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Business News

Australian unemployment drops to 7.8% in June – equal lowest since the pandemic began

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Australian unemployment drops to 7.8% in June – equal lowest since the pandemic began

In June unemployment dropped for a second straight month, down 0.3% points to 7.8%, according to the latest Roy Morgan employment series data. The drop in unemployment was driven by increasing full-time jobs which boosted the overall number of employed Australians.

Unemployment in June fell 44,000 to 1.13 million Australians (7.8% of the workforce) while under-employment was down slightly by 13,000 to 1.23 million (8.5% of the workforce). Overall unemployment and under-employment fell 57,000 to 2.35 million (16.3% of the workforce).

  • The workforce was up 78,000 in June driven by increasing employment:

The workforce in June was 14,491,000 (up 78,000 from May) – comprised of 13,366,000 employed Australians (up 122,000) and 1,125,000 unemployed Australians looking for work (down 44,000).

  • Rise in employment driven by increase in full-time employment:

Australian employment increased by 122,000 to 13,366,000 in June driven by an increase in full-time employment, up 363,000 to 8,876,000. This represents a new all-time high for full-time employment during the first full month of the new Albanese Government. In contrast, part-time employment fell by 241,000 to 4,490,000 in June, falling back near to its level in April prior to the spike caused by the Federal Election during May.

  • The strong rise in full-time employment led to the decline in unemployment in June:

1,125,000 Australians were unemployed (7.8% of the workforce), a decrease of 44,000 from May with fewer people looking for full-time work, down 68,000 to 409,000, while in contrast there was a small rise in those looking for part-time work, up 24,000 to 716,000.

  • Under-employment was virtually unchanged down slightly in June at 1.23 million:

In addition to the unemployed, 1.23 million Australians (8.5% of the workforce) were under-employed – working part-time but looking for more work, down just 13,000 from May.

In total 2.35 million Australians (16.3% of the workforce) were either unemployed or under-employed in June, down 57,000 on May.

 

Compared to early March 2020, before the nation-wide lockdown, in June 2022 there were almost 200,000 more Australians either unemployed or under-employed (+0.7% points) even though overall employment (13,366,000) is almost 500,000 higher than it was pre-COVID-19 (12,872,000).

Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 7.8% for June is double the ABS estimate for May 2022 of 3.9%. However, the ABS figure for May show there were 780,500 workers who worked fewer hours than usual due to illness, personal injury or sick leave compared to an average of 407,540 for the month of May over the five years from May 2017 – May 2021.

This difference, which can be put down to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, equates to a difference of 372,960 in May 2022 above the average for the month of May for the previous five years. If these workers are added to the 548,100 classified as unemployed this creates a total of 921,060 – equivalent to 6.6% of the workforce. In addition, the ABS classifies 5.7% of the workforce (approximately 808,000 workers) as under-employed. Combining these figures adds to 1.73 million workers, around 12.3% of the workforce.

 

Roy Morgan Unemployment & Under-employment (2019-2022)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source January 2019 – June 2022. Average monthly interviews 5,000.
Note: Roy Morgan unemployment estimates are actual data while the ABS estimates are seasonally adjusted.

 

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says unemployment the news was goof on the employment front for the new ALP Government in June with full-time employment hitting a new record high and driving unemployment to its lowest since October 2019:

“The latest Roy Morgan employment estimates for June show full-time employment up 363,000 to 8,876,000 in June – a new record high. The increase in full-time employment drove overall employment up by 122,000 to 13,366,000 even as part-time employment fell in June following the temporary spike seen in May due to the Federal Election.

“The strong employment result drove unemployment down to 1,125,000 (7.8% of the workforce) – the lowest level of unemployment since October 2019 well before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are an additional 1,226,000 Australians (8.5% of the workforce) now under-employed which means there are still a large cohort of 2.35 million Australians now unemployed or under-employed.

“Although the news on the employment front is positive in the first month of the new ALP Government there are clearly several challenges facing policymakers over the next few months including rising inflationary pressures, the RBA increasing interest rates to quell inflation and the reliability (and cost) of the Australian energy market – particularly along the east coast.

