Roy Morgan unemployment 9.2% in June

The latest Roy Morgan Research (RMR) unemployment estimate for June fell 1.1% to 9.2%, but was up 0.5% year-on-year:

Labour underutilisation also fell to 18.6%, down 0.3% year-on-year:

Below are the key points from the release:

  • In June 1.25 million Australians were unemployed (9.2% of the workforce) with an additional 1.28 million (9.4%) now under-employed.
  • The workforce, which comprises employed Australians and those who are unemployed and looking for work, has increased year-on-year by 201,000 to 13,617,000. The increasing workforce was driven by an increase in both the numbers of employed people and unemployed people.
  • Employment was up 118,000 to 12,363,000 in June 2019 and the rise in employment was driven by a significant increase in full-time employment of 479,000 to 8,279,000. However, over the past year part-time employment has declined by 361,000 to 4,084,000.
  • Unemployment was up 83,000 on a year ago to 1,254,000 Australians (9.2% of the workforce) The unemployment rate is up by 0.5% to 9.2%.
  • An additional 1,275,000 Australians (9.4% of the workforce) are under-employed, working part-time and looking for more work, a decrease of 27,000 in a year (down 0.3%).

As explained each month, RMR measures employment differently from the ABS:

According to the ABS definition, a person who has worked for one hour or more for payment or someone who has worked without pay in a family business, is considered employed regardless of whether they consider themselves employed or not.

The ABS definition also details that if a respondent is not actively looking for work (ie: applying for work, answering job advertisements, being registered with Centre-link or tendering for work), they are not considered to be unemployed.

The Roy Morgan survey, in contrast, defines any respondent who is not employed full or part-time and who is looking for paid employment as being unemployed…

Since Roy Morgan uses a broader definition of unemployment than the ABS, it necessarily reports a higher unemployment figure. In addition, Roy Morgan’s measure tends to be far more volatile, owing to the fact that it draws on a smaller sample than the ABS and is not seasonally adjusted.

The difference between the ABS unemployment rate (5.1% NSA in June) and the unofficial RMR measure has narrowed to 4.1%:

Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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