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Over 2 million Australians still unemployed in June, down 42,000 on May

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source January 2019 – June 2020. Average monthly interviews 4,000.

In June 14.5% of the workforce (2.05 million Australians) were unemployed. This is 42,000 fewer than May, however, this slight improvement was largely cancelled out by the rise in under-employment, now at 10% of the workforce (1.41 million), and up 37,000 on a month ago.

This means a massive 3.45 million Australians (24.5% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed, an improvement of only 5,000 on May according to the latest Roy Morgan employment estimates.

Compared to early March, before lockdown, there are an additional 1.03 million Australians now unemployed (+7.2% points).

Latest Roy Morgan employment series data for June shows:

  • The workforce in June was 14,106,000 – comprised of 12,058,000 employed and 2,048,000 unemployed Australians looking for work. The workforce total is down a small 22,000 since May;
  • 12,058,000 Australians were employed in June, up 20,000 from May including 7,934,000 employed full-time, up 26,000, and 4,124,000 employed part-time, down 6,000;
  • 2,048,000 Australians were looking for work in June, down 42,000 from May, driven by a fall in the number looking for part-time work which fell 39,000 to 1,144,000 while 904,000 were looking for full-time work, down 3,000;
  • Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 14.5% for June is more than double the current ABS estimate for May 2020 of 7.1%. However, the ABS figure for May estimated a large decline in the size of the workforce since March which they said was down 655,000. If the ABS workforce estimate for May had matched that in March the ABS unemployment figure would have been 11.5% (1.58 million).

Roy Morgan Unemployment & Under-employment (2019-2020)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source January 2019 – June 2020. Average monthly interviews 4,000. Note: Roy Morgan unemployment estimates are actual data while the ABS estimates are seasonally adjusted. 

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says life around Australia is slowly returning to a ‘new normal’ – however, the re-imposition of restrictions this week in Melbourne shows COVID-19 still poses a significant and ongoing threat to lives and livelihoods:

“Roy Morgan’s unemployment measure for June shows 2.05 million Australians were unemployed (14.5% of the workforce) with an additional 1.41 million (10.0%) under-employed. In total a massive 3.45 million Australians (24.5% of the workforce) were unemployed or under-employed – virtually unchanged on May.

“The monthly drop in unemployment was driven by the decline in NSW with unemployment dropping to 12%, down 1% on May, and clearly the lowest of any State. Unemployment also declined in South Australia but was largely unchanged, or slightly up, in other States.

“The small changes in unemployment and under-employment in June illustrate just how much new growth is required to provide jobs for the more than 1 million Australians now unemployed that were working prior to the COVID-19 shut-downs enforced in mid-March.

“In addition there has been sobering news over the last week as around 350 new cases of COVID-19 have been announced in Melbourne – an average of about 50 per day. This new spike has forced suburb-by-suburb lock-downs around Melbourne and if new infections continue to roll in there is a strong possibility the entire city may again be forced back onto Stage 3 restrictions.

“The developing situation in Victoria demonstrates that while in recent weeks many have considered the worst of COVID-19 may already be over, there is always the chance the virus can pose a renewed threat that does more damage to lives and livelihoods and the economy more broadly.

“These continuing threats mean it is vital the L-NP Government does not withdraw the support provided to the economy before it reaches a sustainable level. As well as the more than 1 million Australians forced out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic there is an even greater cohort, according to the Australian Treasury around 3.5 million working Australians, relying on the JobKeeper wage subsidy due to run out at the end of September.

“The L-NP Government must give serious consideration to extending JobKeeper for an additional period as the economy adjusts to a more fragile economic landscape than we have seen for decades.”

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimates

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2019

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Jan-Mar 2019

2,604

19.2

1,345

9.9

635

701

1,259

9.3

Apr-Jun 2019

2,490

18.2

1,260

9.2

626

634

1,229

9.0

Jul-Sep 2019

2,261

16.6

1,188

8.7

520

667

1,074

7.9

Oct-Dec 2019

2,374

17.1

1,134

8.2

536

598

1,240

8.9

2020

Jan-Mar 2020

2,692

19.1

1,417

10.1

638

779

1,275

9.0

Apr-Jun 2020

3,466

24.6

2,099

14.9

937

1,162

1,367

9.7

Months

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

November 2019

2,226

16.1

1,122

8.1

549

573

1,104

8.0

December 2019

2,588

18.6

1,205

8.7

619

587

1,383

9.9

January 2020

2,586

18.4

1,361

9.7

713

648

1,225

8.7

February 2020

2,443

17.3

1,174

8.3

517

658

1,269

9.0

March 2020 (Total)

3,046

21.6

1,715

12.2

684

1,030

1,331

9.4

March 2020 (Early)

2,161

15.6

1,019

7.3

402

617

1,142

8.2

March 2020 (Late)

3,923

27.4

2,407

16.8

960

1,447

1,516

10.6

April 2020

3,484

24.7

2,159

15.3

1,001

1,158

1,325

9.4

May 2020

3,459

24.5

2,090

14.8

907

1,183

1,369

9.7

June 2020

3,454

24.5

2,048

14.5

904

1,144

1,406

10.0

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

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 689,969 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 and June 2020, and includes 5,767 telephone and online interviews in June 2020. *The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or freelancers who are looking for more work.


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 (2001-2020)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2005-2020)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2020)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2020)


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


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