Back To Listing

Roy Morgan real unemployment down in February, now 9.4% (1.253m) down 0.6% from Feb 2016; WA Election result a clear warning signal to Turnbull Government.

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 521,820 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – February 2017 and includes 3,976 face-to-face interviews in February 2017.
A total of 2.390 million Australians, 17.9% of the workforce, were either unemployed (1,253,000) or under-employed (1,137,000) – down 90,000 (down 0.9%) from February 2016.

  • Unemployment is less than a year ago with 1.253 million Australians now unemployed (down 66,000 in a year and down 0.6% at 9.4%). The Roy Morgan real unemployment figures are substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for January 2017 (5.7%);

  • In February the total Australian workforce was 13,348,000 (up 174,000 since February 2016) and total employment was 12,095,000 (up 240,000 in a year);

  • Full-time employment is 7,904,000 – up 87,000 from a year ago (7,817,000 in February 2016). Part-time employment grew even more strongly, increasing by 153,000 to 4,191,000 from February  2016 (4,038,000);

  • Under-employment in February is now 8.5% (down 0.3% since February 2016) of the work force and 1,137,000 Australians (down 24,000 since February 2016) are under-employed.

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimate

Unemployed or ‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2015

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Jan-Mar 2015

2,384

18.9

1,327

10.5

656

672

1,057

8.4

Apr-Jun 2015

2,359

18.7

1,263

10.0

618

645

1,096

8.7

Jul-Sep 2015

2,061

16.2

1,109

8.7

518

591

952

7.5

Oct-Dec 2015

2,475

19.2

1,184

9.2

603

581

1,291

10.0

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

Oct-Dec 2016

2,446

18.9

1,191

9.2

635

556

1,255

9.7

Months

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

October 2016

2,454

19.1

1,188

9.2

626

562

1,266

9.9

November 2016

2,299

17.6

1,199

9.2

629

570

1,100

8.4

December 2016

2,584

20.0

1,186

9.2

650

536

1,398

10.8

January 2017

2,402

17.9

1,295

9.7

634

661

1,107

8.2

February 2017

2,390

17.9

1,253

9.4

576

677

1,137

8.5

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

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

“Australian employment grew over the past year – now at 12,095,000 (up 240,000 since February 2016). The increase was powered by a large increase in part-time employment – up 153,000 to 4,191,000 although full-time employment also grew strongly – up 87,000 to 7,904,000.

“However, despite the employment growth Australian real unemployment is still far too high – now 9.4% (1.253 million, down 66,000 from a year ago) Australians are unemployed, and an additional 8.5% (1.137 million, down 24,000) are under-employed – a total of 2.390 million (17.9%) looking for work or looking for more work.

“The weekend’s WA State Election result should be a huge wake-up fall for the Federal Government about what happens when Governments fail to take the tough decisions and allow the economic situation to deteriorate without taking action.

“A recent Roy Morgan Research analysis of changes in unemployment and under-employment around the Australian States showed Western Australia (15.9%) was well under the Australian figure (16.6%) for total unemployment and under-employment late in 2015 but by late 2016 Western Australia (19.6%) was well above the Australian figure (17.6%).

“Over the year to late 2016 total unemployment and under-employment in Western Australia had increased by 3.7% as the mining boom came to an end and the Barnett Government failed to provide continuing employment to many laid off workers. The WA State Election saw a record swing of over 15% against the Liberal Government of Colin Barnett and a massive victory to the ALP.

“The ALP is predicted to win up to 40 seats (up 19) in the 59 seat WA Parliament while the Liberals may win as few as a dozen – down from 31 seats won at the previous 2013 WA Election. Former WA Premier Colin Barnett’s failure to make the reforms to increase employment opportunities in WA for newly unemployed and under-employed workers was the key reason WA electors didn’t trust Barnett to manage the WA economy for growth, and new jobs, over the next four years.

“The result in WA is a clear message to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to push ahead and enact the key reforms to get the Australian economy moving again and creating new jobs – reducing red tape in industry including supporting the recent Fair Work Commission decision to cut weekend and public holiday penalty rates, tackling the large cash economy that drains money from more productive uses, and implementing the promised company tax cuts are all vital reforms the Turnbull Government must support that will help reduce Australia’s high real unemployment and under-employment.

“Failure to carry out the reforms the Australian economy and Australian workers, need to prosper will mean Turnbull has no chance of re-election at the next Federal Election and also that the poor recent polling numbers for the Government will continue indefinitely.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 521,820 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – February 2017 and includes 3,976 face-to-face interviews in February 2017.

*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 (2001-2017)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2017)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2017)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2017)

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment Estimate - February 2017 - 9.4%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment Estimate - December Quarter 2016 - 9.2%

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment & Under-employment Estimate - February 2017 - 17.9%


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