Until now the ABS has only had underemployment measured in trend and seasonally adjusted terms every quarter. But since July 2014 the ABS had been measuring underemployment on a monthly basis, and it now finally has enough data to be able to calculate seasonal affects. Thus from now on we will get a monthly figure.
This is a fantastic development that is rather remarkable in light of the very significant cuts to the ABS funding over the past five years. It should reduce the criticism of the ABS that it misses out on many “real” unemployed because it counts being employed as working at least one hour a week.
… the proportion of people working small number of hours a week has actually shrunk over the past 15 years, but nonetheless, people do still like to suggest that somehow the figures are illegitimate. Having a monthly underemployment rate will also increase the attention on that measure, which is certainly good given the large impact it has on wages and household income growth.
In September, while the trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2% (but still as low as it has been since June 2012), the trend underemployment rate fell to 8.3% – the lowest it has been since August 2014, but still historically very high …
SOURCE: Jericho, Greg. “No Matter Your Age or Gender: There is no escaping the underemployment boom.” The Guardian, 23 October 2018.
Link to Guardian website [open access @ 24/10/2018]