Back To Listing

Real unemployment at 10.3% as L-NP starts new term in Government

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 633,544 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – May 2019 and includes 3,998 face-to-face interviews in May 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 May shows:

In May 1.37 million Australians were unemployed (10.3% of the workforce) with an additional 1.22 million (9.2%) now under-employed.

  • The workforce, which comprises employed Australians and those who are unemployed and looking for work, was down year-on-year by 166,000 to 13,295,000. The decreasing workforce was driven by a fall in employment which fell 219,000 to 11,926,000 in May 2019;

  • The fall in employment was driven by a significant decrease in part-time employment of 375,000 to 3,911,000. However, over the past year full-time employment was up by 156,000 to 8,015,000;

  • Now 1,369,000 Australians (10.3% of the workforce) are unemployed, up 53,000 on a year ago and the unemployment rate was up by 0.5%;

  • An additional 1,223,000 Australians (9.2% of the workforce) are under-employed, working part-time and looking for more work, a decrease of 28,000 in a year (down 0.1%);

  • Roy Morgan’s real unemployment figure of 10.3% for May is significantly higher than the current ABS estimate for April 2019 of 5.2% although Roy Morgan’s under-employment estimate of 9.2% is comparable to the current ABS underemployment estimate of 8.5%;

  • Roy Morgan’s total unemployment and under-employment of 2,592,000 Australians (19.5% of the workforce) in May, an increase of 25,000 in a year (up 0.4%) seems large but the biennial ABS survey the ‘Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation’ claims a comparable 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;

  • Of interest this is the fourth consecutive year that the unemployment rate has increased month-on-month in May after daylight savings ended the month before in April.

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment & Under-employment - May 2019 - 19.5%

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


Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says the L-NP’s victory at the Federal Election has given the Government another three years to tackle the ongoing problem of high unemployment and under-employment now numbering over 2.5 million (19.5% of the workforce):

“The latest Roy Morgan employment estimates show that 11,926,000 Australians were employed in May, down 166,000 on a year ago in May 2018. The fall in employment has led to a rise in unemployment over the last year, up by 53,000 to 1,369,000 (10.3% of the workforce) in May.

“In addition to the high level of unemployment there are 1,223,000 Australians (9.2% of the workforce) now under-employed for a total of nearly 2.6 million Australians either unemployed or under-employed equal to 19.5% of the workforce.

“Unfortunately for Australians looking for work or looking for more work this represents very little change since the last Federal election in July 2016. At the time there were 2,536,000 Australians (19.5%) unemployed or under-employed. There have now been over 2 million Australians unemployed or under-employed for nearly four years since September 2015.

“The Reserve Bank’s decision to cut interest rates to a record low of 1.25% this week shows that policy-makers outside Government are providing a stimulatory business environment to support employment growth. The re-elected L-NP Government now has a renewed mandate from the electorate to undertake reforms to encourage businesses to hire more workers.

“The first priority for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the team is to pass the promised income tax cuts as soon as Parliament resumes to put more money back in the hands of working Australians. Other legislative priorities should include tackling the ‘cash economy’ which undermines law-abiding businesses, reducing the penalty rates for businesses opening on weekends and public holidays and cutting the regulatory ‘red tape’ that discourages businesses from hiring new workers.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 633,544 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – May 2019 and includes 3,998 face-to-face interviews in May 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

2,592

19.5

1,369

10.3

671

698

1,223

9.2

*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 Monthly Unemployment - May 2019 - 10.3%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment - March quarter 2019 - 9.9%

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