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Real unemployment & under-employment stuck above 2 million

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 645,996 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – September 2019 and includes 5,017 face-to-face interviews in September 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 September shows:

In September 1.2 million Australians were unemployed (8.7% of the workforce) with an additional 970,000 (7.0%) now under-employed.

  • The workforce, which comprises employed Australians and those who are unemployed and looking for work, has increased year-on-year by 416,000 to 13,836,000. The increasing workforce was driven entirely by an increase in full-time employment as unemployment and part-time employment fell;
  • Employment was up 470,000 to 12,634,000 in September 2019 – the rise in employment was driven by a significant increase in full-time employment of 773,000 to 8,467,000. However, over the past year part-time employment has declined by 303,000 to 4,167,000;
  • Unemployment was down 54,000 on a year ago to 1,202,000 Australians and the unemployment rate is down by 0.7% to 8.7%. In addition under-employment is down by 155,000 to 972,000 Australians (down 1.4% to 7% of the workforce) over the past year which includes Australians working part-time and looking for more work;
  • Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 8.7% for September is higher than the current ABS estimate for August 2019 of 5.3%, although the gap between the two measures is closer than usual. Roy Morgan’s under-employment estimate of 7% is now slightly below the current ABS under-employment estimate of 8.6%;
  • Roy Morgan’s total unemployment and under-employment of 2,174,000 Australians (15.7% of the workforce) in September, down 209,000 on a year ago, is larger than figures usually proffered, but the biennial ABS survey the ‘Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation’ last released in 2017 claims a much higher figure of 2.7 million Australians would like a job or to work more hours – including 1.1 million people the ABS said wanted a job but are excluded from the Labour Force.


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – September 2019. Average monthly interviews 4,000.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says strong jobs growth over the last year has helped drive down both unemployment and under-employment, however over 2 million Australians are still looking for work or looking for more work:

“Roy Morgan’s data shows real unemployment and under-employment is at 2.17 million in September, representing 15.7% of the workforce. This marks a significant improvement over the last year with the measure declining 2.1% points following strong full-time jobs growth.

“However, despite these positive signs, real unemployment and under-employment has now marked four straight years above 2 million, stretching back to September 2015 (1.99 million – 15.6%).

“The interest rate cuts in June and July as well as significant income tax cuts legislated in recent months appear to have stabilised the economy after a rough start to 2019. The RBA’s decision to cut interest rates to a record low of only 0.75% in October will also provide additional stimulus.

“It’s also worth noting the RBA doesn’t have much room for further interest rate cuts in the remainder of this year and heading into 2020. There are several candidates to increase economic uncertainty in the next few months include the US-China trade war, a messy Brexit ‘divorce deal’ between the UK and the EU or even a risk of conflict in the Middle East.

“If any of these were to escalate over the next year, the RBA, as well as the Federal Government, would have to consider more unconventional means to ensure the Australian economy keeps growing and providing jobs for an increasing population.
“Contact Roy Morgan to learn more about Australia’s unemployed and under-employed, who and where they are, and what challenges they face as they search for employment opportunities.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 645,996 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – September 2019 and includes 5,017 face-to-face interviews in September 2019. *The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or consultants who are looking for more work.

Visit the Roy Morgan Online Store to purchase employment profiles including for Australians who are employed, unemployed, under-employed, employed part-time, employed full-time, retired, studying and many more.

Visit the Roy Morgan Online Store to purchase the Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Monthly Detailed Report in Australia, Business Confidence Monthly Detailed Report.




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
August 2019 2,130 15.8 1,179  8.7  454 725   951 7.1
September 2019 2,174 15.7 1,202 8.7 581 621 972 7.0

*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