Back To Listing

2.6m Australians were unemployed or under-employed in December

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 562,926 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – December 2017 and includes 2,896 face-to-face interviews in December 2017.
The latest data for the Roy Morgan employment series for December shows:

  • The workforce is 13,410,000 comprised of employed and unemployed, up a large 518,000 on a year ago;

  • 1.312 million Australians were unemployed (9.8% of the workforce); an increase of 126,000 (up 0.6%) on a year ago. In addition 1.288 million Australians (9.6% of the workforce) are now under-employed, working part-time and looking for more work, a rise of 188,000 in a year;

  • 12,098,000 Australians were employed in December – an increase of 392,000 over the past year (an average of just over 30,000 jobs added per month);

  • The increase in employment over the past year was driven by an increase in part-time employment which rose 266,000 to 4,204,000 while full-time employment increased 126,000 to 7,894,000;

  • Roy Morgan real unemployment figures of 9.8% for December are substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for November 2017 of 5.4%.

Roy Morgan Australian Unemployment & Under-employment - December 2017 - 18.4%

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – December 2017. Average monthly interviews 4,000.


Unemployment and Under-employment by State: December Quarter 2017

Analysing unemployment and under-employment by State reveals a clear disparity between the two largest States of NSW and Victoria and the smaller States of Queensland, WA, SA and Tasmania. This disparity was first revealed by Roy Morgan just over a year ago – “The ‘Two-Speed’ economy returns with soaring unemployment and under-employment in Australia’s four smaller States’”.

  • Victoria: Unemployment (8.6%) & Under-employment (8.9%); Total (17.6%);

  • New South Wales: Unemployment (9.2%) & Under-employment (8.8%); Total (18.0%);

  • Western Australia: Unemployment (11.0%) & Under-employment (7.4%); Total (18.4%);

  • Queensland: Unemployment (10.5%) & Under-employment (9.1%); Total (19.7%);

  • South Australia: Unemployment (10.9%) & Under-employment (9.5%); Total (20.4%);

  • Tasmania: Unemployment (10.7%) & Under-employment (11.5%); Total (22.2%).


Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, said jobs growth in calendar year 2017 was led by a jump in part-time employment which is double the increase in full-time employment:

“Today’s Roy Morgan employment estimates for December show employment growth of 392,000 jobs in 2017 with part-time employment up a strong 266,000 jobs while full-time employment grew by about half that number with 126,000 new full-time jobs.

“The strong jobs growth in the year to December reversed a trend of the last few months of slower jobs growth and was the largest year-over-year jobs growth since June. However, although an improvement over recent months, the jobs growth hasn’t been fast enough to keep a lid on unemployment which has also increased over the past year.

“A high 2.6 million Australians (19.4% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed in December – either looking for work or looking for more work. Breaking this number down shows 1.312 million Australians (9.8%) are now unemployed – up 0.6% from a year ago while slightly fewer, 1.288 million Australians (9.6%), are now under-employed.

“Although unemployment is up compared to a year ago, the unemployment rate in December is virtually unchanged on a month ago a trend now observed in three out of the last four years although under-employment again increased significantly in December (a trend observed in 8/10 years) as school-leavers took on part-time work and retailers hired casual workers in the lead-up to the important Christmas retailing sales period.

“Despite much ‘head-scratching’ by economic forecasters that rely on the ABS unemployment figures (5.4% in November) about why Australian wages growth is near record low levels, today’s Roy Morgan real unemployment and under-employment figures provide the answer when one understands that nearly 20% of the Australian workforce is either out of work or under-employed and looking for more work.

“There have now been more than 2 million Australians either unemployed or under-employed for 27 straight months stretching back to late 2015 and until the Government undertakes significant industrial relations reform to cut red tape, target the rorts of the ‘cash economy’ and provide the proper incentives for employers to take on new employees Australian wage growth will continue to lag expectations and historical averages.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 562,926 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – December 2017 and includes 2,896 face-to-face interviews in December 2017.

*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).

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimates

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2016

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

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

Jul-Sep 2016

2,296

17.8

1,266

9.8

574

692

1,030

8.0

Oct-Dec 2016

2,446

18.9

1,191

9.2

635

556

1,255

9.7

2017

Jan-Mar 2017

2,377

17.9

1,261

9.5

591

670

1,116

8.4

Apr-Jun 2017

2,525

19.0

1,234

9.3

607

627

1,291

9.7

Jul-Sep 2017

2,508

19.1

1,254

9.6

598

656

1,254

9.5

Oct-Dec 2017

2,442

18.5

1,275

9.7

659

616

1,167

8.8

Months

November 2016

2,299

17.6

1,199

9.2

629

570

1,100

8.4

December 2016

2,584

20.0

1,186

9.2

650

536

1,398

10.8

January 2017

2,402

17.9

1,295

9.7

634

661

1,107

8.2

February 2017

2,390

17.9

1,253

9.4

576

677

1,137

8.5

March 2017

2,340

17.7

1,236

9.3

563

673

1,104

8.4

April 2017

2,307

17.6

1,217

9.3

612

605

1,090

8.3

May 2017

2,622

20.0

1,284

9.8

659

625

1,338

10.2

June 2017

2,645

19.6

1,200

8.9

550

650

1,445

10.7

July 2017

2,462

18.8

1,236

9.4

568

668

1,226

9.4

August 2017

2,565

19.7

1,324

10.2

639

685

1,241

9.5

September 2017

2,498

18.9

1,202

9.1

586

616

1,296

9.8

October 2017

2,334

18.0

1,226

9.5

658

568

1,108

8.5

November 2017

2,394

18.2

1,288

9.8

624

664

1,106

8.4

December 2017

2,600

19.4

1,312

9.8

696

616

1,288

9.6

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

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 (2001-2017)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2017)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2017)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2017)

Roy Morgan Australian Unemployment - December 2017 - 9.8%

Roy Morgan Australian Unemployment - December Quarter 2017 - 18.5%


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