Roy Morgan unemployment lifts to 9.2% after lockdowns eased

The latest Roy Morgan employment series data shows 1.32 million Australians were unemployed in October, up 55,000 on September, for an unemployment rate of 9.2%, while under-employment was up 0.6% points to 8.6% (1.23 million).

Workforce was down to 14.34 million in October, the lowest so far during 2021:

The workforce in October was 14,339,000 (down 234,000) – comprised of 13,019,000 employed Australians (a decrease of 289,000) and 1,320,000 unemployed Australians looking for work (up 55,000).

Employment in October dropped to 13.02 million, lowest since March 2021:

Australian employment dropped 289,000 to 13,019,000 in October driven by the decrease in part-time employment, down 379,000 to 4,281,000, the lowest for over a year since August 2020. In contrast, full-time employment increased by 90,000 in October to 8,738,000.

Unemployment increased in October as long lockdowns ended in Sydney and Melbourne:

1,320,000 Australians were unemployed (9.2% of the workforce), up 55,000 from September. Driving the increase was more people looking for part-time work (up 114,000 to 849,000) while there was a decrease in people looking for full-time work (down 59,000 to 471,000)…

Under-employment increased in October even as part-time employment fell:

In addition to those who were unemployed, 1.23 million Australians (8.6% of the workforce) were under-employed – working part-time but looking for more work, an increase of 64,000 (up 0.6% points) on September. In total 2.55 million Australians (17.8% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed in October, an increase of 119,000 on September…

Compared to early March 2020, before the nation-wide lockdown was implemented, in October 2021 there were almost 400,000 more Australians either unemployed or under-employed (+2.2% points) even though overall employment (13,019,000) is higher than it was pre-COVID-19 (12,872,000).

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