Australia to face a skills shortage of 2.3 million workers by 2030; June retail figures buck downward trend: Midday Roundup

Australia to face a skills shortage of 2.3 million workers by 2030; June retail figures buck downward trend: Midday Roundup

Australia will face one of the worst skill shortages among developed countries in the next 15 years, according to research released this week by the Boston Consulting Group.

In a study of 25 countries, BCG predicts demand for workers will soon outstrip the supply in Australia, causing a shortfall of 2.3 million workers by 2030.

While BCG found Australia’s labour market is projected to grow by an average of 1.03% until 2020, after this time, the structural problems with a labour market attempting to keep pace with a growing economy will cause the trend to reverse.

“Even in our best-case scenario, demand will top supply in only five years,” said BCG partner Brad Noakes in a statement.

“Based on current trends and a do-nothing scenario, we would have to see GDP fall to just 2% over many years to avoid a labour shortage,” said Noakes. “That’s clearly not a solution.”

June retail figures buck downward trend

Retail sales have bucked the downward trend of the last few months, rising 0.6% when seasonally adjusted for June, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It follows a fall of 0.3% in May and a relatively unchanged result in April, put down to unseasonably warm weather and fears over the budget.

Australian turnover rose 5.3% in June, compared with June 2013, with household goods rising the highest at 0.3%.

Food retailing rose 0.1%, as did cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services.

But clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and department stores both fell 0.4% in trend terms.

Shares open flat

Aussie shares have opened flat this morning, following Wall Street’s slump on Friday.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 21.1 points to 5535.3 points at 12.15pm AEST. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 69.93 points lower, down 0.42% to 16,493.4 points.

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