Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Unemployment to Rise - Time to Cut Migrant Worker Programs

The rapid increase in Australia’s migrant worker programs over the past decade has been justified with the claim that Australia is short of workers.

This claim is now clearly false. The latest unemployment rise, along with the certainty of job losses at Holden, Ford and Qantas, and projections that the resources industry construction workforce will collapse over the next 4 years, shedding more than 78,000 jobs by 2018, make this clear.

We are now being told that the jobless rate will rise within about 18 months to 6.25% from the current 5.8%, and stay there through to the end of 2016-17!

This means more Australians will be out of work than at any time during the past decade, and far more than during the Global Financial Crisis, when unemployment peaked at 5.9%.

Last month unemployment increased by 3,400 to 712,500. Surely we must give the over 700,000 Australians who are out of work, and the Holden, Ford and Qantas workers who are going to lose their jobs, our priority.

We should reduce both the permanent migrant worker program and the temporary migrant worker programs to the levels they were 10 or 20 years ago. That way the jobs that will be created in the next 5 years will go to Australians who are out of work, or who face losing their jobs.

If we are fair dinkum about reducing unemployment, and fair dinkum about increasing workforce participation, we will cut migrant worker programs and build and use the skills of out-of-work Australians.


  1. There's a naive and yet to be proven theory that adding to our population will create jobs, and the benefits will trickle down by increased demands for consumer goods, housing and other commodities. This is someone done by the economy pulling itself up by the boot-laces!
    Any skills shortages, considering our rapid population growth and long term skilled migration program, is an indication of lack of adequate jobs and training facilities, not "shortages". Inviting skilled migrants to do the skilled jobs could actually self-fulfilling in creating more long term skill shortages because there's be less domestic investment in tertiary and TAFE education.
    It's time to question the power of businesses, demanding fresh sources of skills when tertiary education keeps getting cut, more and more young people are facing unemployment queues, and retail spending is down.
    The theory that population growth brings the fabled prosperity is increasing becoming a dream, a myth with no basis in reality.

  2. The rising unemployment rate and under-employment rate is symptomatic of a domestic economy that is skewed towards debt fueled consumerism where as elsewhere in more intelligently lead countries, industrial productive capacity is providing fuller and more permanent employment. It is a basic tenant that human technology in all its forms has been the primary means for advancing the human condition. From stone age to space age those societies which have prospered have been the one's advancing the technology and applying to provide superior products or outcomes. China is currently the best example of this as Japan was before them. Only a few years ago China did not have a car industry. Unlike our ideologically blinkered government the Chinese government set about ensuring it backed a "winner". Sure Chinese cars are not comparable to Japanese ones but the Chines have observed how the Koreans have been rapidly improving their cars and are about to follow suit. Mean while back in the land of Nod austere grey suited econometric high priests stalk the corridors of power muttering "no free lunch" and that old standby, "market forces" while the country and its people go down the plug hole. Canberra has more in common with the mythical land of "Oz" than it does with the real world.

  3. The situation is similar here. We have veterans committing suicide at an alarming rate. Post traumatic stress syndrome is the immediate cause but the deeper issue is that getting treatment will get them discharged from the military --- into what?

    Vets from previous wars also suffered but they at least could look forward to a better future in a robust economy. That's real economic expansion, not the nonsensical guff that the Tory Governments of Canada spews.

    Our Tory pollies tell us that they have created jobs since the financial meltdown. The catch is that the number of jobs created is far less than the number of immigrants --- not to mention the increased flux of migrant workers. Not to mention that the new jobs are poorly paying compared to those that were lost.

    All this is caused by world population exceeding the resources available on this planet... And you won't find a politician in Canada who will even whisper that obvious fact.