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In September Australian real unemployment is now 8.5% (up 0.2% in a year) and under-employment 7.7% (up 0.4%)

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 501,913 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – September 2016 and includes 3,937 face-to-face interviews in September 2016.

In September a total of 2.103 million Australians, 16.2% of the workforce, were either unemployed (1,101,000) or under-employed (1,002,000). This is up 109,000 (up 0.6%) from September 2015.

Unemployment is now comparable to a year ago with 1.101 million Australians (up 43,000 since September 2015) now unemployed. These real unemployment figures are substantially higher than the current ABS figure for August 2016 (5.6%).

  • Australian real unemployment was 8.5% (up 0.2% in a year but down 1.9% in a month); the fall in unemployment in September was not unexpected as the same movement was observed a year ago;

  • The Australian workforce increased to 12,930,000 (up 166,000 since September 2015), but total employment only increased to 11,829,000 (up 123,000) – this shows there have not been enough new full-time jobs created over the past year to soak up the growing number of people looking for work and thus the increasing size of the workforce;

  • The problem can be seen when one looks at full-time employment which is now 7,887,000 – virtually unchanged from a year ago (7,888,000 in September 2015). In contrast, part-time employment has increased by 124,000 to 3,942,000 over the past year (an average of just over 10,000 per month);

  • The higher part-time employment contributed to the rise in under-employment; now 7.7% of Australians (1,002,000, up 66,000 since September 2015) are under-employed (up 0.4%) – working part-time and looking for more hours.

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimate

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

2016

Jan-Mar 2016

2,496

19.1

1,362

10.4

639

723

1,134

8.7

Apr-Jun 2016

2,322

18.1

1,317

10.2

637

680

1,005

7.8

Jul-Sep 2016

2,296

17.8

1,266

9.8

574

692

1,030

8.0

Months

August 2015

2,117

16.6

1,173

9.2

548

625

944

7.4

September 2015

1,994

15.6

1,058

8.3

482

576

936

7.3

October 2015

2,198

17.4

1,110

8.8

464

646

1,088

8.6

November 2015

2,536

19.6

1,186

9.2

623

563

1,350

10.4

December 2015

2,690

20.7

1,256

9.7

722

534

1,434

11.0

January 2016

2,575

19.7

1,346

10.3

696

650

1,229

9.4

February 2016

2,480

18.8

1,319

10.0

589

730

1,161

8.8

March 2016

2,433

18.8

1,422

11.0

631

791

1,011

7.8

April 2016

2,322

18.1

1,334

10.4

611

723

988

7.7

May 2016

2,316

18.1

1,369

10.7

661

708

947

7.4

June 2016

2,326

17.9

1,247

9.6

637

610

1,079

8.3

July 2016

2,536

19.5

1,365

10.5

645

720

1,171

9.0

August 2016

2,249

17.5

1,332

10.4

544

788

917

7.1

September 2016

2,103

16.2

1,101

8.5

532

569

1,002

7.7

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

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It has now been a year since Malcolm Turnbull took the top job by replacing Tony Abbott as Australian Prime Minister in September 2015. However, the latest Roy Morgan September unemployment and under-employment estimates show Turnbull has yet to make a positive impact on Australia’s more than 2 million unemployed and under-employed workers.

“In September Australia’s real unemployment was 8.5% (1.101 million people looking for work, 43,000 more than a year ago) and under-employment was 7.7% (1,002,000, up 66,000 in a year) – a total of 16.2% (2.103 million) Australians looking for work or looking for more work.

“Although the Australian workforce has increased over the past year – now at 12,930,000 (up 166,000 from a year ago), the increase in the workforce has outpaced the increase in overall employment leading to the rise in unemployment.

“The problem faced by the workforce has been a lack of new full-time jobs – now 7,887,000 Australians are employed full-time, virtually unchanged from a year ago (7,888,000 in September 2015). In that same time part-time jobs have surged to 3,942,000 (up 124,000) and more people are looking for work.

“The reasons are well known – the loss of many high-paying full-time jobs with the end of the ‘Mining boom’ is exemplified by the troubles faced by South Australian miner and steel company Arrium and the refiner Queensland Nickel – both now in administration.

“In addition, high-profile retailers including Dick Smith and Masters have either closed or are in the process of closing down and last week saw the last Ford car manufactured in Australia and the last Holden car manufactured in Adelaide – also a pointer towards further jobs to be lost in the automotive industry as both Holden and Toyota cease Melbourne manufacturing this time next year.

“The extensive loss of full-time jobs in the Australian economy presents a challenge to the Turnbull Government, and these problems are set to intensify over the next year. The Government’s proposed business tax cuts are a key part of the Government’s strategy to get the Australian economy moving again.

“The recent passing of the Government’s ‘Omnibus’ tax cuts legislation with promised savings of $6.3 billion is a good example of how it is possible for the Government to work productively with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and the ALP, and in doing so sideline the Senate cross-benchers, to pass important legislation.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 501,913 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – September 2016 and includes 3,937 face-to-face interviews in September 2016.

*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

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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 (2001-2016)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2016)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2016)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2016)

Roy Morgan monthly unemployment estimate - September 2016 - 8.5%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment Estimate - September Quarter 2016 - 9.8%

Roy Morgan Monthly September Unemployment & Under-employment - 16.2%


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