Contributed by Joe Montero
More of the unemployment story is starting to leak out now. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) number presented for July this year, by treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and the media behind them, is 7.5 of the workforce.
Treasury has now release its own estimates, which predict that the rate of unemployment will hit 13 percent by the end of the year.
The difference is that the Treasury counts those whose have been laid off and are receiving JobKeeper, and doesn’t exclude out who worked one hour during the week of the count.
Although this is going to be an eye opener for many who see the difference, it still remains an under statement. The main reason is that it does not count those who are out of work part of the time. The reality is that nearly 40 percent of all work is now casualised.
If underemployment is not counted, the extent of adequate work and the real extent of unemployment will continue to be falsified. Factoring this in gives a much more accurate view of what is really going on.
A number of bodies produce figures that include all. One of them, probably the most thorough is the Roy Morgan organisation.
In May this year, their research found that while 594,000 people had lost their jobs and the numbers of both full time and part time jobs had also fallen. Only 104,000, or less than one fifth, were recognised by the ABS as having become unemployed. This is too big a gap to be explained away by suggestng that that four fifths had found new work.
Unemployment technically dropped in July and under employment went up some. No surprise here. This is when the nation began to open up after the lockdown. Unemployment was at 12.5 percent and underemployment at 10. Percent, totaling 22.5 percent. The real rate of unemployment remains high.
Roy Morgan’s definition of unemployment is those who are looking for work, and the result is not distorted by so-called seasonally adjusted figures. Underemployment is calculated from thousands of face to face interviews each month, which produces quite an accurate result.
The graph below clearly shows the difference between bot the underemployment figures provided the the ABS and Roy Morgan.
Forecasters are loath to make predictions for next year, given that the situation has become even less predictable. The consensus is nevertheless, that it’s going to be worse than this year.
It is vitally important that this truth gets out there. Without this it, how do Australians a a community come to terms with it and insist on the appropriate action?
This is especially true as we head into September, and the move to cut the stimulus package gathers pace.
By fudging with the numbers, the government is doing Australia a great disservice. Unemployment and underemployment should be at the top of the nation’s priorities. It is not enough for Josh Frydenberg to just say we are in for a ‘bumpy ride.’ We must demand honesty, commitment, and a clear and practical strategy to create real jobs.