Australian Real Unemployment Rate is 10.4%

In April 2.322 million Australians (18.1% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed according to Roy Morgan Research.

The suggest April unemployment has fallen 0.6% to 10.4% – now 4.7% higher than the current ABS figure for March 2016 (5.7%).

Roy Morgan figures show:

  • There are 12,810,000 Australians in the workforce in April, down 134,000, from a month ago (although up 183,000 since April 2015) and 11,476,000 Australians are employejobs unemployed job work employmentd (up 158,000 since April 2015);
  • Now 7,647,000 Australians are employed full-time – up 85,000 since April 2015 and  3,829,000 Australians (up 73,000) are part-time workers;
  • Now 10.4% of the workforce, 1,334,000 people, are unemployed – up 25,000 since April 2015 with the unemployment rate unchanged from a year ago while 988,000 Australians are under-employed – working part-time and looking for more hours (7.7% of the workforce – down 149,000 (down 1.3%));
  • Now a total of 2,322,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed: a large 18.1% of the workforce – although this is down 124,000 (down 1.3%) since April 2015.


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

“In April Australia’s real unemployment fell to 10.4% (1.334 million people looking for work, however 25,000 more than a year ago) and under-employment was at 7.7% (988,000, down 149,000 in a year) – a total of 18.1% (2.322 million) Australians looking for work or looking for more work. 

“Roy Morgan unemployment traditionally shows a decrease in April, and has now fallen in seven out of the last ten years since 2007 in April. Over the past year both full-time employment 7,647,000 (up 85,000) and part-time employment 3,829,000 (up 73,000) have increased by a similar amount although the increase in the size of the overall workforce over the past year to 12,810,000 (up 183,000) means the actual number of unemployed is slightly higher than this time a year ago.

“Over the weekend Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called an election for Saturday July 2 and already there are clear differences between the two major parties in how they would deal with the largest issue facing Australia – the large number of unemployed and under-employed Australians.

“The L-NP has outlined plans to introduce extensive paid internships to help younger Australians with the PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) internships program which has been immediately opposed by the unions and criticised by Labor which says the program will exploit younger workers and take jobs that will normally be filled by regular employees. However, it’s not good enough for Labor to merely oppose a program that offers hope to younger Australians; they must come up with a better plan to deal with the ongoing problem of youth unemployment.

“Last week’s decision by the RBA to cut Australian interest rates to a record low 1.75% shows the weakness the overall Australian economy is facing. The RBA’s decision to cut interest rates followed the announcement the week before that Australian CPI figures had turned to deflation of 0.2% in the March Quarter 2016, and an annual change of only +1.3%.

“In addition, the ongoing job losses throughout the Australian economy (Arrium, Queensland Nickel, Masters, Dick Smith, Electrolux etc.) also provide clear evidence that the ABS unemployment figures released monthly lack credibility. ABS estimated unemployment of only 5.7% in March indicating a booming Australian economy which is most certainly not reflected in other measures and clearly not believed by the RBA which is once again cutting interest rates.

“The major problem facing the Australian economy as Australia heads towards another Federal Election is that both sides of politics continue to base their economic modelling on the wrong unemployment data and because of this they will not advocate the correct policy reforms that need to be undertaken to ‘free-up’ the Australian labour market.

“Stimulating real growth in the Australian economy is the most effective way there is to create jobs for unemployed and under-employed Australians. In addition by continuing to use ‘wrong data’ there will be a large group of people (unemployed and under-employed) who will be disenfranchised and angry with whichever Government is elected in early July.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 480,317 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – April 2016 and includes 4,282 face-to-face interviews in April 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).

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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