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Australian real unemployment jumps to 10.5% (up 0.9%) in July during post-election uncertainty

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 494,010 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – July 2016 and includes 4,777 face-to-face interviews in July 2016.
July unemployment rose 0.9% to 10.5% - nearly double the current ABS figure for June 2016 (5.8%). Now 1.365 million Australians (up 268,000 since July 2015) are unemployed. The rising level of unemployment over the past year was caused by an increase in the size of the overall Australian workforce to 13,007,000 (up 334,000 since July 2015) which wasn’t matched by a similar increase in employment.

  • In fact, full-time employment fell 217,000 to 7,683,000 from July 2015 while part-time employment was up 283,000 to 3,959,000 – however, not enough new jobs were created to lower unemployment. Now a total of 11,642,000 Australians are employed (up 66,000 since July 2015);

  • The increasing part-time employment led directly to an increase in under-employment over the past year – now at 9% (1,171,000 Australians, up 194,000 since July 2015) are under-employed (up 1.3%) – working part-time and looking for more hours;

  • In July a total of 2.536 million Australians (19.5% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed. This is up a very large 462,000 from July 2015 (up 3.1%).

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

Apr-Jun 2016

2,322

18.1

1,317

10.2

637

680

1,005

7.8

Months

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

June 2016

2,326

17.9

1,247

9.6

637

610

1,079

8.3

July 2016

2,536

19.5

1,365

10.5

645

720

1,171

9.0

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

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

“In July Australia’s real unemployment was 10.5% (1.365 million people looking for work, 266,000 more than a year ago) and under-employment was 9.0% (1,171,000, up 194,000 in a year) – a total of 19.5% (2.536 million) Australians looking for work or looking for more work.

“Although overall employment has increased over the past year – now at 11,642,000 (up 66,000 from a year ago), this increase was entirely the result of a large increase in part-time employment – now at 3,959,000 (up 283,000) while full-time employment fell 217,000 to 7,683,000. The increasing size of the Australian workforce over the past year – up 334,000 to 13,007,000 was too quick for the economy which wasn’t able to produce enough new jobs to lower unemployment.

“Australia’s slow employment market was largely ignored by the major parties in the Federal Election campaign. Newly re-elected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must take the opportunity presented by a renewed electoral mandate to make the necessary reforms to industrial relations to increase productivity in an Australian economy which is still feeling the impact of the end of the mining boom.

“In addition to reducing the ‘red tape’ and regulations – including the excessive weekend penalty rates that prevent businesses from opening – and providing further employment opportunities, and tackling the huge Australian ‘cash economy’ that undermines legitimate businesses by unfair competition, the Government must find a way to ensure RBA interest rate cuts are passed on in full to businesses."

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 494,010 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – July 2016 and includes 4,777 face-to-face interviews in July 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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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 estimates - July 2016 - 10.5%

Roy Morgan June Quarter Unemployment - 10.2% (down 0.2%)

Roy Morgan July Unemployment & Under-employment estimate - 19.5% (up 1.6%)


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