“These challenges are all inter-related and can all lead to an increasing level of unemployment in the future if they aren’t dealt with. For the foreseeable future the global prices of energy and food are set to continue to increase due to the conflict in Ukraine as well as domestic factors such as the recent floods in Queensland and NSW.

“On the domestic front the wild weather seen in many parts of Australia will hopefully abate over the next few months allowing food prices to normalise but a key priority for the Government must be to bring certainty to the domestic energy market.

“By stabilising the domestic gas and electricity market the Government can reduce upward price pressure on these key energy inputs which will lower inflation pressures and allow the RBA to end its interest rate increasing cycle sooner than some may expect.

“If the Albanese Government allows Australia’s energy situation to deteriorate further over the next few months, and years, they will end up causing persistently higher inflation in the economy which will most certainly put their re-election in three years’ time at risk.”

 

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimates

  Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed Unemployed looking for ‘Under-employed’*
Full-time Part-time
2021 ‘000 % ‘000 % ‘000 ‘000 ‘000 %
Jan-Mar 2021 2,971 20.6 1,750 12.1 717 1,033 1,222 8.5
Apr-Jun 2021 2,688 18.3 1,398 9.5 574 824 1,290 8.8
Jul-Sep 2021 2,573 17.7 1,350 9.3 547 803 1,224 8.4
Oct-Dec 2021 2,586 17.8 1,301 9.0 537 764 1,286 8.9
2022                
Jan-Mar 2022 2,380 16.4 1,187 8.2 438 749 1,193 8.2
Apr-Jun 2022 2,467 17.0 1,235 8.5 482 753 1,232 8.5
Months                
May 2021 2,749 18.9 1,493 10.3 558 935 1,256 8.6
June 2021 2,651 17.9 1,394 9.4 570 824 1,257 8.5
July 2021 2,756 18.8 1,422 9.7 619 803 1,334 9.1
August 2021 2,537 17.7 1,362 9.5 492 870 1,175 8.2
September 2021 2,428 16.7 1,265 8.7 530 735 1,163 8.0
October 2021 2,547 17.8 1,320 9.2 471 849 1,227 8.6
November 2021 2,536 17.5 1,330 9.2 583 748 1,206 8.3
December 2021 2,676 18.2 1,252 8.5 557 695 1,424 9.7
January 2022 2,427 16.6 1,201 8.2 464 737 1,226 8.4
February 2022 2,357 16.3 1,227 8.5 463 764 1,130 7.8
March 2022 2,356 16.2 1,133 7.8 387 746 1,223 8.4
April 2022 2,641 18.1 1,411 9.7 559 852 1,230 8.4
May 2022 2,408 16.7 1,169 8.1 477 692 1,239 8.6
June 2022 2,351 16.3 1,125 7.8 409 716 1,226 8.5

*Workforce includes those employed and those looking for work – the unemployed.

 

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly interviews of 839,202 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 and June 2022 and includes 5,913 telephone and online interviews in June 2022. *The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or freelancers who are looking for more work.

Business News

SEVEN MEGATRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE THE NEXT 20 YEARS

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

SEVEN MEGATRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE THE NEXT 20 YEARS

