Property Council: Lower immigration would boost wages

By Leith van Onselen

The Property Council has commissioned modelling which shows that lowering immigration into NSW would boost real wages. From The SMH:

The NSW economy could grow by $130 billion less over the coming decade if net migration to the state was halved, as has been called for by Premier Gladys Berejiklian…

It predicted that in each year there would be an increasing reduction in gross state product, starting with a decline of $2.4 billion in 2019-20 and reaching a reduction of $24.3 billion by 2028-29…

The change in migration would result in 200,000 fewer jobs and increase real wages in NSW by an average of 0.9 per cent over 10 years.

Fancy that: reducing the flow of foreign workers into NSW’s labour market would lift wages. Exactly what MB has said from the outset and matches the various modelling from the Productivity Commission.

The other statements about lowering NSW’s aggregate growth and job creation are hardly surprising. Obviously, if 50,000 less people arrive into the state each year, there will be less growth and fewer jobs created.

But who cares? It’s the per capita impacts that matter, and on this front NSW residents will be unambiguously better-off.

Not only will per capita GDP and employment be largely unaffected, but infrastructure and housing pressures will be reduced, thereby raising overall living standards.

Remember, Infrastructure Australia’s recent modelling showed that liveability in Sydney will be unambiguously crushed as the city’s population balloons to a projected 7.4 million people by 2046, with worsening traffic congestion and reduced access to jobs, schools, hospitals, and green space:

So obviously, reducing Sydney’s population increase would relieve these pressures and improve living standards.

The reported $130 billion loss in economic activity over a decade, or $13 billion per year, is also chicken feed compared to the bills rolling in across Sydney for the infrastructure required to retro-fit Sydney to cope with the population growth.

Enough said.

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  1. Ten years too friggin late tools. These days the Oz ekoonomie is nothing more than a massive bubble; with more immigration wages go down, without, the bubble goes down and takes everything with it. It’s going down anyway.

  2. Obviously if we allow China to annex Australia, the economy will be “bigger” but will the average Aussie be richer?

    Of course not.

    Gladys digs her heels in:

    ‘‘You’d hardly expect them to be supportive of a pause in our migration,’’ she said.

    “I don’t govern for developers. I govern for the interests of all of NSW and that’s why we need a pause in population growth in Sydney.”

    Good to see Gladys demand what Quebec has! The ability to have a different immigration rate to the rest of Canada. And yeah, wages in Quebec are going up by 3% per year.

    • Canada is a good model for the kind of controls we can put on economic interactions with foreign entities, to protect our economy and quality of life.

  3. You had me until the sexist and racist AF parts here:
    “Change the youth visa to allow only women under 30, for a 3 year visa, with no work restrictions. Expand the list of countries to places like Colombia, Poland, Ukraine, Russia. This will provide a good breeding stock to the Aussie males and placate them, as well as balance out the mostly male skilled intake above. It also appeases the local feminists since its pro-woman. Greatly loosen up the costs and restrictions to marry a spouse from certain countries (eg. Britain and Poland, not Pakistan and Syria) for Aussie Citizens.”

    Most feminists will NOT be appeased by being relegated to being babymakers, thank you (in case you weren’t trolling and actually misguidedly believe that we would appreciate a “breeding stock” visa), although some fundy-Christian types who AREN’T among the skilled workers and do aspire to being babymakers might be excited by it.

    And charging by the country for spouses is awful.

    Controlling entry of skilled workers based on ability to speak the language well enough to be actually employable (too many are not) or educatable to Australian standards for their qualification (apparently many have to do an Australian re-up on their quals to work here in their field; some do not have the language skills to succeed at that) is a different thing, though, and I think would be a wise investment by Australia. People seem to pass the English test without having real world work skills in the English language, so perhaps for certain countries for which this is frequently an outcome, an in person immi interview should be required.

    Kangaroos are full of parasites, so no thanks more than occasionally. Plus, many indigenous people would not appreciate the quantity that would have to be killed off for someone to make a business go of such an enterprise.

  4. Jumping jack flash

    It is an interesting problem they face:

    On the one hand, banks aren’t giving out as much debt because of tighter (ie: barely adequate) lending standards and acknowledgement of actual household expenditure which means hardly anyone is now eligible for the gargantuan amounts of debt that are required to pay the current expected asking prices for houses.

    On the other hand, for people to be able to acquire the simply insane amounts of debt that are required to pay the expected asking prices their incomes need to rise. A LOT!

    immigration is facilitating wage theft which allows a privileged few people to comfortably afford their debt obligations as well as keep ahead of the gouged costs of living – costs of living that are gouged to create wages for the privileged few to steal to be able to pay their debt obligations and keep ahead of costs of living!

    In order to inflate wages for the plebs (which will probably still not inflate substantially until the debt is repaid) they say they need to reduce immigration.
    It could have the effect that it will sink the whole ship – the privileged few will not be able to steal as much wages from naive and grateful immigrants, thereby not being able to comfortably pay their debt obligations and keep abreast of costs of living.

    There could be two scenarios if immigration is reduced:

    Gouging intensifies. Wage theft remains in place. (Australia *eventually* gets their own yellow vest riots)
    Wage theft abated, pleb’s wages rise (a little bit – enough to take on insane amounts of debt?) but privileged few now feel the strain of the frightening amounts of debt they must repay in an environment of horrendously gouged living costs.

    The other thing that must be considered is the banks love the privileged few because they alone show that the unsustainable mountains of debt that were given out were in fact responsible – they are being easily repaid by those few while the wage theft is occurring.

    So in light of the last point, I find it very doubtful that they will be allowed to reduce immigration by any substantial amount.

  5. @Leith van Onselen:
    – Disagree. Disagree, disagree.
    – Yes, reduced immigration will help to lift wages. But growth WILL remain FLAT because (total) income WILL remain FLAT !!!! WE only have to share the same income with fewer people, meaning that income per capita (e.g. wages) will go up.