Carrington Clarke: mass immigration policy undercutting wages

By Leith van Onselen

After his superb recent demolition of treasurer Scott Morrison over Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy (video above), the ABC’s Carrington Clarke has followed-up today with a superb article explaining how flooding the labour market through mass immigration is eroding workers’ wages:

The Treasurer has a new favourite mantra — “1,000 jobs a day”.

It’s a new take on the familiar “jobs and growth” three-word slogan the Prime Minister took to the last election.

Scott Morrison is correct as there were 371,000 new jobs created over the past year, which averages to more than 1,000 per day.

But it’s a much less impressive statistic when compared to the breakneck growth in Australia’s population.

Australia’s population swelled by 388,000 in the year until June — which is more than 1,000 people being added to our population every day.

When you have a population growing that fast, you need to create a lot of jobs just to keep up.

For a Treasurer and Prime Minister who are interested in trumpeting headline figures like GDP, high population growth helps to inflate the numbers.

Simply by letting more people in, you bump up the overall size of the economy…

However, it doesn’t necessarily make life any better for the people who live in the country and arguably, makes it a lot worse.

This is more people competing for jobs and housing, pushing down wages and pushing up property prices…

This high rate of population growth is driven mostly by high immigration.

Net migration was 245,400 people over the past 12 months — which was a 27.1 per cent increase over the year before.

That’s more than the total population of Hobart in new migrants coming to the country in a single year.

This is also a huge additional supply of workers (although a proportion would be children or the elderly).

The simple economic rule of supply and demand means these new workers effectively lower the price of labour, which means lower wages…

Why workers are getting a raw deal
Australia is not currently anywhere near full employment.

At 5.4 per cent unemployment, Australia is well above the US which is sitting at 4.1 per cent and the UK at 4.2 per cent.

There are currently 707,000 unemployed Australians. These are people currently looking for work.

But that’s only part of the story as there are currently about 1.1 million Australians who are ‘underemployed’.

These are people who are currently working (perhaps as little as one hour a week) but want to work more hours.

So the number of Australians currently looking for more work is 1.8 million.

There is still a huge amount of ‘slack’ in the labour market which is keeping people from getting a decent pay rise.

Companies are much less likely to offer big pay rises to workers if they know there’s a big supply of other workers who are desperate for a job or more hours.

What’s really worrying, is despite the Government crowing about creating ‘1,000 jobs a week’, there are only 20,000 less unemployed Australians than there were a year ago.

The economic ‘growth’ hasn’t made a sizeable difference to the amount of Australians unemployed and has left us with the worst wages growth since the 1960s.

Companies are benefiting from this huge increase in workers and consumers. New migrants buy more things, which helps keep the tills ringing.

And new migrants also mean more potential workers, which keeps wages down.

This can be seen in the most recent profit figures, with companies experiencing a 27 per cent increase in profits in a year while workers received less than 2 per cent in wage increases.

With 1.8 million people out of work or looking for more hours and 250,000 new migrants moving to the country each year, there’s very little incentive for bosses to give workers a big rise.

Which is why, despite ‘1,000 new jobs a day’, workers are getting a raw deal.

Very well said. It’s also great to see the ABC confronting the population elephant.

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Leith van Onselen
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  1. And what has the party of the worker got to say about this? Nothing. Labor Party has become an ironic term

    • Very true, Labor and Liberals are now interchangeable – they are both the parties of lobbyists.

      Both have no beliefs or values or stand for anything themselves – rather they will push the policies of whomever will “donate” money to them, or promise them a cushy job when they “retire” from parliament.

  2. Found it hilariously ironic that of the 14 victims of the afghan ice refugee, 9 were not even Australian nationals

    Including an IT worker from India, plus a cleaner from China

    At this point, we may as well just abandon Melbourne to the immigrants altogether

    • Ha ha 9/14 = 64%!

      Cleaners and IT workers!

      Here because the fake left wing believes lies such as “Aussies are incapable of cleaning”, “Aussies are incapable of networking computers together”, “Kiwis are incapable of driving trucks”!

      Have you got a link to the article that reveals what passports the victims have? I would like to see the list.

    • “At this point, we may as well just abandon Melbourne to the immigrants altogether”

      Aboriginals say it already has been.

      • I dont think any of the aboriginals realistically want to go back to those times, do you?

        Their literacy, domestic violence rates and life expectancy would get even worse

      • Their literacy, domestic violence rates and life expectancy would get even worse

        If I was run over by a train this morning (almost) I’d die believing that Anglo invaders introduced them to a liquid that incites violence which ultimately has profound effects on domestic violence. And not just on this continent.
        LIfe expectancy went up about everywhere with pharmaceuticals… with or without uninvited immigrants.

