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Unemployment in December is 9.7% and under-employment is 8.8%

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 613,049 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – December 2018 and includes 4,220 face-to-face interviews in December 2018.
Australian unemployment of 9.7% (down 0.1%) and under-employment of 8.8% (down 0.8%) are both down on a year ago driving a 0.9% fall in overall labour under-utilisation to 18.5% (2.5 million)

The latest data for the Roy Morgan employment series for December shows:

  • The workforce, which comprises employed Australians and those who are unemployed and looking for work, is now 13,376,000, down 34,000 on a year ago.12,074,000 Australians were employed in December, down 24,000 over the past year;

  • The decrease in employment was driven by a drop in part-time employment of 89,000 to 4,115,000. An increase in full-time employment of 65,000 to 7,959,000 wasn’t enough to offset this drop;

  • 1,302,000 Australians (9.7% of the workforce) were unemployed in December, virtually unchanged on a year ago and the unemployment rate is down by only 0.1%;

  • In addition 1,178,000 Australians (8.8% of the workforce) were under-employed, working part-time and looking for more work, a decrease of 110,000 in a year (down 0.8%);

  • In total 2,480,000 Australians (18.5% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed in December, a decrease of 120,000 in a year (down 0.9%);

  • Roy Morgan’s real unemployment figure of 9.7% for December is significantly higher than the current ABS estimate for November 2018 of 5.1%.
Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment & Under-employment - November 2018 - 17.2%

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


Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says the good news is that both unemployment and under-employment are both down on a year ago however this isn't due to a surge in new jobs:

“Growth in the Australian employment market over the past year has stalled with a contraction in the total number of Australians employed compared to December 2017. Full-time employment increased by 65,000 from a year ago however part-time employment was down by 89,000.

“The overall Australian workforce, which includes both employed and unemployed Australians, is down 34,000 on a year ago driven by the decline in employed Australians as well as a small fall in unemployment. In December there were 1.302 million unemployed Australians down by 10,000 on a year ago (1.312 million) and equivalent to 9.7% of the workforce.

“A further 1.178 million Australians (8.8% of the workforce) are under-employed meaning a total of 2.48 million Australians (18.5% of the workforce) are now unemployed and looking for work or employed part-time and looking for more work (under-employed).

“The continuing high level of unemployment and under-employment is a vitally important issue for many Australians that may be looking for work or may have a close friend or family member after further employment. The L-NP Government’s failure to meaningfully impact total unemployment and under-employment since being elected in 2013 is a huge problem for the Morrison Government which is seeking re-election at this year’s Federal election due in the next few months.

“Total labour under-utilisation in Australia has been consistently over 2 million for over seven years now since 2011. The continuing high number of Australians looking for a job, or looking for more hours at work, has tracked the increasing share of the vote for minor parties at Federal Elections.

“Minor parties have increased their share of the vote at each Federal election over the last decade up to a multi-decade high of 22.9% at the 2016 Federal election and this trend looks set to continue based on the results of the recent Victorian election.”


This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 613,8049 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – December 2018 and includes 4,220 face-to-face interviews in December 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 Quarterly Unemployment - December quarter 2018 - 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

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@roymorgan.com