More migrants needed for labour

Australia needs to increase its migrant intake by almost a third by 2021 to keep the economy growing, researchers say.

An Academy of Social Sciences policy paper has projected Australia’s migrant intake will have to increase to nearly 230,000 a year by 2021 to satisfy our demand for labour. Improvements in the fertility rate and workplace participation will not do it.

By 2051 annual net migration would have to reach 316,000, up from 177,600 in the year to 30 June 2007, to maintain labour supply growth at 1%.

The researchers suggest that skilled and unskilled migrants will be needed to meet demand in construction, engineering, water supply, energy and communications, and our needs as an ageing wealthy population.


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