A once-in-a-decade report from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, identifies seven global megatrends that hold the key to the challenges and opportunities ahead.
With an outlook to 2042, Our Future World revisits CSIRO’s ground-breaking 2012 report of the same name, exploring the geopolitical, economic, social, technological and environmental forces unfolding around the world, predicting their likely impact on Australia’s people, businesses and governments.
The seven global megatrends are: Adapting to climate change; Leaner, cleaner and greener; The escalating health imperative; Geopolitical shifts; Diving into digital; Increasingly autonomous and Unlocking the human dimension.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said megatrends help us to understand the challenges and massive opportunities that will shape our future.
“Australia is at a pivotal point. There is a tidal wave of disruption on the way, and it’s critical we take steps now to get ahead of it,” Dr Marshall said.
“From resource scarcity to drug resistant superbugs, disrupted global trade, and an increasingly unstable climate threatening our health and way of life – these are just some of the challenges we face.
“But these challenges also tell us where the most powerful innovation can be found, when we see a different future and leverage science to create it.
“Australia has the highest wind and solar capacity of any developed nation and a wealth of critical energy minerals – we can be a leader in feeding the world’s hunger for clean energy.
“The next wave of digital innovation will generate $10–15 trillion globally.
Australia can tap into this to transform existing jobs and create new jobs and wealth while leveraging Artificial Intelligence to solve some of our greatest challenges, like outthinking bushfires, accelerating vaccine development, predicting drought, or stabilising our energy grid.
“We have the opportunity now to use science to invent the kind of world we want to live in – but we have to act, and we have to do it together.
“Trust in science led Australia’s response to COVID-19, and science can help us lead a Team Australia response to the challenges ahead,” he said.
Our Future World report co-lead author Dr Stefan Hajkowicz said: “We analysed thousands of data points collected over decades.
“Some of the trends we identified have been widely discussed, while others are newer and directly related to our experiences during the pandemic.
“We are, for example, just beginning to understand the potential long-term impacts of the pandemic on mental health and chronic illness.
“We anticipate that while the pandemic sped up digital transformation, the real explosion in our capability is yet to come. In this environment, digital skills will become more valuable, but rather than replacing human intelligence, technologies like AI will assist us in doing our work better.”

Our Future World co-lead author Dr Claire Naughtin said: “Trust emerged as a central theme – trust in institutions, technology, supply chains and security will all be key issues over the coming two decades.
“Currently just under 70% of Australians do not trust AI systems but would be more willing to use these systems if appropriate ethical measures were in place.
“This latest update on the global megatrends gives us line of sight as to what has changed over the past decade and a view to the coming decades.
“Like aircraft engineers would use wind tunnels to test the robustness of new aircrafts, we can use these megatrends to develop, test and refine future strategies to ensure they are robust, whatever the future holds.”

Snapshot of the megatrends: 

  1. Adapting to climate change: with natural disasters expected to cost the Australian economy almost three times more in 2050 than in 2017, we can expect to be living in a more volatile climate, characterised by unprecedented weather events
  2. Leaner, cleaner and greener: an increased focus on potential solutions to our resource constraints through synthetic biology, alternative proteins, advanced recycling and the net-zero energy transition. By 2025, renewables are expected to surpass coal as the primary energy source.
  3. The escalating health imperative: the post-pandemic world has exacerbated existing health challenges posed by an ageing population and growing burden of chronic disease.  One in five Australians report high or very high levels of psychological distress and there is heightened risk of infectious diseases and pathogens resistant to modern antibiotics. There is now a burning platform to also respond to our health risks and improve health outcomes.
  4. Geopolitical shifts: an uncertain future, characterised by disrupted patterns of global trade, geopolitical tensions and growing investment in defence. While the global economy shrunk by 3.2% in 2020, global military spend reached an all-time high of $2.9 trillion and Australia saw a 13% increase in cybercrime reported relative to the previous year.
  5. Diving into digital: the pandemic-fuelled a boom in digitisation, with teleworking, telehealth, online shopping and digital currencies becoming mainstream. Forty percent of Australians now work remotely on a regular basis and the future demand for digital workers expected to increase by 79% from 2020 to 2025.
  6. Increasing autonomous: there has been an explosion in artificial intelligence (AI) discoveries and applications across practically all industry sectors over the past several years. Within the science domain the use of AI is rising with the number of peer-reviewed AI publications increasing nearly 12 times from 2000 to 2019.
  7. Unlocking the human dimension: a strong consumer and citizen push for decision makers to consider trust, transparency, fairness and environmental and social governance. While Australia saw a record level increase in public trust in institutions during the pandemic, this ‘trust bubble’ has since burst, with societal trust in business dropping by 7.9% and trust in government declining by 14.8% from 2020-21.

