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Australian unemployment is up 0.3% to 10.7% in May; Under-employment down 0.3% to 7.4%

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 485,352 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – May 2016 and includes 5,035 face-to-face interviews in May 2016.
May unemployment has risen 0.3% to 10.7% - nearly double the current ABS figure for April 2016 (5.7%). In May 2.316 million Australians (18.1% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed.

  • There are 12,783,000 Australians in the workforce in May, down 27,000, from a month ago (although up 293,000 since May 2015) and 11,414,000 Australians are employed (up 213,000 since May 2015);

  • Now 7,522,000 Australians are employed full-time – down 51,000 since May 2015 and  3,892,000 Australians (up 264,000) are part-time workers;

  • Now 10.7% of the workforce, 1,369,000 people, are unemployed – up 80,000 since May 2015 with the unemployment rate up 0.4%  from a year ago while 947,000 Australians are under-employed – working part-time and looking for more hours (7.4% of the workforce – down 74,000 (down 0.8%));

  • Now a total of 2,316,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed: a large 18.1% of the workforce – up 6,000 (but down 0.4% due to the larger size of the workforce) since May 2015.

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

2016

Jan-Mar 2016

2,496

19.1

1,362

10.4

639

723

1,134

8.7

Months

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

February 2016

2,480

18.8

1,319

10.0

589

730

1,161

8.8

March 2016

2,433

18.8

1,422

11.0

631

791

1,011

7.8

April 2016

2,322

18.1

1,334

10.4

611

723

988

7.7

May 2016

2,316

18.1

1,369

10.7

661

708

947

7.4

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

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In May Australia’s real unemployment rose to 10.7% (1.369 million people looking for work, 80,000 more than a year ago) and under-employment was at 7.4% (947,000, down 74,000 in a year) – a total of 18.1% (2.316 million) Australians looking for work or looking for more work.

“Of additional concern is the contraction in overall employment in recent months – now 11,414,000 Australians are employed – down 441,000 since an employment peak of 11,855,000 in February this year; and the lowest number of employed Australians for exactly a year since May 2015 (11,201,000). There are now 7,522,000 (down 295,000 since February) Australians employed full-time and 3,892,000 (down 146,000) Australians employed part-time.

“Although the ABS released March Quarter GDP results this week showing the Australian economy grew 1.1% in the March Quarter and 3.1% over the 12 months to March 2016 – the fastest growth since the March Quarter 2014 – most of this growth has been driven by increasing mineral exports despite the mining sector shedding thousands of jobs over the past year. Unusually, the positive GDP growth story is not driving increasing employment.

“The Federal Election is now a month away and Australians are beginning to ‘tune-in’ to the campaign and consider which party they should elect to lead the country. There are clear differences between the two major parties on how they would grow the Australian economy and increase employment opportunities for Australians looking for work.

However, both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Shorten are wrong not to acknowledge Australia’s true unemployment and under-employment figures – in the US Trump ‘got it right’ when he stated last week ‘Don’t believe the 5%. The real (unemployment) number is 20%!’

“The L-NP has outlined plans to introduce extensive paid internships to help younger Australians with the PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) internships program which has been immediately opposed by the unions and criticised by Labor which says the program will exploit younger workers and take jobs that will normally be filled by regular employees. However, it’s not good enough for Labor to merely oppose a program that offers hope to younger Australians; they must come up with a better plan to deal with the ongoing problem of youth unemployment.

“In fact the major problem facing the Australian economy is that neither side of politics takes the issue of unemployment and under-employment as seriously as they should. Both sides of politics continue to base their economic modelling on the wrong ABS unemployment data and because of this they will not advocate the correct policy reforms that need to be undertaken to ‘free-up’ the Australian labour market.

“Stimulating real growth in the Australian economy is the most effective way to create jobs for unemployed and under-employed Australians. In addition by continuing to use ‘wrong data’ there will be a large group of people (unemployed and under-employed) who will be disenfranchised and angry with whichever Government is elected next month.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 485,352 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – May 2016 and includes 5,035 face-to-face interviews in May 2016.

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


For further information

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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 Monthly Unemployment - May 2016 - 10.7%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment - March Quarter 2016 - 10.4%

Roy Morgan Monthly Under-employment - 18.1%


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