“The extensive loss of full-time jobs in the Australian economy presents a challenge to the Turnbull Government, and these problems are set to intensify over the next year,” says Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman of Roy Morgan Research.

In September a total of 2.103 million Australians, 16.2% of the workforce, were either unemployed (1,101,000) or under-employed (1,002,000). This is up 109,000 (up 0.6%) from September 2015.

Unemployment is now comparable to a year ago with 1.101 million Australians (up 43,000 since September 2015) now unemployed. These real unemployment figures are substantially higher than the current ABS figure for August 2016 (5.6%).

Engineering vacancies in the first half of 2016 have grown from 2,435 in December 2015 to 2,706 in June 2016. The number recorded for June 2016 was higher than the number of 2,330 recorded in June 2015, and also higher than the 2,424 recorded in June 2014. However, these numbers are still below the 3,290 recorded in June 2013 and well below post Global Financial Crisis engineering vacancy peak of 9,178 recorded in January 2012.

Source: Engineers Australia

Civil engineering vacancies have shown the most improvement over the last two years showing steady growth, especially in the first six months of 2016. Telecommunications vacancies have also shown some growth in the last six months. Meanwhile, mining occupations have continued to fall significantly in recent years. Mechanical and electrical occupations have remained low for the last two years, and numbers are still lower in June 2016 when compared to June 2014.

The Australian workforce increased to 12,930,000 (up 166,000 since September 2015), but total employment only increased to 11,829,000 (up 123,000) – this shows there have not been enough new full-time jobs created over the past year to soak up the growing number of people looking for work and thus the increasing size of the workforce.

Part-time employment has increased by 124,000 to 3,942,000 over the past year (an average of just over 10,000 per month).

The higher part-time employment contributed to the rise in under-employment; now 7.7% of Australians (1,002,000, up 66,000 since September 2015) are under-employed (up 0.4%) – working part-time and looking for more hours.

Source: Engineers Australia

WA continues to experience falls in available jobs for engineers. Earlier in the year unemployed engineers were encouraged by Engineers Australia to pursue professional accreditation to boost their job prospects.

In an acknowledgement of the dearth of engineering jobs amid a fading mining construction boom, Engineers Australia launched a marketing campaign to spruik the benefits of attaining registered status.

Mechanical and electrical engineers have been hit the hardest by the falling jobs market in WA, according to labour market figures.