Back To Listing

Fewer Australians work or look for work as workforce shrinks to just over 12 million in October

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 403,756 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – October 2014 and includes 4,269 face-to-face interviews in October 2014.

In October 2014:

  • 12,009,000 Australians are in the workforce (the lowest for two years since October 2012): (down a large 215,000 since last month September;  and down a massive 456,000 since October last year);
  • 10,919,000 Australians are employed (the lowest since January 2013): (down 97,000 since last month September; and down 213,000 since October last year);
  • 1,090,000 Australians are looking for work (9.1% of the workforce); (down a large 118,000 since last month September; and down a massive 243,000 since October last year);
  • 7,234,000 Australians are employed full-time: (up 66,000 since last month September; but down 183,000 since October last year);
  • 3,685,000 Australians are employed part-time: (down 163,000 since last month September; but down only 30,000 since October last year);
  • 1,117,000 Australians are under-employed (working part-time and looking for more hours – 9.3%): (up 102,000 since last month September; and up 40,000 since October last year).
  • 2,207,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed (18.4% of the workforce); (down 16,000 since last month September; but down a large 203,000 since October last year);
  • After this month’s fall the latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate of 9.1% is now a substantial 2.9% higher than the figure currently quoted by the ABS for September 2014 (6.2%). 

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimate

 

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2013

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Jul–Sep 2013

2,314

18.5

1,272

10.2

618

654

1,042

8.3

Oct–Dec 2013

2,439

19.5

1,337

10.7

734

603

1,102

8.8

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan-Mar 2014

2,532

20.0

1,489

11.7

844

645

1,043

8.2

Apr-Jun 2014

2,360

18.9

1,273

10.2

638

635

1,087

8.7

Jul-Sep 2014

2,237

18.2

1,179

9.6

594

585

1,058

8.6

Months

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2013

2,286

18.3

1,297

10.4

607

690

989

7.9

October 2013

2,410

19.3

1,333

10.7

726

607

1,077

8.6

November 2013

2,404

19.3

1,268

10.2

700

568

1,136

9.1

December 2013

2,503

19.8

1,411

11.2

777

634

1,092

8.6

January 2014

2,545

20.0

1,440

11.3

851

589

1,105

8.7

February 2014

2,641

20.8

1,561

12.3

866

695

1,080

8.5

March 2014

2,410

19.1

1,465

11.6

814

651

945

7.5

April 2014

2,387

18.9

1,308

10.4

628

680

1,079

8.5

April 2014**

2,374

19.0

1,299

10.4

629

670

1,074

8.6

May 2014

2,179

17.8

1,186

9.7

603

583

993

8.1

June 2014

2,514

20.1

1,326

10.6

684

642

1,188

9.5

July 2014

2,344

18.9

1,265

10.2

654

611

1,079

8.7

August 2014

2,144

17.6

1,064

8.7

516

548

1,080

8.8

September 2014

2,223

18.2

1,208

9.9

613

595

1,015

8.3

October 2014

2,207

18.4

1,090

9.1

461

629

1,117

9.3

*Workforce includes those employed and those looking for work – the unemployed. **The Roy Morgan employment estimates for May 2014 and going forward are based to a lower estimate of the Australian population aged 14 or more (from 19,365,000 in the original April figures to 19,205,000 for the revised April figures and 19,232,000 in May). The lower Roy Morgan national population estimate is a result of ABS revisions after fully including the results of the most recent ABS Census.

Gary Morgan says:

“Australia’s real unemployment fell in October to 1.090 million (down 118,000 since September – 9.1%, down 0.8%). Driving the fall in unemployment was a small increase in full-time employment (7,234,000, up 66,000) and also a large fall in people looking for full-time work (461,000, down 152,000) – now at its lowest since May 2012.

“Although the rise in full-time employment is a positive, there were other worrying employment trends in October with the large fall in part-time employment (3,685,000, down 163,000) meaning the overall workforce contracted significantly to 12,009,000 (down 215,000). This is the lowest Australian workforce recorded for two years – since an identical workforce figure in October 2012 (12,009,000).

“Significantly, despite the fall in part-time employment, Australian under-employment actually rose to 1,117,000 (up 102,000). This is unusual as under-employed Australians are those employed part-time that are seeking more hours or a full-time job.

“This week the ABS revised its previously released unemployment figures since December 2013 – increasing the unemployment results for each month. This move is a step in the right direction, however, the ABS still significantly under-reports the real levels of unemployment and under-employment in Australia (now 6.2% for September 2014, 2.9% below today’s Roy Morgan unemployment figure).

“The key problem with the ABS unemployment results are the following: ‘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 ABS classifies a person as employed if, when surveyed, a person worked for one hour or more during the reference week for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind, or even if a person worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm.’

“These parameters mean the true level of unemployment in Australia is never shown by the monthly ABS unemployment figures relied upon by the RBA and the Federal Government which make policy decisions based on the misleading ABS unemployment figures.

 “The overall picture of the Australian labour market shows an economy with a large amount of under-utilised labour – now 2.21 million Australians (18.4%) are either unemployed or under-employed. This is the 35th straight month more than 2 million Australians have been looking for work or looking for more work and the 29th straight month more than 1 million Australians have been unemployed.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 403,756 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – October 2014 and includes 4,269 face-to-face interviews in October 2014.

*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 (2001-2014)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2014)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2014)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2014)


Roy Morgan Unemployment - October 2014 - 9.1%

Roy Morgan Unemployment - September Quarter 2014 - 9.6%

Roy Morgan Unemployment & Under-employment - October 2014 - 18.4%


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.