As migrants flood Sydney, city experiences brain drain

By Leith van Onselen

The latest population figures for NSW showed that the state received a whopping 93,481 net overseas migrants in the year to March 2017, but lost nearly 14,000 residents interstate:

According to analysis by economist Callam Pickering and others, many of the workers leaving Sydney are high skilled, meaning the city is experiencing a ‘drain brain’. From The Daily Telegraph:

Economist at jobs site Indeed, Callam Pickering, recently conducted an analysis of job seeker behaviour and found around nine per cent of clicks by STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) job seekers in New South Wales were for jobs posted in other states.

“By comparison, only six per cent of clicks for New South Wales STEM job postings were coming from job seekers living in other states,” Mr Pickering said.

“With the exception of South Australia, STEM job seekers in NSW are the most likely group to search for work interstate”…

“It’s not that tech workers can’t find jobs in Sydney, there is an abundance, it’s that they’re more than happy to move interstate if the right job is available,” he said.

“Many highly skilled workers would rather live someplace else”…

“High and low-skilled workers in NSW explore interstate job opportunities at roughly the same rate,” Mr Pickering said.

“It doesn’t mean they took the job, but it shows the sentiment to move elsewhere is there”…

A midyear survey by Ipsos Public Affairs polling for the Committee for Sydney found of 1000 Sydney residents surveyed, one in three was considering leaving Sydney in the next five years.

Of those who rent, 52 per cent were considering leaving, while 53 per cent of 18 to 25 year olds were also considering a fresh start elsewhere…

The Director of Advocacy at the Committee for Sydney, James Hulme, agreed that a looming Sydney brain drain was a concern.

He listed problems with housing affordability, transport infrastructure and Sydney’s night scene (compared to Melbourne’s) as the main issues…

Mr Hulme added that he was just as concerned about the loss of frontline workers, too.

“We want people who serve their community in this way to be able to afford to live in their community,” he said.

Mr Pickering pointed out that Sydney housing fetched a 60 per cent premium compared with the median price across other state capital cities.

“A buyer in Sydney can expect to pay more than double what it would cost to get a similar property in Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth.

“Sydney is at a decided disadvantage. It could lose its mantle as our nation’s economic hub.”

Mr McCrindle agreed that housing costs were a problem, as were commuting times.

“Sydney has the longest capital city commute times in Australia and there is the high cost of maintaining a car and toll roads, so people start to question if this is the lifestyle they want,” he said.

“If you’re living 90 minutes west of the beaches then some people may feel they may as well be in another city.”

Fake left mass immigration advocates call it ‘cultural enrichment’. Everyone else sees it for what it is: housing unaffordability, wage stagnantion, congestion, pollution, and overall deteriorating living standards.

One only needs to look at the housing market to see why young locals are being forced-out of Sydney.

The cost of a dwelling in Sydney has rocketed to insane levels:

Driving the home ownership rate for those aged under-40 through the floor:

With the proportion of households thrown onto the rental market growing massively:

And more than half of lower income households in ‘rental stress’:

So basically, incumbent young Sydneysiders are being forced to move from where they grew up just so they can make way for the torrent of overseas migrants hitting the city every year via the federal government’s mass immigration program. And this torrent is expected to continue indefinitely, with the NSW Government projecting that 76,000 net overseas migrants will flood Sydney annually over the next 20 years:

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  1. While the government pumps money into Sydney in a vain effort to ‘fixed’ infrastructure (and the pockets of mates), the rest of the state is robbed of basic services.

  2. This article consistent with my IT friends who have moved to Adelaide, Canberra, USA, Europe. Basically anywhere but Sydney . Nothing to do with being able to find a job in Sydney, and everything to do with wanting to buy a house and raising a family.

    • My 20-something son is planning on a move to Europe to pursue a career in engineering. Indeed, ‘anywhere but Sydney’.

      • Same thing my young 20’s son with a recently minted engineering degree is off to Germany and I’m supporting his decision and telling him it’s exactly the right move for him career wise and life wise. Come back when Australia sorts out this mess or don’t come back at all if they don’t.
        The worst decision that a young person (with globally recognized in-demand skills) can make is to try to find a path through this Aussie stupidity. What I’ve told him is that this is not stupidity of his making and as such it’s insane for him to shoulder any of the costs that must happen during the readjustment phase.
        Get out enjoy yourself and come back in 10 years time to find yourself a bargain house you’ll be at the top of your game globally, really well trained and highly in demand globally. At that point Australia will either look attractive to you or it won’t. This way it’s not your problem if Australia fails to fix its problem.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Unfortunately the penny dropped late for my mid+ thirties son, but getting 95%-99% in his adult electrical apprenticeship, same thing he’s looking North Coast NSW..

      • Ahahaha!!! That’s like saying “Oh, I have a choice between syphilis and herpes…” Decisions, decisions!

      • Lol, I left Melbourne , working in cyber security but it’s an expensive 3rd world shithole to live in the city now. Will never return, if I want to live in the 3rd world the 3rd world does it better, accept they have faster internet and better food.

      • Melbourne has certainly lost its way.

