Australian unemployment has dropped to 8.7 per cent – 1.5 per cent below the same time last year, according to a new Roy Morgan poll.
The figures show a drop in numbers for the fifth consecutive month, and reflects a large increase in full-time employment since July 2014.
Although part-time employment has fallen slightly, full-time employment has jumped to a record high of 7.9 million, up half a million from last year.
The Roy Morgan poll put Australian unemployment and under-employment at a combined 16.4 per cent of the workforce, the lowest it has been since 2011.
The poll also detailed the large number of Australians seeking work, with over a million actively looking for work since July 2014 and just under a million working part-time but after more hours.
Despite the dip in unemployment, Roy Morgan emphasised that 8.7 per cent is a much higher figure than currently quoted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which has June unemployment at six per cent.
The ABS poll considered a person ’employed’ if they had worked at least one paid hour in the week previous to being interviewed.
The Roy Morgan poll focussed on the significance of unemployment rates should the Abbott government have a chance in the next election.
“The resignation of former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop on Sunday has removed a significant media ‘distraction’ and means the Abbott government can now return to the business of governing,” said Gary Morgan.
“The Abbott government must look at the abolition of Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for the tourism and retail industries – these measures have an obvious detrimental impact on small businesses which are forced to close on Sundays and public holidays.”
The Roy Morgan poll has interviewed 442,000 Australians since 2007 and conducted over 5000 face-to-face interviews for the July 2015 poll.