Australia has been in the grip of a boom mentality over the last decade. Immigration policy settings have been adjusted to accommodate this boom ethos. However, there is now a serious mismatch between immigration policy settings and the state of the Australian labour market. The immigration program is set on full throttle, whereas the net growth of the employed workforce in Australia has slowed to a crawl. Inevitably, domestic job aspirants are being crowded out, particularly young people seeking to enter the workforce. This report argues that the immigration intake is too high. It shows that under the current employment conditions several of the major visa subclasses need to be culled. The most serious implication of current immigration outcomes for domestic workers is the huge presence of migrants on temporary visas with work entitlements in metropolitan lower-skilled labour markets.
15th November 2012