Australian workforce hits a record high in February as employment and unemployment both increase

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 8-Mar-21

The latest Roy Morgan employment series data shows 1.93 million Australians unemployed in February (up 250,000 on January) equal to 13.2% of the Australian workforce. There were more people looking for both full-time work (up 98,000 to 790,000), and part-time work (up 152,000 to 1,140,000), but under-employment was down 300,000 to 1.14 million. Overall, there were 12,703,000 Australians employed (the highest since March 2020), up 28,000. This increase was driven by a rise in full-time employment, up 125,000 to 8,322,000 but part-time employment was down 97,000 to 4,381,000. The combination of these factors led to the workforce increasing to a new record high of 14,633,000 in February. Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 13.2% for February is over double the current ABS estimate for January 2021 of 6.4%.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Unemployment down to 11.7% in January – lowest since March 2020, but under-employment increases again

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 8-Feb-21

The latest Roy Morgan employment series data shows that 1.68 million Australians (11.7% of the workforce) were unemployed in January 2021 (down 44,000 on December). In addition, 1.44 million Australians (10.0% of the workforce) were under-employed – working part-time but looking for more work. This was an increase of 81,000 on a month ago and an increase of 154,000 over the last two months. Meanwhile, some 12,675,000 Australians were employed in January (up 26,000 from December). The rise in employment was driven by an increase in full-time employment, up 46,000 to 8,197,000; part-time employment was down 20,000 to 4,478,000. Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 11.7% for January is over 5% points higher than the current ABS estimate for December 2020 of 6.6%.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

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.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Unemployment virtually unchanged in October at 12.8% – but up 2.5% to 14.6% in locked down Victoria

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 6-Nov-20

Latest Roy Morgan employment series data shows 1.81 million Australians unemployed (12.8% of the workforce), down 18,000 from September. There were fewer people looking for part-time work, down 76,000 to 1,020,000 but there was an increase of 58,000 people looking for full-time work to 790,000. In Victoria unemployment was up 2.5% to 14.6% – the highest of any mainland State as the strict lockdown continued in Melbourne until the last few days of the month. On raw numbers unemployment in Victoria was up 101,000 to 560,000 and under-employment increased 109,000 to 438,000 – almost 1 million unemployed or under-employed (26.1%).

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

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.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

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.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

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."

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

ABS April Unemployment estimate doesn’t reflect reality. ABS claims 594,000 lose their jobs but only 104,000 become unemployed (?!?)

Original article by Gary Morgan, Michele Levine, Julian McCrann
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 15-May-20

Yesterday the ABS released its April employment estimates. The ABS estimates that 12,419,000 Australians were employed in April, down 594,000 on March. There were sharp falls for both full-time and part-time employed. The ABS estimate Australian unemployment increased by only 104,000 to 823,000 in April (6.2% of the workforce, up 1%). Australians will be asking, how can the ABS say 594,000 have lost their jobs in April but only 104,000 become unemployed? This is because the ABS claim 490,000 people left the workforce in April. i.e. the ABS claims these people lost their jobs and weren’t then looking for work and available to start work during the reference week. These workers are unemployed – NOT out of the workforce. So the workforce size in April should match the March estimate of 66%. The real ABS unemployment estimate for April is closer to 1.35 million (9.8%) – an increase of 4.6% points. Combined with the estimated ABS under-employment of 1.82 million (13.7%) means a combined unemployment and under-employment of 3.16 million (23.5%). This is much closer to the Roy Morgan April employment estimates showing 2.16 million Australians (15.3%) were unemployed and a total of 3.48 million (24.7%) were either unemployed or under-employed.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Roy Morgan’s unemployment measure for April shows 2.16 million Australians were unemployed (15.3% of the workforce) with an additional 1.32 million (9.4%) under-employed

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 4-May-20

Roy Morgan’s unemployment measure for April shows that in total a massive 3.5 million (24.7%) Australians are now either unemployed or under-employed. This is 439,000 fewer than the 3.92 million (27.4%) during the last two weeks of March (March 20-31, 2020), immediately before the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program was announced. Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 15.3% for April is now almost three times higher than the current ABS estimate for March 2020 of 5.2%. The ABS figure for March was based on interviews conducted in reference to early March (pre shut-downs) and did not include data related to the situation in late March (post shut-downs).

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Good news and bad debt

Original article by Terry McCrann
Sunday Herald Sun – Page: 63 : 3-May-20

The advice from Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh that "so far" more than 320,000 home loan borrowers and 170,000 businesses have had loan repayments deferred is a mix of ‘good’ news and ‘bad’ news. Clearly the numbers who need repayments deferred "will increase". Some "good news" for the government is Roy Morgan’s April estimate of Australia’s unemployed and under-employed, down 439,000 on the last 2 weeks in March – however, it only dropped because of the government’s JobKeeper scheme. If JobKeeper numbers were added to those who are unemployed and under-employed then "real joblessness" is probably around a third of the workforce, with not one person from the public sector ‘out-of-work’. Even with Australian banks proactively playing their part the post-virus reality is not going to be "a walk in the park" – assuming it is allowed!

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, ROY MORGAN LIMITED