Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

In March 2013 an estimated 1.37 million Australians (10.8% of the workforce) were unemployed. This is down 0.1% from last month. The Australian workforce* was 12,644,000, (a record high) comprising 7,671,000 full-time workers (up 174,000); 3,604,000 part-time workers (down 50,000) and 1,369,000 looking for work (up 9,000) according to the Roy Morgan monthly employment estimates. 

In March 2013 an estimated 1.37 million Australians (10.8% of the workforce) were unemployed. This is down 0.1% from last month. The Australian workforce* was 12,644,000, (a record high) comprising 7,671,000 full-time workers (up 174,000); 3,604,000 part-time workers (down 50,000) and 1,369,000 looking for work (up 9,000) according to the Roy Morgan monthly employment estimates.

A further 936,000 Australians were under-employed - working part-time and looking for more work. This is 177,000 less than a month ago as students return to University after their Summer holidays and represents 7.4% of the workforce* (down 1.5%).

However what should concern the Government is that a large 2.305 million Australians (18.2% of the workforce) were unemployed or under-employed in March and while this is down 1.6% (168,000 less than last month) it is up a large 226,000 (1.0%) over the past 12 months since March 2012.

In March an estimated 715,000 Australians (up 66,000) were looking for full-time work, while 654,000 (down 57,000) are now looking for part-time work.

The latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate of 10.8% is double the 5.4% currently quoted by the ABS for February 2013.

Gary Morgan says:

“Today’s Roy Morgan March employment estimates show Australian unemployment rate virtually unchanged at 10.8% (1,369,000 people unemployed, up 9,000 in a month — a new record high figure). However, Australia’s under-employment fell a substantial 177,000 to 936,000 meaning 2.305 million (down 168,000) Australians (18.2%, down 1.6%) are either unemployed or under-employed.

“Total employment rose 302,000 to 12,175,000 over the last 12 months (full-time employment up 280,000 to 7,671,000 and part-time employment up 22,000 to 3,604,000). There has also been a significant rise in total Australian unemployment and under-employment — up 226,000 over the past 12 months.

“Although there has been a slight improvement in March with the significant fall in under-employment, the Australian economy is clearly in a weakened state with over 2.3 million Australians either looking for work or looking for more work. The implausibly low figures published by the ABS — showing Australian unemployment at 5.4% in February do have a real impact on the average Australian by influencing policy decisions of the Government and the RBA.

“A recent letter to the Herald-Sun (Jobless figures are rubbery — Herald=Sun, April 4, 2013, Marcus L’Estrange) explains exactly how the ABS unemployment figures influence policy — ‘Decisions made on the basis of the ABS figures have real consequences for Australia and Australians. The RBA is determined to maintain Australian interest rates at well above the rates of comparable countries such as Canada — the country most similar to Australia in its strong resources sector — which has interest rates of 1 per cent. This means real Australians and real Australian businesses suffer from the higher borrowing costs that restrict lending in Australia and reduce investment by Australian businesses that would otherwise provide employment to many more Australians’.

“Mr. L’Estrange is exactly right with the point he makes, although for the third straight month the RBA ignored the realities ‘on the ground’ and left Australian interest rates unchanged at 3% (amongst the highest in the developed world). The RBA must reduce interest rates in May to provide much needed stimulus to the Australian economy while Treasurer Wayne Swan must deliver a Federal Budget that recognises the large number of Australians that are looking for work and provides incentives for Australian businesses to take on more employees and grow their businesses.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly interviews covering January 2007 — March 2013 and in total 323,735 Australians aged 14 and over were interviewed face-to-face including 4,590 interviews in March 2013.

*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 measure this figure in their monthly unemployment survey.)

Read the full article here

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Keywords

Australian workforce, Unemployed or Under-employed

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