2.3 million Australians unemployed or under-employed in April

Believe it or not there were 2.3 million Australians unemployed or under-employed in April

Now that’s substantially higher than what the official ABS figures say, but each month Roy Morgan Research  measures the “real” unemployment rate.JobSearch

According to Roy Morgan Research Australia’s real unemployment for April was unchanged at 9.3% (1.217 million Australians looking for work).

In addition, for the eighth straight month more than 1 million Australians were under-employed in April – now 1.090 million (8.3% of the workforce).

This is a total of 2.307 million Australians (17.6% of the workforce) looking for work or looking for more work.

 Key points:

  • In April the total Australian workforce was 13,133,000 (up 323,000 in a year) and employment grew strongly to 11,916,000 (up 440,000);
  • However the increase in employment was entirely driven by a large increase in part-time employment which rose 471,000 to 4,300,000 while full-time employment fell 31,000 to 7,616,000;
  • So while real unemployment at 9.3% is down 1.1% from a year ago, under-employment is up 0.6% to 8.3% over the same period. The rise in under-employment is a direct consequence of the increasing proportion of part-time employment at the expense of full-time jobs;
  • The Roy Morgan real unemployment figures are substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for March 2017 (5.9%).
  • The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or consultants who are looking for more work. (Unfortunately the ABS does not release this figure in their monthly unemployment survey results).



Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – April 2017. Average monthly interviews 4,000.

 Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says real unemployment at 9.3% is far higher than the ABS claims – and there are an additional 1 million+ under-employed Australians:

“Australia’s real unemployment rate of 9.3% (1.217 million Australians) in April is far higher than the 5.9% claimed by the ABS as Treasurer Scott Morrison prepares to deliver the first Federal Budget of the re-elected Turnbull Government this week.jobs employment

“In addition – a further 1.090 million Australians are under-employed (8.3% of the workforce), and regularly ignored by both the major political parties and the mainstream media.

“For the first time last week Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met new US President Donald Trump who was clear during his campaign that the real American unemployment rate was 20% or 25% rather than the official Bureau of Labor Statistics figure below 5%.

“Turnbull and his Ministers in Australia need to understand the issues are the same in Australia and the Turnbull Government must follow Trump’s lead by implementing policies to bring back jobs to Australia. The decision to scrap 457 visas in addition to the Fair Work Commission’s decision to reduce weekend and public holiday penalty rates are small steps in the right direction that must be built on.

“The 440,000 new jobs created over the past year show the Australian economy is growing but excessive regulations and red tape, combined with high corporate tax rates, are holding back the economy from providing full-time jobs, and additional hours, to the Australians that need them.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 531,252 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – April 2017 and includes 5,392 face-to-face interviews in April 2017.



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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