        Public transport and roads are overcrowded. Large group of immigrants that have come here en masse, with no desire or need to make friends with the locals. A large group from countries with no interest in civility, or doing the right thing by others.

    • My Father-In-Law is a business analyst with very specific skills in bid submissions. A company in Sydney are mad keen for him to move from Brisbane but they could never afford to pay enough for him to afford a two bedroom unit an hour from work, let alone an equivalent to their three bedroom home in Brisbane which is about 40 minutes on the train from the city center. Instead the company in question just pays him to fly down to Sydney some weeks, while allowing him to work remotely for others.

      He did raise the issue of moving to Sydney and talking on a bigger mortgage but my Mother-In-Law was like “You want to move interstate, take on more debt at our age, yank me away from my children and grandchildren and take me from my home with all the gardens set up and put me in a cramped unit in Sydney… for what exactly???”

      • Should be engaged on a fly-in, fly out basis. Kick-off meeting at Sydney and follow-on meetings by phone, email and Skype. Cost a bit more but hey if your bids win. It is the results that count.

  3. And the winner is… Syderney! (hands over prize looking strangely similar to a hand with the middle finger extended skywards:🖕)

  4. Yup… I got out with family. Not sure if that constitutes “brain” drain… but hey I read this website maybe that’s a good qualification.

  5. I heard this in 2012 from a couple of Sydney men: “why live in Sydney if you can get a job in Melbourne that pays almost the same amount of money?”

    The trouble is, Atlassian is based in Sydney (probably because the founders went to school there). Rode microphones are still made in Sydney! And Choice Magazine is still based there.

    But a 90 minute commute in Sydney is nirvana compared to a 60 minute commute in India. And of course the wages are 5-10x bigger in Sydney compared to Delhi.

    • >> And of course the wages are 5-10x bigger in Sydney compared to Delhi.

      What rubbish! .. may be for a taxidriver… but for tech-skilled person. it is almost on par… 100K AUD = 55 Lakhs INR…. Thats like a norm in high-tech industries in India!

  6. I’m sending my girls to the international school down in Kilmore. Options. Gotta give your kids options. Those options might be better abroad because it doesn’t seem like Australia is for Australians.

  7. Being in my mid 30s and having decent equity, I debate the point of staying in Sydney.
    Sure, the jobs here are good and highly paying, but for anyone youngish who has decent equity, the though of selling up and moving elsewhere is certainly very tempting!
    If you are going to stay in Sydney, you really need to be within a 40 mins public transport trip of the CBD to have any reasonable level of sanity.

  8. Yep – I left Sydney beginning of this year because I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I couldn’t be happier in my new location. I thought I’d have to look for new work, but with the threat of me leaving, my employer suddenly agreed that working from home could be a good thing.

  9. May explain an ad I saw in the AFR in August from the NSW Public Service calling for expressions of interest from senior policy advisers nationwide. Seemed a bit desperate and unusual. Naturally the first thing that springs to mind is meeting the ridiculous living costs on a middle ranking public servants salary that would be attractive in other states but in Sydney wouldn’t pass muster

  10. This is one of the many reasons why the Sydney housing bubble is dying in the arse and will continue to do so. It’s one thing when service people are priced out of living in a city. It’s another thing altogether when affluent professionals can’t afford to live there and decide to leg it. Sydney has become a completely self-defeating and dysfunctional system that is doing the equivalent of eating its own stomach. If residents can’t reside there then it’s lost its reason for existing and there’s no point in anyone being there.

    As for the immigrant tsunami, immigrants are brought here expressly because they can be paid less than locals. And whaddya know, they can’t afford the house prices either.

    The country is close to exhausting its supply of greater fools. People have neither the money or the inclination to pay the absurd prices, and the city is heading for a world of hurt.

    • Yes, the irony … you need to pay a high price to live in paradise … except that ‘paradise’ is slowly turning into a dystopia . A victim of its own success. In the decades to come the population will thin out again and a generation of Sydney-siders will rejoice in renovating and reinvigorating the joint again. Maybe.

    • What we need is a downturn – an economic enema that will choke of migration and shed many of the temporary visa jobs.

  11. Yeah, have been offered a number of jobs in Sydney. Answer is always No. How could it possibly be anything else??

  12. Not just the cost of housing and crap infrastructure some suburbs will be the last places in Australia that you would want to live in.

  13. It’s all about releasing equity. Now watch property prices up and down the NSW coast go boom – already you can’t find many towns where a house is less than $500k.

  14. The majority of Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese migrants are male. Try going to any open social event and not seeing an overwhelming number of them. The excess males of Asia have been dumped on Australia. This has negative impacts on both Australian men and women, and is surely part of this ‘brain drain’.
    Just as big business can set a target for female executives, or the University of Melbourne can seek to hire only female mathematics professors, we should ensure that migrants from all countries, on all visas and in all fields are majority female.

  15. WTF do they all have to arrive in Syd and Melb???? I recently drove SYD – MELB – SYD and there is literally no population until you hit city limits… in a nation the size of the USA.. it’s totally retarded to have 50% of the nations population living in just 2x cities!