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Unemployment matters: At the Federal Election the L-NP picked up four marginal seats with total unemployment and under-employment over 25%

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 637,211 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – July 2019 and includes 3,937 face-to-face interviews in July 2019. *The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or consultants who are looking for more work.
The latest data for the Roy Morgan employment series for July shows:

In July 1.19 million Australians were unemployed (8.7% of the workforce) with an additional 1.3 million (9.6%) now under-employed.

  • The workforce, which comprises employed Australians and those who are unemployed and looking for work, has increased year-on-year by 214,000 to 13,564,000. The increasing workforce was driven entirely by an increase in employment.
  • Employment was up 361,000 to 12,382,000 in July 2019 and the rise in employment was driven by a significant increase in full-time employment of 625,000 to 8,390,000. However, over the past year part-time employment has declined by 264,000 to 3,992,000;
  • Unemployment was down 147,000 on a year ago to 1,182,000 Australians and the unemployment rate is down by 1.3% to 8.7%;
  • However, under-employment has increased by 150,000 to 1,298,000 Australians (up 1% to 9.6% of the workforce) over the past year which includes Australians working part-time and looking for more work;
  • Roy Morgan’s real unemployment figure of 8.7% for July is significantly higher than the current ABS estimate for June 2019 of 5.2%, although Roy Morgan’s under-employment estimate of 9.6% is comparable to the current ABS underemployment estimate of 8.2%;
  • Roy Morgan’s total unemployment and under-employment of 2,480,000 Australians (18.3% of the workforce) in July, virtually unchanged on a year ago, seems large but the biennial ABS survey the ‘Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation’ last released in 2017 claims an even higher figure of 2.7 million Australians aged 18+ would like a job or to work more hours – including 1.1 million people the ABS said wanted a job but excluded from the Labour Force.
 
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – July 2019. Average monthly interviews 4,000.

Australian Electorates ranked by total unemployment and under-employment – July 2019

Total Roy Morgan unemployment and under-employment over the 12 months to July 2019 was 2.5 million (18.5%) which provides an insight into Australia’s real level of unemployment and under-employment. The first task of any Government is to reduce unemployment to as low a level as possible.

In the recent Federal Election the high level of unemployment and under-employment played a key role in several key electorates which were won by the L-NP Government off the ALP opposition.

These electorates included Braddon (TAS) – 32.1%, Bass (TAS) – 29.1%, Herbert (QLD) – 27.4% and Longman (QLD) – 26.0%. All four electorates have much higher total unemployment and under-employment than the national average of 18.5%.

Looking forward there are several other Marginal electorates in which total unemployment and under-employment is high including Leichhardt (QLD) – 33.1%, Hasluck (WA) – 21.4% and Swan (WA) – 20.2% for the L-NP. There are even more ALP marginal seats with high unemployment and under-employment including Hotham (VIC) – 29.6%, Blair (QLD) – 25.6%, Paterson (NSW) – 24.5%, Richmond (NSW) – 22.2%, Solomon (NT) – 22.1%, Moreton (QLD) – 21.1%, Griffith (QLD) – 20.7%, Shortland (NSW) – 20.4% and Dobell (NSW) – 20.0%.

Australian State Unemployment Rate

21 Marginal L-NP Federal Electorates. 25 Marginal ALP Federal Electorates. 6 Federal Electorate seats held by minor parties. Base: Australians aged 14+. Source: Roy Morgan Single Source; August 2018 – July 2019, n=49,934. *12 Federal Electorates changed hands at the recent Federal Election.


Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says unemployment and under-employment played a decisive role in the recent Federal Election with the L-NP Government picking up four marginal seats from the ALP which have total unemployment and under-employment of over 20%:

“The L-NP’s victory at the recent Federal Election came as a shock to many media commentators however a close analysis of underlying unemployment and under-employment trends shows the L-NP’s victory was built on picking up marginal seats with high unemployment and under-employment.

