Women twice as likely as men to be discouraged workers after Covid-19 job loss

Original article by Paul Karp
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 7-Jul-20

A report by the Australian National University has noted an increase in the number of people who are unemployed but not actively looking for work. The report was based on a survey by the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, and report co-author Nicholas Biddle says the increase fits in with the notion of the ‘discouraged’ worker, namely someone who would like to work but does not believe there are any suitable jobs available. The ANU found that women who have lost their job because of COVID-19 are much more likely to be ‘discouraged workers’ than men.


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.


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.


Less gloomy Treasury flags faster recovery

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 10-Jun-20

Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy has told a Senate inquiry that Australia’s unemployment rate is now likely to peak at around eight per cent as the economy begins to re-open and coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased. The Treasury had previously forecast that the impact of the pandemic would cause the jobless rate to reach 10 per cent by June. Australia’s official unemployment rate is currently 6.2 per cent. Kennedy also said the impact of the pandemic on GDP growth will also not be as severe as initially forecast.


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."


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.


‘Massive hit’: unemployment jump set to break ABS records

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 14-May-20

Shane Oliver of AMP Capital expects labour market data to be released on 14 May will show that a record 750,000 jobs were lost in April. AMP Capital forecasts that the unemployment rate rose to 10 per cent in April, while less bearish economists anticipate a jobless rate of between eight and nine per cent. Justin Smirk of Westpac notes that the actual jobless rate is likely to be much higher, as the Australian Bureau of statistics does not consider somebody to be unemployment if they have been laid off but have a job to go back to. Meanwhile, data from the ABS shows that annual growth in wages was just 2.1 per cent in the March quarter.


Door not shut on extending jobless aid: PM

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 2 : 12-May-20

JP Morgan expects about one million Australians to have lost their jobs in April, lifting the unemployment rate to 8.5 per cent. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated that at present the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme is still slated to be in place for six months. He adds that it could be extended or scaled back, depending on the pace at which the economy and the labour market recover from the pandemic. Official labour market data for April will be released on 14 May.


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).


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!