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Australian real unemployment virtually unchanged in May at 10.3% (1.29 million) and under-employment 8.2% (1.02 million)

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 433,586 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – May 2015 and includes 4,810 face-to-face interviews in May 2015.

In May 2015 Roy Morgan Unemployment is 10.3% (up 0.6% from a year ago):

  • 12,490,000 Australians are in the workforce (up 264,000 since May 2014) – although the workforce has dropped in the month of May as it has in 12 of the last 15 years while now 11,201,000 Australians are employed (up 161,000 since May 2014);
  • 7,573,000 Australians are employed full-time (up 69,000 since May 2014);
  • 3,628,000 Australians are employed part-time (up 92,000 since May 2014);
  • 1,289,000 Australians are looking for work (10.3% of the workforce – up 103,000 (up 0.6%) since May 2014);
  • 1,021,000 Australians are under-employed, working part-time and looking for more hours (8.2% of the workforce – up 28,000 (up 0.1%) since May 2014);
  • 2,310,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed (18.5% of the workforce – up 131,000 (up 0.7%) since May 2014).
  • Despite this month’s decrease the latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate of 10.3% is still a substantial 4.1% higher than the figure currently quoted by the ABS for April 2015 (6.2%).

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

2015

Jan-Mar 2015

2,384

18.9

1,327

10.5

656

672

1,057

8.4

Months

April 2014

2,387

18.9

1,308

10.4

628

680

1,079

8.5

April 2014**

2,374

19.0

1,300

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

March 2015

2,344

18.5

1,368

10.8

742

626

976

7.7

April 2015

2,446

19.4

1,309

10.4

656

653

1,137

9.0

May 2015

2,310

18.5

1,289

10.3

646

643

1,021

8.2

*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 Australian employment in May of 11,201,000 (up161,000 since May 2014). The good news is that both full-time employment 7,573,000 (up 69,000) and part-time employment 3,628,000 (up 92,000) have increased over the past year.

“However, despite the increase in employment over the past year, the overall growth of the Australian workforce 12,490,000 (up 264,000) means unemployment 1,289,000 (up 103,000) has also increased to 10.3% (up 0.6%). In addition to the rise in unemployment, Australian under-employment has increased to 1,021,000 (up 28,000), now at 8.2% (up 0.1%). Today’s estimates mean total Australian unemployment and under-employment of 2.31 million (18.5% of the workforce) has now been above 2 million Australians for 42 straight months – exactly 3 ½ years.

“The good news for the Abbott Government is that the recent stronger than expected growth figures for the Australian economy – the ABS announced yesterday that the Australian economy grew by 0.9% in the March Quarter – gives the Abbott Government the flexibility to undertake comprehensive structural reform to Australia’s labour market and cut the ‘red tape’ that prevents businesses from hiring.

“Although good news, the increase in March Quarter GDP reflects a rise in production rather than a similar strong rise in consumption. In other words, the level of stock produced has increased strongly but this stock is sitting in warehouses unsold. The GDP increase also reflects a rise in exports – unfortunately lower prices as more commodities are shipped offshore at lower profit margins – today’s announcement by the ABS of an April trade deficit of $3.9 billion says it all! While the booming housing construction component of the GDP increase is unsustainable – particularly the large building of apartments in Australia’s two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne – a repeat of the 1880s-1890s housing boom!

“As I’ve explained, despite a strong GDP result, the growth in the Australian economy is unbalanced and ultimately unsustainable long-term. To comprehensively create across the board growth in the Australian economy and really ‘tackle’ Australian unemployment and under-employment the Government must undertake thorough labour market de-regulation that will allow the 2.31 million Australians looking for further employment to find jobs in a healthily growing economy.

“The post Federal Budget boost to the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating (now 113.5, up 4.8pts since May 2/3, 2015 before the Federal Budget) will prove short-lived if further reforms are not enacted - the next measure the Abbott Government must look at should be the abolition of Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for the tourism and retail industries – these measures have an obviously detrimental impact on small businesses which are forced to close on Sundays and public holidays.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 433,586 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – May 2015 and includes 4,810 face-to-face interviews in May 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 May Unemployment Estimate - 10.3%

Roy Morgan Unemployment Estimates - March Quarter 2015 - 10.5%

Roy Morgan May Unemployment & Under-employment - 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.