“The seats of Braddon (32.1% total unemployment and under-employment) and Bass (29.1%) in Tasmania as well as Herbert (27.4%) and Longman (26%) in Queensland were all held by the ALP heading into the Federal Election but were all won by the L-NP Government. The L-NP holds a slim one seat majority on the floor of Parliament (76 cf. 74) and these four seats played a key role in securing the L-NP victory.

“The priority the L-NP gave to providing a strong economy by cutting taxes and creating employment opportunities for out of work Australians was heard loud and clear in these electorates in particular.

“There were other seats that changed hands at the election including Wentworth, Lindsay and Warringah in Sydney and Dunkley and Corangamite in Victoria however the issues in these electorates were of a different nature.

“Both Dunkley and Corangamite in Victoria were Liberal-held seats that became notionally ALP after a Federal redistribution of electors while an unpopular local member in Warringah was replaced, a traditionally Liberal-held seat in Wentworth returned to the fold and a controversy involving the sitting member for Lindsay led to the seat changing hands at the election.

“The latest Roy Morgan employment estimates for July show that a total of 2.48 million Australians (18.3% of the workforce) remain either unemployed or under-employed. This total comprises 1.19 million unemployed Australians (8.7%) and a further 1.3 million under-employed Australians (9.6%).

“The Roy Morgan estimated real unemployment and under-employment is significantly higher than the latest ABS estimate for total unemployment and under-employment of 1.83 million (13.4% of the workforce).

“The pivotal role played by high unemployment and under-employment in several marginal seats at the recent Federal Election provides an important benchmark for the re-elected L-NP Government as it assesses its priorities for the next three years with only a slim one seat majority.

“Although Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the team are riding high after pulling off an unexpected election victory, the L-NP hold seven seats on margins of less than 6% which have total unemployment and under-employment of over 20%. If the Government were to lose these seats at the next election it would also lose Government and Anthony Albanese would be Australia’s next Prime Minister.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 637,211 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – July 2019 and includes 3,937 face-to-face interviews in July 2019. *The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or consultants who are looking for more work.

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimates

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2018

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Jan-Mar 2018

2,561

18.9

1,246

9.2

626

620

1,314

9.7

Apr-Jun 2018

2,528

18.9

1,228

9.2

589

639

1,301

9.7

Jul-Sep 2018

2,469

18.5

1,354

10.1

631

723

1,115

8.3

Oct-Dec 2018

2,440

18.1

1,286

9.5

559

727

1,154

8.6

2019

Jan-Mar 2019

2,604

19.2

1,345

9.9

635

701

1,229

9.3

Months

April 2018

2,545

19.3

1,196

9.1

561

635

1,349

10.2

May 2018

2,567

19.1

1,316

9.8

627

689

1,251

9.3

June 2018

2,473

18.4

1,171

8.7

578

593

1,302

9.7

July 2018

2,478

18.6

1,329

10.0

581

749

1,148

8.6

August 2018

2,547

19.0

1,476

11.0

700

776

1,071

8.0

September 2018

2,383

17.8

1,256

9.4

611

645

1,127

8.4

October 2018

2,507

18.6

1,265

9.4

501

764

1,242

9.2

November 2018

2,333

17.2

1,291

9.5

578

713

1,042

7.7

December 2018

2,480

18.5

1,302

9.7

599

703

1,178

8.8

January 2019

2,553

18.7

1,253

9.2

597

656

1,300

9.5

February 2019

2,448

18.2

1,292

9.6

606

686

1,156

8.6

March 2019

2,812

20.6

1,491

10.9

731

760

1,321

9.7

April 2019

2,381

17.7

1,202

8.9

599

603

1,179

8.8

May 2019

2,559

18.4

1,325

9.5

674

651

1,234

8.9

June 2019 

2,529 18.6 1,254 9.2 605 649 1,275

9.4

July 2019 2,480 18.3 1,182 8.7 526 656 1,298 9.6

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

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 (2001-2019)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2019)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2019)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2019)


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 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.

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




About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

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. Margin of error 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. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

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