ABS October unemployment estimate counts 134,000 Australians working zero hours in October for economic reasons as employed

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

The ABS unemployment estimate for October 2020 claims 960,900 Australians were unemployed (7.0% of the workforce), up 0.1% points on September 2020. However, the ABS claim the participation rate has dropped from 66% in March to 65.8% in October. If the ABS participation rate was steady at 66% there would be an extra 60,000 people in the workforce now and a total of 1.03 million unemployed. In addition, within the ABS employment release for hours worked it notes that 133,800 Australians the ABS count as employed worked zero hours in October for economic reasons. If these non-workers are added the adjusted ABS unemployment estimate is 1.16 million – an unemployment rate of 8.4%. Combined with the ABS under-employment estimate of 1.43 million that would be 2.59 million Australians unemployed or under-employed in October – 18.8% of the Australian workforce. This ‘adjusted’ ABS estimate is significantly closer to Roy Morgan’s unemployment & under-employment estimate of 22.2% for October released two weeks ago.


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