 

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Inflationary surges, rising costs and interest rates putting pressure on hospitality industry recovery

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Inflationary surges, rising costs and interest rates putting pressure on hospitality industry recovery

Deliveroo HospoVitality Index Report

Inflationary surges, rising costs and interest rates putting pressure on hospitality industry recovery 

  • Hospitality sector confidence has fallen to +11, from +32 in January 2022, which is comparable to sentiment in the midst of 2020 COVID lockdowns (+9 August 2020)
  • 40% of restaurant owners said they felt positive about the future of the hospitality sector, which is down from 52% at the start of the year
  • At the core of the decrease in optimism is rising produce prices, inflation,  increasing salaries, rental costs, state of the economy and reduction in consumer spending.
  • 62% of restaurants say food delivery will play a greater role in their business operations moving forward
  • 60% are asking for government to provide wage subsidies, 51% want visa processing times fast tracked, 51% want a special hospitality sector visa established for international workers, and 48% are asking for investment to be increased to strengthen local food supply chains

MEDIA RELEASE

[26] JULY 2022

Impacts of inflation, rising interest rates and supply chain issues are putting marked pressure on the hospitality sector, with a 21 point drop in the net confidence score to +11, only six months after recording +32. There are signs of optimism returning over the next 12 months, with two thirds (66%) feeling positive about their business prospects in 12 months’ time, according to the latest Deliveroo HospoVitality Index Report.

The survey conducted by YouGov of more than 300 restaurant owners across Australia seeks to understand the level of confidence in their own business prospects, their views on how the industry is faring, the challenges they’re facing and the measures being put in place to help manage these, as well as getting a pulse check for their outlook of the next 12 months.

The July HospoVitality Index Report revealed that restaurant owners are making both necessary business decisions and demonstrating strong innovation and resourcefulness that will enable them to navigate – and prosper – through the business pressures over the next 12 months.

Three in ten owners are temporarily no longer taking an income (31%). A further third (34%) of owners reported feeling at financial risk and some have had to put business improvement plans on hold (31%). However, many are demonstrating the resourcefulness they showed during periods of lockdowns, by hyperlocalising their food and beverage supply chain (44%), many are offering promotions to attract customers (45%), relying more on delivery platforms (42%), along with making changes to their menu (40%)and some are even growing their own produce (8%).

There was a strong correlation between those impacted by inflationary pressures and the need to access finance. Over a third(38%) of those who said they were significantly impacted by inflation have sought out financing. Perhaps an indication of the continued impacts of lockdowns in Victoria, the data found there were more restaurant owners in Victoria who sought access to finance (41%), compared to NSW (32%) and QLD (28%).

As restaurants look to offset rising overhead costs, delivery has become a core part of managing these challenges, with more than six in ten (62%) saying delivery platforms would play an even bigger role than before – the highest score since the HospoVitality Index Report was established. This was higher amongst takeaway restaurants, with 68% saying delivery will be even more important. This is  a solid increase from January 2022, which recorded 49%.

In light of these challenges, the industry is calling for government support in its first six months, with 60% wanting wage subsidies to employ more staff, 51% want visa processing times fast tracked, 51% said they’d like a special hospitality sector visa established for international workers, and 48% are asking for incentives to strengthen local food supply chains.

Ed McManus, CEO Deliveroo Australia: “We saw great optimism across the Australian hospitality industry at the beginning of this year as the country moved forward post lockdowns. However, despite the unwavering resilience amongst restaurant owners, the impacts of rising costs and inflationary pressures, and difficulties with supply chain are being felt far and wide.

“Restaurants have already demonstrated their ability to innovate and adapt through challenging periods, and it’s incredible to see how they’re responding to these current pressures by localising their supply chain – and some even growing their own produce – it is clear this innovation has not slowed.

“The hospitality industry is at the heart of all that we do at Deliveroo, and we’re proud to be a partner in supporting restaurants in whatever way makes the most sense for them.  Australia is home to some of the world’s finest and most diverse restaurants and cuisines, and we will continue to work hand in glove with the industry to support it through another challenging period.”

Notes to Editor:

The prices of produce that I as an owner have noticed has significantly increased is oil and meat. These are the main products we use for our business, you add increased costs for labour too and everything has become very difficult” 

“So many items are regularly out of stock with suppliers that I don’t know where to start.”

