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Over 2.6 million Australians were unemployed or under-employed in May

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 535,118 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – May 2017 and includes 3,866 face-to-face interviews in May 2017.
Australia’s real unemployment for May was 9.8% (1.284 million Australians looking for work). In addition 1.338 million Australians were under-employed in May (10.2% of the workforce). This is a total of 2.622 million Australians (20% of the workforce) looking for work or looking for more work.

  • In May the total Australian workforce was 13,074,000 (up 291,000 in 12 months) and employment grew to 11,790,000 (up 376,000);

  • However the increase in employment was almost entirely driven by a large increase in part-time employment which rose 346,000 to 4,238,000 while full-time employment rose a modest 30,000 to 7,552,000;

  • Real unemployment is at 9.8%, down 0.9% from a year ago but under-employment is up 2.8% to 10.2% over the same period. The rise in under-employment is a direct consequence of the increasing proportion of part-time employment at the expense of full-time jobs;

  • The total of 2.622 million Australians unemployed or under-employed is the 20th straight month more than 2 million Australians have been looking for work or looking for more work, and only the fourth time this figure has exceeded 2.6 million Australians.

  • The Roy Morgan real unemployment figures are substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for April 2017 (5.7%).

Roy Morgan Unemployment & Under-employment - May 2017 (20.0%)
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – May 2017. Average monthly interviews 4,000.


Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says Australia’s 2.6 million unemployed and under-employed need policy reforms implemented now rather than in three years:

“The Australian economy is generating jobs – a total of 376,000 over the last year. However most of these jobs are part-time (346,000) rather than full-time (30,000) and this contributes to a growing problem of under-employment which has grown by 391,000 over the same time period.

“Unfortunately any increase to the minimum wage above inflation and the over award payments (weekend and public holiday penalty rates) means there is no incentive for employers of unskilled staff such as in retail and hospitality businesses to open for additional hours or take on more staff.

“For this reason last week’s Fair Work Commission’s decisions to increase the minimum wage by $22 per week (+3.3%) and partly defer cuts to Sunday penalty rates over three years instead of now have dealt a significant blow to the prospect of more jobs for Australia’s unemployed and under-employed.

“Australia’s 2.622 million unemployed and under-employed are looking for work today. The Federal Government’s need to create jobs and generate GDP growth will not happen without major industrial reforms – the current weakness in GDP growth (0.3% in March Quarter) and Roy Morgan May Business Confidence falling 2.4% to 113.8 is not good news.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 535,118 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – May 2017 and includes 3,866 face-to-face interviews in May 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

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

Months

April 2016

2,322

18.1

1,334

10.4

611

723

988

7.7

May 2016

2,316

18.1

1,369

10.7

661

708

947

7.4

June 2016

2,326

17.9

1,247

9.6

637

610

1,079

8.3

July 2016

2,536

19.5

1,365

10.5

645

720

1,171

9.0

August 2016

2,249

17.5

1,332

10.4

544

788

917

7.1

September 2016

2,103

16.2

1,101

8.5

532

569

1,002

7.7

October 2016

2,454

19.1

1,188

9.2

626

562

1,266

9.9

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

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

For further information:

Contact

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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 Unemployment Estimates - May 2017 - 9.8% (up 0.5%)

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment Estimate - March Quarter 2017 - 9.5%


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