Australian real unemployment 9.6% in June as new Government takes office

The good news for the re-elected Turnbull Government is that June unemployment fell 1.1% to 9.6% – although this is still well above the current ABS figure for May 2016 (5.7%).

However, according to Roy Morgan Research the rising levels of employment were led by an increase in part-time employment (3,951,000, up 208,000 from June 2015) while full-time employment was down 28,000 to 7,792,000.

They say that the increasing part-time employment leads directly to increases in under-employment – now at 8.3% (up 0.9% since May 2016).

  • In June a total of 2.326 million Australians (17.9% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed. The fall in unemployment in June almost evenly matched20863570_l by rising levels of under-employment was observed in last year’s June unemployment estimates;
  • In total there were 12,990,000 Australians in the workforce in June, up 207,000 from a month ago (and up 235,000 since June 2015) and 11,743,000 Australians are employed (up 180,000 since June 2015);
  • 9.6% of the workforce (1,247,000 people) are unemployed – up 55,000 since June 2015 (the unemployment rate is up 0.3% from a year ago) and 1,079,000 Australians are under-employed – working part-time and looking for more hours (8.3% of the workforce – down 50,000 (down 0.6%);
  • A total of 2,326,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed: a large 17.9% of the workforce – up 5,000 (but down 0.3% due to the larger size of the workforce) since June 2015.

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In June Australia’s real unemployment was 9.6% (1.247 million people looking for work, 55,000 more than a year ago) and under-employment was 8.3% (1,079,000, down 50,000 in a year) – a total of 17.9% (2.326 million) Australians looking for work or looking for more work. The monthly movements in June this year are very similar to the movements of a year ago with the fall in unemployment almost evenly matched by the rise in under-employment. 

“The good news in June was a strong increase in overall employment – now at 11,743,000 (up 180,000 from a year ago). However looking closely at the figures shows the increase was entirely driven by increasing part-time employment – now at 3,951,000 (up 208,000) while full-time employment fell to 7,792,000 (down 28,000). Although the economy has been growing it is not translating into an increase in full-time jobs.  

“This slow employment market was largely ignored by the major parties in the Federal Election campaign. It is why neither party secured a clear victory. The lack of coherent plans and details on how each major party would grow the Australian economy and generate jobs is the reason for the high vote for minor parties – today counted at 22.9%. 

“Hopefully, the ‘shock’ of a close election result – along with the record high support for minor parties – will mean both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten start listening to the clear message the electorate is sending the major parties. Nearly a quarter of the Australian electorate feels ignored and unheard by Australia’s political leaders.

“Acknowledging Australia’s true unemployment and under-employment figures is the first step both Turnbull and Shorten should take to ‘reconnect’ with the many voters who have abandoned the major parties. In the US, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has set a fine example for both leaders. On several occasions Trump has stated the real US unemployment rate is far higher than the widely quoted figure – nearer to 20% than the official rate of only 4.7%!”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 489,233 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – June 2016 and includes 3,881 face-to-face interviews in June 2016.

*The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or consultants who are looking for more work. (Unfortunately the ABS put their ‘heads in the sand’ and refuse to accept the reality and does not release this figure in their monthly unemployment survey results).

Unemployment Data Tables





Source: Roy Morgan Research

Also published on Medium.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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