“I’m no longer taking a salary and am having to take money out of the till to pay for my own petrol. Price increases has meant consumers are not eating out as much anymore.”

Methodology:

The data cited in this report was collected via an online survey administered by YouGov, the international research and data analytics group. The online survey was conducted between 23rd May until 16th June 2022.

The online survey was distributed to 13,000 Deliveroo restaurant partners across Australia. Emails were sent to partners to invite them to take part in the survey and provided each with a unique survey link.

Reminder emails were sent weekly. The final sample for the survey included 226 Deliveroo restaurant partners.

About Deliveroo 

Deliveroo is an award-winning delivery service founded in 2013 by William Shu and Greg Orlowski. Deliveroo works with over 170,000 best-loved restaurants and grocery partners, as well as over 190,000 riders to provide the best food delivery experience in the world.

Deliveroo is headquartered in London, with offices around the globe. Deliveroo operates across 11 markets, including Australia, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and the United Kingdom.

Key Facts:

  • Hospitality sector confidence has fallen to +11, from +32 in January 2022, which is comparable to sentiment in the midst of 2020 COVID lockdowns (+9 August 2020)
  • 40% of restaurant owners said they felt positive about the future of the hospitality sector, which is down from 52% at the start of the year
  • At the core of the decrease in optimism is rising produce prices, inflation,  increasing salaries, rental costs, state of the economy and reduction in consumer spending.
  • 62% of restaurants say food delivery will play a greater role in their business operations moving forward
  • 60% are asking for government to provide wage subsidies, 51% want visa processing times fast tracked, 51% want a special hospitality sector visa established for international workers, and 48% are asking for investment to be increased to strengthen local food supply chains

 

 

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Delia Rickard joins AFCA board

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Delia Rickard joins AFCA board

AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY

Delia Rickard, who is joining the AFCA Board

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) today announced the appointment of outgoing ACCC Deputy Chair Ms Delia Rickard to its board. Her appointment, for three years, is effective from 1 August 2022.

“Ms Rickard brings to the board a wide range of skills from a distinguished public service career in consumer policy. She has a deep understanding of the current and emerging challenges facing consumers and financial firms,” AFCA Independent Chair Professor John Pollaers OAM said when announcing the appointment today.

“We will also benefit from her insight into financial inclusion, as we seek to ensure all Australians have access to our ombuds service.

“The AFCA Board is made up of an independent and expert group of Directors holding extensive financial services industry and consumer experience and brings a breadth of knowledge operating across multi-dimensional and highly complex industries. The Board is committed to ensuring that AFCA continues be an effective external dispute resolution scheme for financial services, with a focus on efficiency and customer service, and providing clear member and community value.

“Ms Rickard’s deep knowledge and expertise in the consumer space will ensure AFCA continues to deliver against these goals and keeps an essential focus on ensuring consumer accessibility and inclusion.”

Ms Rickard has been Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) since June 2012. She has extensive public service experience and a passion for consumer protection, and has worked in a variety of senior roles, primarily at the ACCC and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). She is also an Associate Member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

“Throughout her illustrious career, Ms Rickard has had a strong interest in financial services and the impact of the financial services industry on vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers. She oversaw development of the highly regarded Moneysmart website at ASIC, and has been a member of numerous committees at the ACCC, including those on the consumer data right, enforcement and compliance, and product safety. And she also chaired the ACCC’s market study into the cost of insurance in Northern Australia,” Prof. Pollaers noted.

Ms Rickard is also a trustee of the Jan Pentland Foundation, which provides scholarships for those who want to work as financial counsellors, and is the Chair of Good Shepherd’s Advisory Committee on Financial Inclusion Action Plans.

Ms Rickard was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2011 for her contribution to consumer protection and financial services. She has also been awarded the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Lifetime Achievement Award and was recently announced as the inaugural winner of the Law Council of Australia’s Consumer Rights Award.

Ms Rickard said: “AFCA plays a vital role in protecting consumers and in helping the financial services sector deliver the best possible service to its customers. I look forward to contributing to an organisation with such a strong sense of purpose, one that is having a real impact for consumers and the financial services sector.”

 

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