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Employment at record high but over 2.5 million Australians looking for 'more' work

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – March 2018. Average monthly interviews 4,000.
The latest data for the Roy Morgan employment series for March shows:

  • The workforce is 13,584,000 comprised of employed and unemployed, up 373,000 on a year ago;

  • A record high 12,374,000 Australians were employed in March – a large increase of 399,000 over the past year equal to an average of over 30,000 jobs added per month;

  • The increase in employment year on year was primarily driven by an increase in part-time employment which rose 324,000 to a record high 4,431,000 while full-time employment was up 75,000 to 7,943,000;

  • Analysing long-term trends shows continuing strong growth in part-time employment driving overall employment growth with full-time employment also increasing although at a slower rate. Full-time employment hit a record high in February although has dropped slightly in March as students returning to study reduce their employment hours. Full-time employment has dropped in March for three years in a row;

  • 1.21 million Australians were unemployed (8.9% of the workforce); a decrease of 26,000 (down 0.4%) on a year ago. In addition 1.36 million Australians (10.0% of the workforce) are now under-employed, working part-time and looking for more work, a rise of a large 258,000 in a year (up 1.6%);

  • Roy Morgan real unemployment figures of 8.9% for March are substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for February 2018 of 5.6%.

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment & Under-employment - March 2018 - 18.9%

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – March 2018. Average monthly interviews 4,000.


Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimates

Unemployed or
‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2017

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

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

2018

Jan-Mar 2018

2,561

18.9

1,246

9.2

626

620

1,314

9.7

Months

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

February 2018

2,520

18.6

1,310

9.7

658

652

1,210

8.9

March 2018

2,572

18.9

1,210

8.9

578

632

1,362

10.0

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


Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, said employment growth has been strong in the year to March driven by big increases in part-time employment to nearly 4.5 million people although full-time employment has also grown hitting a record high in February:

“Today’s Roy Morgan employment estimates show overall employment growth of 399,000 jobs since March 2017 with strong growth in part-time employment of 324,000 to a record high 4,431,000. Full-time employment was up 75,000 to 7,943,000, but down from a record high reached in February.

"The strong growth in part-time employment over the past 12 months continues trends observed in recent years as Australia's workforce becomes increasingly casualised with the rise of the 'gig' economy headlined by businesses such as Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb and the continuing strength of food and hospitality businesses which rely heavily on part-time employment.

"Despite the strong growth in overall employment over the past year there remain over 2.5 million Australians either unemployed (1.21 million) or under-employed (1.36 million) looking for work or looking for more work.

"Given the large number of Australians directly, or even indirectly impacted, by unemployment and under-employment it is no surprise that issues relating to unemployment, job security and the search for jobs is one of the key issues Australians mention unprompted when asked what the 'biggest problem facing Australia is early in 2018.

"A special Roy Morgan qualitative and quantitative analysis of Australian views on the key economic issues the country faces – including unemployment and job security - is released today and available to view here with detailed verbatim responses drawn from hundreds of Australian respondents."

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 574,613 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – March 2018 and includes 3,833 face-to-face interviews in March 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).

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 (1992-2018)

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment - March 2018 - 8.9%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment - March quarter 2018 - 9.2%


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