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Real unemployment & under-employment above 2.3 million

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

Latest data for the Roy Morgan employment series shows:

In October nearly 1.1 million Australians were unemployed (7.8% of the workforce) with an additional 1.2 million (8.9% of the workforce) now under-employed.

  • The workforce, which comprises employed Australians and those who are unemployed and looking for work, has increased year-on-year by 330,000 to 13,789,000. This increase was driven entirely by an increase in full-time employment, as unemployment and part-time employment fell;
  • The number of Australians in employment was up 520,000 to 12,714,000 in October 2019 – a rise driven by a significant increase in full-time employment of 695,000 to 8,582,000. Over the past year part-time employment has declined by 175,000 to 4,132,000;
  • Unemployment, the number of Australians looking for work, was down 190,000 on a year ago, to 1,075,000 Australians, and the unemployment rate was down by 1.6% to 7.8%. Under-employment, Australians working part-time and looking for more work, is little changed from a year ago at 1,232,000 (down 10,000) and is now 8.9% of the workforce, a drop of 0.3% points on a year ago;
  • Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 7.8% for October is higher than the current ABS estimate for September 2019 of 5.2%, although the gap between the two measures is the closest it has been in four years, since September 2015. Roy Morgan’s under-employment estimate of 8.9% is now slightly above the current ABS under-employment estimate of 8.3%;
  • Roy Morgan’s total unemployment and under-employment of 2,307,000 Australians (16.7% of the workforce) in October, down 200,000 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, claimed the much higher figure of 2.7 million Australians would like a job or to work more hours – including 1.1 million people who wanted a job but were excluded from the Labour Force.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says full-time jobs growth has been strong over the past year resulting in a decline in unemployment – but under-employment remains a huge issue:

“Roy Morgan’s latest data shows employment growth in the Australian economy has remained strong throughout 2019 with employment up by over 500,000 compared to October 2018. The growth in employment has driven both full-time and overall employment to new record highs.

“However these trends serve to highlight an increasing issue for Australians, which is under-employment. Roy Morgan estimates over 1.23 million Australians are under-employed in October – 8.9% of the workforce. Combined with 1.08 million unemployed (7.8% of the workforce), this means a total of 2.3 million Australians (16.7%) are either unemployed or under-employed.

“Of particular concern for the one-in-six Australians now looking for a job, or looking for more hours, is that the boost to Business Confidence seen after the L-NP’s victory at the Federal Election in May has now ended. The leading indicator dropped to 106.0 in October, its lowest result since April.

“The RBA’s decision to cut interest rates in half by a total of 0.75% over the last few months has stabilised Australian housing markets, however more action will be required to provide a renewed boost to Business Confidence and the broader Australian economy.

“The best way to reduce the high level of labour under-utilisation, now stuck at over 2 million for over four years, is to provide a healthy and strong economy that encourages businesses to invest in growing their human capital by hiring new workers.”

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

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 650,149 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – October 2019 and includes 4,153 face-to-face interviews in October 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
October 2019  2,307  16.7 1,075 7.8 441 634 1,232 8.9

*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