 (up 1.7%) since January 2015.

  • This month’s increase from 9.7% to 10.3% means the latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is now 4.5% higher than the figure currently quoted by the ABS for December 2015 (5.8%).

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

Months

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

January 2016

2,575

19.7

1,346

10.3

696

650

1,229

9.4

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

Gary Morgan says:

“In January Australian unemployment (1.346 million – 10.3%) has once again increased to over 10% – the highest Australian unemployment since March 2015 with an additional 1.229 million Australians (9.4%) under-employed – working part-time who want a full-time job. In January the Australian workforce grew to a record 13.098 million. However, the growth in the workforce hasn’t been matched by strong growth in the underlying economy with 2.575 million Australians (19.7%) now unemployed or under-employed – up a significant 309,000 (1.7%) from a year ago.

“Already in 2016 there have been significant job losses mooted for struggling electronic retailer Dick Smith with as many as 3,200 employees facing unemployment if the retailer fails to emerge from administration. In addition over 10,000 employees at failed home improvement retailer Masters are set to become unemployed in the next few months as parent company Woolworths looks to either complete a quick sale of the business or close its doors permanently.

“The Summer months traditionally see an increase in unemployment as school leavers enter the workforce and before University resumes in March. Unemployment has now increased for four straight months – increasing by 288,000 since September 2015 while under-employment has increased by 293,000 over the same period.

“Under-employment peaked in the early Summer months of November (1,350,000) and December (1,434,000) as retailers employed casual staff in the run-up to Christmas and has dropped in the New Year (now 1,229,000) following the conclusion of the Boxing Day sales. Australian under-employment has now fallen in January in nine of the last eleven years – a clear indicator of the seasonal employment trends particularly evident in the retail sector.

“However, the key underlying trend in the Roy Morgan unemployment figures is the continuing high level of unemployment and under-employment in Australia. Over the last four years in 47 out of 48 months total Australian unemployment and under-employment has been above 2 million Australians. This is a consistent trend that has not been addressed by either the former Gillard-Rudd Governments or as yet by the Abbott-Turnbull Government.

“The Roy Morgan unemployment figures show that instead of talking in circles about various types of ‘taxation reform’ Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Government must undertake worthwhile and meaningful reforms to improve the productivity of the Australian economy and working Australians.

Australia’s outdated industrial relations laws and work practices can only be properly reformed 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 468,104 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – January 2016 and includes 4,931 face-to-face interviews in January 2016.

*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 (2001-2016)

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 Unemployment Estimate - January 2016 - 10.3%

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

Roy Morgan Under-employment Estimate - January 2016 - 19.7%


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