Following the release of Australian Bureau of Statistics Unemployment Data last week Roy Morgan Research did a Poll where electors (sic) were asked:
The monthly Australian Bureau of Statistics unemployment estimate is 4.9%* while the monthly Roy Morgan estimate is 9.3%. Which do you think is closest to Australia’s true level of unemployment – 4.9%* or 9.3%?”
The Results in
This special telephone Morgan Poll…with an Australia-wide cross section of 651 aged 14 and over
were stunning. Apparently
“Only 30% of Australians believe the ABS unemployment figure”
That would be “30% of Australian’s with a margin of error of…”? According to their own data, something in the region of 4% btw.
(As Stilgherrian says in his Podcast lionising Dennis Shanahan, if you don’t mention the margin of error in your poll, then you are a…well listen to the Podcast.)
Is a sample of 527 people – 124 of the people they talked to can’t vote – large enough to get a reasonable result without too great a margin of error? Is it satisfactory to accept the results of a poll and Roy Morgan’s supposed miniscule margin of errors when such a small sample is intended to represent more than 15 million Australians? That’s one person interviewed for every 23,000 Working Age Australians.
That they are surveying people about the results of another of their own surveys exaggerates the suspicion this survey was done simply to benefit Roy Morgan and the chooks they need to feed. Even the Onion would find it hard to parody that.
Perhaps it’s time for surveys to be instead reserved for something far more valuable?
Especially if you win a twenty one inch remote control television!