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Unemployment drops to 8.7% in June, lowest since 2016

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

Despite job growth stalling, unemployment has dropped to 8.7% in June as fewer people look for work and the casualisation of the Australian workforce continues.

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

  • The workforce which comprises employed and unemployed Australians has fallen to 13,416,000, down 114,000 on a year ago.

  • The Australian workforce has contracted over the past 12 months as both fewer Australians are in jobs and fewer Australians are now looking for work than a year ago;

  • 12,245,000 Australians were employed in June, down 85,000 over the past year;

  • The fall was driven by a drop in full-time employment which was down 300,000 to 7,800,000, even while part-time employment increased 215,000 to 4,445,000;

  • 1,171,000 Australians were unemployed (8.7% of the workforce); a decrease of 29,000 (down 0.2%) on a year ago and the lowest level of unemployment for nearly two years since September 2016;

  • In addition 1,302,000 Australians (9.7% of the workforce) are now under-employed, working part-time and looking for more work, a fall of 143,000 in a year (down 1%);

  • Roy Morgan real unemployment figures of 8.7% for June remain substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for May 2018 of 5.4%.

Australian Unemployment & Under-employment - June 2018 - 18.4%

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimates

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2017

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Jan-Mar 2017

2,377

17.9

1,261

9.5

591

670

1,116

8.4

Apr-Jun 2017

2,525

19.0

1,234

9.3

607

627

1,291

9.7

Jul-Sep 2017

2,508

19.1

1,254

9.6

598

656

1,254

9.5

Oct-Dec 2017

2,442

18.5

1,275

9.7

659

616

1,167

8.8

2018

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

Months

May 2017

2,622

20.0

1,284

9.8

659

625

1,338

10.2

June 2017

2,645

19.6

1,200

8.9

550

650

1,445

10.7

July 2017

2,462

18.8

1,236

9.4

568

668

1,226

9.4

August 2017

2,565

19.7

1,324

10.2

639

685

1,241

9.5

September 2017

2,498

18.9

1,202

9.1

586

616

1,296

9.8

October 2017

2,334

18.0

1,226

9.5

658

568

1,108

8.5

November 2017

2,394

18.2

1,288

9.8

624

664

1,106

8.4

December 2017

2,600

19.4

1,312

9.8

696

616

1,288

9.6

January 2018

2,590

19.3

1,219

9.1

642

577

1,371

10.2

February 2018

2,520

18.6

1,310

9.7

658

652

1,210

8.9

March 2018

2,572

18.9

1,210

8.9

578

632

1,362

10.0

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

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


Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says unemployment has dipped to its lowest level in nearly two years in June at 8.7% but focusing purely on the unemployment rate ignores the broader contraction in the Australian workforce over the past year:

“Today’s Roy Morgan employment estimates show unemployment dropping to 8.7% in June now 0.2% lower than a year ago with 1.17 million Australians unemployed. However the drop in the unemployment rate isn’t because of a surge in employment.

“Overall Australian employment is down 85,000 compared to this time a year ago with 215,000 new part-time jobs created over the last year not enough to offset the loss of 300,000 full-time jobs but indicative of the increasing casualisation of the Australian workforce in the age of the ‘gig economy’.

“This increase in part-time employment means under-employment remains at a high level of 9.7% with 1.3 million Australians now under-employed. Although a total of 2.47 million Australians (18.4% of the workforce) now unemployed or under-employed is the lowest combined figure in 2018 it remains over three times higher than the official ABS unemployment level of 715,000 (5.4%) for May.

“These figures show that the long-term employment trends of increasing casualisation of the Australian workforce remain in effect and illustrate the need for accurate statistics into the true employment situation in Australia.

“Only by having a detailed understanding of real levels of unemployment and under-employment in Australia can the Government and important institutions such as the RBA set the right policies to handle Australia’s labour market.

“The question of how a country at near full-employment as the ABS figures suggest can have record low wage growth is often posed but the answer is clear to anyone who has kept up to date with the latest Roy Morgan monthly employment statistics.

“Over 2.4 million Australians looking for work or looking for more work in June explains why wage growth in Australia remains at record lows. Improving wage growth and the performance of the Australian economy is as simple as designing policies that engage these under-utilised workers and encourage employers to offer more jobs, and more hours, to Australians that want more work.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 587,249 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – June 2018 and includes 3,850 face-to-face interviews in June 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)

Australian Unemployment - June 2018 - 8.7%

Australian Unemployment - June Quarter 2018 - 9.2%


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

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