Roy Morgan’s unemployment measure for April shows a massive 2.16 millionAustralians were unemployed (15.3% of the workforce), with an additional 1.32million (9.4%) under-employed.

In total 3.5 million (24.7% of the workforce) Australians are now eitherunemployed or under-employed. This is 439,000 fewer than the 3.92 millionunemployed or under-employed (27.4% of the workforce) during the last twoweeks of March (March 20-31, 2020) immediately before the Federal Government’sJobKeeper program was announced.

Latest Roy Morgan employment series data for April shows:

• The workforce in April was 14,150,000 – comprised of 11,991,000 employed and2,159,000 unemployed Australians looking for work. The workforce total is down152,000 since late March;

• The number of Australians in employment in April was up 96,000 from lateMarch to 11,991,000. Full-time employment was up 89,000 to 7,826,000 and part-time employment was up 7,000 to 4,165,000;

• Australians looking for work was a record monthly high of 2,159,000, butdown 248,000 on late March. The number looking for full-time work increased by41,000 to 1,001,000 since late March while the number looking for part-timework was down by 289,000 to 1,158,000;

• Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 15.3% for April is now almost threetimes higher than the current ABS estimate for March 2020 of 5.2%. The ABSfigure for March was based on interviews conducted in reference to early March(pre shut-downs) and did not include data related to the situation in lateMarch (post shut-downs).

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source October 2005 – April 2020. Averagemonthly interviews 4,000.

Additional research into the impact of COVID-19 Coronavirus has revealed 10.5million working Australians (68%) have had a change to their employmentsituation.

Australians in the workforce were asked: “As a result of the CoronavirusCrisis, have you experienced any of the following employment changes.” Somepeople reported several changes to their working conditions since theCoronavirus like being stood down, having reduced hours and working from home.This reflects the changing nature of the situation for companies and employeesas they navigate the crisis.

The impacts on workers include:

| ALL employment changes mentioned | MOST SERIOUS employmentchange mentioned
—|—|—
Having work hours reduced | 3.8m (25%) | 1.9m (12%)
Stood down for a period of time | 2.7m (18%) | 2.4m (15%)
Had an increase in their work hours | 2.5m (16%) | 1.5m (10%)
Not had any work offered | 2.4m (16%) | 1.2m (8%)
Had their pay reduced for same number of work hours | 1.4m (9%) | 320,000(2%)
Been made redundant | 670,000 (4%) | 670,000 (4%)
Some other change to employment (including working from home) | 3.4m (22%)| 2.7m (17%)
TOTAL Had a change to employment* | 10.5m (68%) | 10.5m (68%)

The figures in the ‘ALL employment changes mentioned’ column add to over 100% as many respondents mentioned more than one employment change they’ve had because of the coronavirus. *’Working from home’ was not offered as an option for those answering the survey. Those who mentioned ‘working from home’ had answered ‘some other change to employment’ and were separated out due to the large number of respondents mentioning this employment change.

For the 3.4 million (22%) who cite ‘some other change to their employment’this includes working from home, being put on enforced leave, changes in workrostering, social distancing measures at work, split shifts, an increase inresponsibility, a halt to business growth, precautions put in place at work,being in a vulnerable group for COVID-19 so not being able to take work and aninability to see clients face-to-face.

There are further details available here about the impact COVID-19 Coronavirushas had on the employment situation of working Australians.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says the COVID-19 Coronavirus struck theAustralian economy like a ‘hammer blow’ in late March as Governments aroundthe country enforced strict shutdowns to limit the movement of people and thevirus:

“Roy Morgan’s unemployment measure for April shows 2.16 million Australianswere unemployed (15.3% of the workforce) with an additional 1.32 million(9.4%) under-employed.

“In total a massive 3.5 million (24.7%) Australians are now eitherunemployed or under-employed. This is 439,000 fewer than the 3.92 million(27.4%) during the last two weeks of March (March 20-31, 2020) immediatelybefore the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program was announced.

