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.