2.3 million Australians are unemployed or want more work

Alison Banney 9 May 2017 NEWS

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While unemployment rates are down from this time last year, under-employment rates are up.

Over 2.3 million Australians, 17.6% of the workforce, are either unemployed or not getting enough work, according to new Roy Morgan research released today.

Over the past year, the number of employed Australians grew by 440,000, with the real unemployment rate now estimated to be 9.3%, down 1.1% from a year ago. However, this isn’t as positive as it may seem.

This increase in employment was largely driven by an increase in part-time and casual employment, which rose by 471,000 employees over the year to April 2017. At the same time, the number of Australians employed full-time fell by 31,000.

Therefore, while the real unemployment rate is down, the underemployment rate (that is, employees not receiving as much work as they would like or need) is up and sitting at 8.3%.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates unemployment is sitting at 5.9% for March 2017. However, this does not take into consideration those Australians who are employed in the technical sense, but who are not receiving as much work as they may need.


RMR unemployment
Source: Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research executive chairman Gary Morgan says this is problematic.

"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," he said.

"In addition - a further 1.09 million Australians are under-employed (8.3% of the workforce), and regularly ignored by both the major political parties and the mainstream media.

"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."

If you’re not getting enough work, make sure you put your savings in a high interest savings account and make your money work for you, even when you may not be able to.

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