Unemployment hits 6.9pc as 30,000 jobs go

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 16-Oct-20

The locked-down Victorian economy shed 36,000 jobs in September, although the state’s unemployment rate is estimated to have fallen by 0.5 percentage points due to a decline in the participation rate. The national unemployment rate increased from 6.8 per cent to 6.9 per cent in September, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest estimate. The ABS jobs data does not include people who have given up looking for work. UBS economist George Tharenou suggests that the nation’s real unemployment rate is likely to be around 10 per cent at present.


Older workers face unemployment crisis exacerbated by JobMaker, experts warn

Original article by Stephen Long
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 15-Oct-20

Professor Marian Baird from the University of Sydney warns that the federal government’s JobMaker hiring credit scheme will encourage employers to ‘cherrypick’ younger unemployed people when recruiting new staff. She is also concerned that some employers will seek to replace older workers with people under the age of 35 in order to receive the subsidy. Professor Baird adds that the scheme could result in greater casualisation of the workforce, given that there is no obligation for people hired via the scheme to work for the same number of hours each week.


Lack of flexible work is keeping Australian women at home

Original article by
SBS News – Page: Online : 18-Sep-20

Industries that are disproportionately staffed by women have been the hardest hit by the coronavirus-driven recession, including retail and hospitality. Women have also have had to deal with most of the burden of remote learning and caring for family. Women who were made redundant are finding that a lack of flexible employment is forcing them to choose between returning to work and caring for their family. Adam Gregory, LinkedIn’s senior director for Australia and New Zealand, says the longer that women have to make this "impossible choice", the harder they will have to work in order to get back into the workforce.


ABS August unemployment estimate ignores the 232,000 Australians who have left the workforce since March, 2020

Original article by Michele Levine, Gary Morgan, Julian McCrann
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Sep-20

The ABS unemployment estimate for August 2020 claims 922,000 Australians were unemployed (6.8% of the workforce), a surprise drop of 0.7% points on July 2020. However, the ABS claims 232,000 Australians have left the workforce since March – meaning the participation rate dropped from 66% to 64.8% in August. If the ABS participation rate was steady at 66% there would now be 1.18 million unemployed. In addition, within the ABS employment release is a section indicating 151,800 Australians the ABS counts as employed were working zero hours in August and had ‘no work, not enough work available, or were stood down’. If these non-workers are added the adjusted ABS unemployment estimate is 1.33 million – an unemployment rate of 9.7%. Combined with the ABS under-employment estimate of 1.52 million that would be 2.85 million Australians unemployed or under-employed in August – 20.7% of the Australian workforce. This ‘adjusted’ ABS estimate is close to Roy Morgan’s unemployment & under-employment estimate of 22.8% for August released two weeks ago.


Jobless could reach 1.4 million by Christmas

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 24-Jul-20

The federal government’s economic update shows that the official unemployment rate is forecast to fall to around 8.75 per cent by June 2021. However, the Treasury notes that the measured unemployment rate could be up to 10.75 per cent by December if employers choose to give existing staff extra hours of work rather than hiring additional staff. This would lift the number of people who are unemployed to about 1.4 million. Meanwhile, wages are now expected to grow by just 1.75 per cent in 2019-20 and 1.25 per cent in 2020-21, compared with a forecast of 2.5 per cent growth in the mid-year update in December.


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

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says the unemployment estimate for June shows 2.05 million Australians were unemployed (14.5% of the workforce) and 1.41 million (10.0%) under-employed – a total of 3.45 million Australians (24.5%). The small changes in unemployment and under-employment in June show how much new growth is required to provide jobs for the more than 1 million Australians now unemployed that were working prior to the Australia-wide shut-downs enforced in mid-March. In addition the renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in Melbourne over the last two weeks demonstrates the virus poses an ongoing threat to lives, livelihoods and the economy more broadly.


Jobs clawback sees 250,000 return to work

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of employees on companies’ payrolls has increased by 2.7 per cent since mid-April. This equates to about 250,000 workers, and follows an 8.8 per cent fall in payrolled jobs in the four weeks from 14 March. However, there are still 670,000 fewer workers on companies’ payrolls than prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The figures are based on payrolls data from the Australian Taxation Office.


Official ABS May jobless rate out today – will anyone believe figure?

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 2 : 18-Jun-20

Economist Saul Eslake says the May jobless rate would be nearer 13 per cent if those on JobSeeker and the youth allowance were counted as unemployed. Gary Morgan, the executive chairman of Roy Morgan, who conduct their own unemployment survey, says the headline ABS jobless figure is "phony" and the government needs to revise definitions. He says the current definitions were made up after the Second World War, and things have changed a lot. Morgan notes that there are now far more women and part-time workers in the workforce, and people change jobs more. Record uncertainty about the job market and doubts over the relevance of the ‘official’ ABS unemployment rate have prompted calls for more information on the number of welfare recipients and a rethink of how ‘unemployed’ is defined. ABS forecasts for the May unemployment rate will be released on 18 June.


2.09 million Australians unemployed in May, down 69,000 on April

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 5-Jun-20

In May 14.8% of the workforce (2.09 million Australians) were unemployed and 9.7% (1.37 million) were under-employed. This is a total of 3.46 million (24.5%) unemployed or under-employed as Australia begins to open up, according to the latest Roy Morgan employment estimates – obviously an under-estimation as 3.5 million are currently subsidised on JobKeeper. Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says: "Australia has entered its first recession for three decades and a quarter of the Australian workforce is unemployed or under-employed. To emerge from recession quickly businesses and unions must work together to forge sensible and equitable solutions that encourage employers to hire new workers. A Roy Morgan survey this week showed the Federal Court decision to award extra entitlements to certain casual employees will effect up to 794,000 Australian businesses. 567,000 businesses say they will be deterred from hiring casual employees and 123,000 say the decision will ‘force them to close’. This shows if businesses and unions don’t work together hundreds of thousands of Australians will struggle to find new jobs."


Federal Court’s ruling on casual employees set to have impact on hundreds of thousands of businesses says Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine

Original article by Michele Levine
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 4-Jun-20

The business community and union movement must come together and reach an equitable solution about how to handle the implications of the decision in the interests of a healthy Australian jobs market. The biggest direct impact is that businesses will be deterred from hiring casual employees. Businesses mentioned ‘double-dipping’ and that ‘casual workers already get a 25% loading for sick pay and annual leave’. In addition as many as 123,000 businesses say they will be ‘forced to close’. The reluctance to hire casual employees is a troubling development in an economy which has experienced over a million job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged working with unions and businesses to re-boot the Australian economy after the pandemic, but the impetus must be driven by business and union leaders to succeed.