    • The media calling the guy that did this mentally ill is despicable and hurtful to people with mental illness. People with mental illness aren’t prone to driving a car into crowds of people.

      • I think it’s offensive to the drug ice, I mean 99% of ice users don’t kill in the name of the feminist religion of peace 😝

    • The only thing missing was couple of foreign construction workers. Australia’s low wage, low/no skill economy.

  3. I think it would be ok to have an open border with Britain or any nation that has a higher minimum wage than AUS.

    Having an open border with a low wage nation = disaster. Low wage nations in Eastern Europe were allowed into the EU in 2004 and Britons voted for Brexit in 2016.

    • LOL,

      no wonder you have these fix ideas…

      EU expansion to the east was a springboard for EU neo-liberal expansion.
      Brits have had fat profits by expanding their exports east but when it came to the second phase of the deal (exports of easertern people to the west) it became a sticking point.

      You wish Australia had free trade agreement with countries like that (hint: none left and all learned from this).

      • This may surprise you, Djenka, but the Brits who were making the fat profits are not the same as the Brits who were facing more competition for jobs, housing, public services, and amenities.

  4. Carrington was good as a junior reporter at Sky Business, good to see him gaining more responsibility at the ABC.

      • Guthrie’s orders to gut the ABC via the LNP, IPA and Murdoch are in full swing. Come election time, there will be few journos left at the ABC capable of asking of asking the hard questions and just the way they want it.

      • If he keeps up this kind of reporting he will be out of a job soon. The ABC funding twats won’t put up with this negative assessment of thier pay masters.

    • There are hundreds of comments on this article, very few supporting a BIG Australia.
      Well done MBers, we are breaking the BIg Oz Lies.

  5. Sorry to go off topic but is it just me? Bitcoin down from circa 16000 to circa 14000 in the space of a few hours? That’s what I thought I saw today, not being a close watcher of Bitcoin.

  6. The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

    These figures simply reflect exactly what I’ve been saying all along. More workers are coming into the country to take up the jobs which have been newly created under this government. It’s then up to the States to use the additional revenue to fund schools, roads and hospitals, and to release land for housing development and exciting new ethnic restaurants.

    • No additional revenue because most foreign “students” and 457 visa staff are here to work for illegal wages – thus pay no income tax at all.

      But they add to the vibrancy by stimulating the construction of schools that have no ovals.

      • …and the construction of poorly built dog box fire traps. Some parts of Melbourne and Sydney look like slums in the making.

      • might be a messaging problem… if sustainable is confused with green they won’t ever get a look in.

        Sustainable population Australia is less catchy but would poll better IMO

    • No he won’t – he’ll get rich and can look forward to well paid directorships in retirement.

      Worst case is that he ends up as ambassador to US.

    • Yep and he’s spitting out defensive robotic cliches without blinking an eye.

      The one that gets me according to this dickhead is that Melbourne and Sydney continually have to cop the brunt of 200,000+ pa because WA and SA are apparently screaming out for more people.

      They are addicted to the growth and this will never end.

  7. He let the Treasure walk all over him. Treasurer just iterated through his talking points, Should have made him look like the emperor with no clothes.

    Did he say 389,000 migrants last year? If so then the treasurer needs to create more than a 1000 jobs a day just to tread water. Then if we take the Roy Morgan view of unemployment at 9.8% things are nowhere near as rosy as the treasurer is spinning. And that is a more accurate view of where we are

  8. The English speaking nations are now in a spiral of economic decline given the ‘Neoliberal Economic’ bullcrap that infests what passes for thinking. The notion that we are going to compete with Asia on cost alone is beyond stupid. Also the idea that being an ‘innovative’ nation will generate value is absurd. Innovation without a focus creates very little. In fact, without having a focus, such as generating ‘competitive’ outcomes, innovation is simply pissing money away. It’s another form of government welfare but for another group of parasites – ‘innovators’ and ‘innovation sprukers’. While China has created over 4m STEM graduates and is investing billions in new tech and industries we are going to waste $200billion on military junk that will add nothing to the economy.

  9. If you want to see the effects of mass immigration read “The Strange Death of Europe” by Douglas Murray. Its a real eye opener into what happens when short term ideology triumphs over intelligent long term policies.

  10. Could Leith and or macrobusiness do a survey of people who get it about the population ponzi and housing/rising cost of living and falling quality of life and environment? I really want to know how it is that some people understand this and the rest are so amazingly oblivious. Among questions might be ‘what led you to this understanding’ as well as age, education, interests etc.