Back To Listing

Australian unemployment jumps in February to 11.0% - highest since March 2014

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 420,148 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – February 2015 and includes 4,027 face-to-face interviews in February 2015.

In February 2015 Roy Morgan Unemployment is 11.0%:

  • 12,526,000 Australians are in the workforce (down 139,000 since February 2014);
  • 11,145,000 Australians are employed (up 41,000 since February 2014);
  • 7,403,000 Australians are employed full-time (up 85,000 since February 2014;
  • 3,742,000 Australians are employed part-time (down 44,000 since February 2014);
  • 1,381,000 Australians are looking for work (11.0% of the workforce, down 180,000 since February 2014);
  • 1,161,000 Australians are under-employed, working part-time and looking for more hours – (9.3% of the workforce), up 81,000 since February 2014;
  • 2,542,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed – (20.3% of the workforce), down 99,000 since February 2014.
  • After this month’s rise the latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate of 11.0% is a substantial 4.6% higher than the figure currently quoted by the ABS for January 2015 (6.4%).

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimate

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2014

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

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

Oct-Dec 2014

2,449

19.6

1,251

10.0

559

692

1,198

9.6

Months

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

November 2014

2,491

19.7

1,260

10.0

564

696

1,231

9.7

December 2014

2,648

20.6

1,402

10.9

653

749

1,246

9.7

January 2015

2,266

18.0

1,233

9.8

635

598

1,033

8.2

February 2015

2,542

20.3

1,381

11.0

590

791

1,161

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:

“Today’s Roy Morgan employment estimates show Australia’s total employment in February has increased over the past year to 11,145,000 (up 41,000). Driving the increase in employment was a strong increase in full-time employment to 7,403,000 (up 85,000) while part-time employment fell to 3,742,000 (down 44,000). However, despite the increase in employment, Australia’s workforce decreased over the past year to 12,526,000 (down 139,000). The main driver for the fall in the workforce compared to a year ago was a substantial drop in those looking for work – now 1,381,000 (down 180,000) as many Australians simply ‘gave up’ and left the workforce.

“Looking at the month-to-month Roy Morgan Australian figures shows the usual February patterns with full-time employment falling compared to a month ago – full-time employment has fallen in February in ten out of the last twelve years while part-time employment increased – the fourth year in a row part-time employment has increased in February.

“Unfortunately the RBA this week failed to follow up its well overdue February rate cut by once again cutting Australian interest rates. The RBA’s failure to act to provide stimulus to the Australian economy and the soft Australian labour market suggests the RBA still doesn’t understand the weakness in the Australian economy that is likely to see the economy continue to slow down during 2015. It is imperative that RBA Governor Glenn Stevens renews a rate cutting campaign as soon as possible.

“The RBA’s inaction is a ‘slap in the face’ to the many Australians that are looking for work. Over the past year Australian unemployment fell to 1,381,000 (down 180,000) while Australian under-employment rose to 1,161,000 (up 81,000) meaning there are now 2.54 million Australians (20.3%) that are now looking for work or looking for more work – the 39th straight month (more than 3 years) that more than 2 million Australians have been looking for work or looking for more work.

“As we noted a month ago, and today’s figures confirm, despite the rise in employment and the falling level of unemployment over the past year today’s estimates show many Australians have already left the workforce as they lose hope of securing employment. In addition, far more must be done to provide employment for the more than 2 million Australians that are looking for work and looking for more work.

“The Coalition Government, which this month reaches the half-way point of its first term in office, trails badly behind the Opposition according to last week’s Morgan Poll: ALP 56% cf. L-NP 44%. To stand any chance of re-election next year the Government must look seriously at comprehensive industrial relations reform in this year’s Federal Budget - a first measure should be the abolition of weekend and public holiday penalty rates. If Prime Minister Tony Abbott had seriously tackled the high levels of unemployment and under-employment in Australia during his first 18 months in office he would be receiving a much greater degree of support from his colleagues and the Australian community than he is during the current leadership speculation.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 420,148 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – February 2015 and includes 4,027 face-to-face interviews in February 2015.

*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 (2001-2015)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2015)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2015)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2015)

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment - February 2015 - 11.0%

Roy Morgan December Quarter Unemployment - 10.0%

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment & Under-employment - 20.3%


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.