ABS June unemployment estimate ignores the 416,000 Australians who have left the workforce since March

Original article by Michele Levine Gary Morgan Julian McCrann
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 17-Jul-20

The ABS unemployment estimate for June 2020 claims 992,000 Australians were unemployed (7.4% of the workforce), the highest unemployment rate since September 1999. However, the ABS claims 416,000 Australians have left the workforce since March – meaning the participation rate has dropped from 66% to 64% in June. If the ABS participation rate was steady at 66% there would now be 1.41 million unemployed. In addition, within the ABS employment release is a section indicating 175,000 Australians the ABS counts as employed were working zero hours in June and had ‘no work, not enough work available, or were stood down’. If these non-workers are added the adjusted ABS unemployment estimate increases to 1.58 million – an unemployment rate of 11.9%. Combined with the ABS under-employment estimate of 11.7% (1.56 million) that would be 3.14 million Australians unemployed or under-employed in June – 23.6% of the Australian workforce. This ‘adjusted’ ABS estimate is close to Roy Morgan’s unemployment & under-employment estimate of 24.5% for June released two weeks ago.


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