“Special research undertaken by Roy Morgan during April has revealed that3.8 million working Australians have had their working hours reduced, 2.7million have been stood down for a period of time, 2.4 million have not hadany work offered, 1.4 million have had their pay reduced for the same numberof work hours and 670,000 have already been made redundant. Some will havehad two or more of the above impacts already on their employment.

“Those most heavily impacted face a challenging employment market in themonths ahead even as the harshest restrictions are rolled back. SeveralStates and Territories are now announcing the relaxation of restrictionsduring May and June while others, including Victoria, have yet to announceany plan to do so prior to a review of conditions next week.

“The changed economic and employment landscape will start to normalise butwith a much larger pool of unemployed and under-utilised workers there willbe a far more competitive jobs market for employers to pick from. There willbe no ‘snapback’ which means all, or even most, newly unemployed Australiansare back in their original jobs in the next few months.”

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimates

| Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

| Unemployed | Unemployed looking for | ‘Under-employed’
—|—|—|—|—
Full-time | Part-time
2019 | ‘000 | % | ‘000 | % | ‘000 | ‘000 |‘000 | %
Jan-Mar 2019 | 2,604 | 19.2 | 1,345 | 9.9 | 635 | 701 | 1,259| 9.3
Apr-Jun 2019 | 2,490 | 18.2 | 1,260 | 9.2 | 626 | 634 | 1,229| 9.0
Jul-Sep 2019 | 2,261 | 16.6 | 1,188 | 8.7 | 520 | 667 | 1,074| 7.9
Oct-Dec 2019 | 2,374 | 17.1 | 1,134 | 8.2 | 536 | 598 | 1,240| 8.9
2020 | | | | | | | |
Jan-Mar 2020 | 2,692 | 19.1 | 1,417 | 10.1 | 638 | 779 | 1,275| 9.0
Months | | | | | | | |
March 2019 | 2,812 | 20.6 | 1,491 | 10.9 | 731 | 760 | 1,321 |9.7
April 2019 | 2,381 | 17.7 | 1,202 | 8.9 | 599 | 603 | 1,179 |8.8
May 2019 | 2,559 | 18.4 | 1,325 | 9.5 | 674 | 651 | 1,234 |8.9
June 2019 | 2,529 | 18.6 | 1,254 | 9.2 | 605 | 649 | 1,275 |9.4
July 2019 | 2,480 | 18.3 | 1,182 | 8.7 | 526 | 656 | 1,298 |9.6
August 2019 | 2,130 | 15.8 | 1,179 | 8.7 | 454 | 725 | 951 |7.1
September 2019 | 2,174 | 15.7 | 1,202 | 8.7 | 581 | 621 | 972| 7.0
October 2019 | 2,307 | 16.7 | 1,075 | 7.8 | 441 | 634 | 1,232| 8.9
November 2019 | 2,226 | 16.1 | 1,122 | 8.1 | 549 | 573 | 1,104| 8.0
December 2019 | 2,588 | 18.6 | 1,205 | 8.7 | 619 | 587 | 1,383| 9.9
January 2020 | 2,586 | 18.4 | 1,361 | 9.7 | 713 | 648 | 1,225| 8.7
February 2020 | 2,443 | 17.3 | 1,174 | 8.3 | 517 | 658 | 1,269| 9.0
March 2020 (Total) | 3,046 | 21.6 | 1,715 | 12.2 | 684 | 1,030| 1,331 | 9.4
March 2020 (Early) | 2,161 | 15.6 | 1,019 | 7.3 | 402 | 617 |1,142 | 8.2
March 2020 (Late) | 3,923 | 27.4 | 2,407 | 16.8 | 960 | 1,447| 1,516 | 10.6
April 2020 | 3,484 | 24.7 | 2,159 | 15.3* | 1,001 | 1,158 |1,325 | 9.4

*Workforce includes those employed and those looking for work – theunemployed.

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’ is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 677,504 Australiansaged 14 and over between January 2007 and April 2020, and includes 6,018telephone and online interviews in April 2020. The ‘under-employed’ arethose people who are in part-time work or freelancers who are looking for morework.

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