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2.59m Australians unemployed or under-employed in January

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 566,877 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – January 2018 and includes 3,951 face-to-face interviews in January 2018.
The latest data for the Roy Morgan employment series for January shows:

  • The workforce is 13,455,000 comprised of employed and unemployed, up only 41,000 on a year ago;

  • 1.219 million Australians were unemployed (9.1% of the workforce); a decrease of 76,000 (down 0.6%) on a year ago. In addition 1.371 million Australians (10.2% of the workforce) are now under-employed, working part-time and looking for more work, a rise of 264,000 in a year;

  • 12,236,000 Australians were employed in January – an increase of 116,000 over the past year (an average of just under 10,000 jobs added per month);

  • The increase in employment over the past year was driven entirely by an increase in part-time employment which rose 156,000 to 4,191,000 while full-time employment fell 40,000 to 8,045,000;

  • Roy Morgan real unemployment figures of 9.1% for January are substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for December 2017 of 5.5%.
Roy Morgan Unemployment & Under-employment - January 2018 - 19.3%
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – January 2018. Average monthly interviews 4,000.


Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, said jobs growth in calendar year 2017 was driven entirely by growth in part-time employment which may partly explain why Australians don’t believe the monthly ABS unemployment estimates are accurate:

“Today’s Roy Morgan employment estimates show overall employment growth of 116,000 jobs since January 2017 however this growth was entirely driven by the increase in part-time employment up 156,000 to 4,191,000 while full-time employment was down 40,000 to 8,045,000.

“The increasing casualisation of the workforce has been a consistent trend in recent years and in January 34.3% of employed Australians were working part-time, up 1% from a year ago while 65.7% of employed Australians were working full-time. However, although rising employment is definitely a good thing, one of the consequences of a greater proportion of part-time employees is a rising level of under-employment.

“In January a high 1.37 million Australians (10.2% of the workforce) were under-employed, up a sizeable 264,000 from a year ago, and along with 1.22 million (9.1%) unemployed Australians this meant 2.59 million Australians (19.3%) were either looking for work or looking for more work – 28 straight months more than 2 million Australians were either unemployed or under-employed.

“The enduring level of under-employment in Australia may partly explain why Australians just don’t believe the official ABS unemployment estimates. A recent Roy Morgan survey published in The Australian – ‘Voters sceptical of official unemployment figures, Roy Morgan research finds by Adam Creighton’ shows nearly 60% of Australians surveyed, and 70% aged 18-24, think the unemployment rate is closer to 10, 15 or 20 per cent far above the official level of 5.5 per cent and more in line with Roy Morgan’s unemployment (9.1%) and under-employment (10.2%) estimates.

“However, despite the persistence of worryingly high labour force slack the early weeks of 2018 have provided some positivity about the Australian economy with Consumer Confidence of 121.4 in January the highest for seven years.

“Other positive indicators include an increasing Roy Morgan Business Confidence, at 117.4 entering the new year at its highest since 2013 while some 2.38 million Australians intend to purchase a car in the next four years, up a solid 142,000 from a year ago.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 566,877 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – January 2018 and includes 3,951 face-to-face interviews in January 2018.

*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

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

January 2018

2,590

19.3

1,219

9.1

642

577

1,371

10.2

*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 (2001-2018)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2018)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2018)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2017)

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment - January 2018 - 9.1%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment - December Quarter 2017 - 9.7%


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