Migration shills tie themselves in job knots

Via the ABC:

Economic experts have warned the Government faces a challenge in meeting its new jobs target if it restricts migration, and even if it does deliver on its pledge, Australians may not be the ones to benefit.

It follows a similar pledge by Tony Abbott prior to the 2013 election to create 1 million jobs by 2018.

Peter McDonald, Emeritus Professor of Demography at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy, said it was an “achievable” target and that a recent projection of labour market demand by Victoria University had already earmarked a similar level of demand.

But he also noted migration was the largest contributor to the growth in employment numbers in Australia since 2013, ahead of the growing trend for older Australians to stay in work.

The permanent migration program was reduced from around 190,000 to just above 160,000 in the past two years.

Mr Morrison revealed last year it’s likely the intake would remain at this new, lower level.

Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson said his firm forecasted that, at this stage, jobs growth would fall short of the Government’s 2023 target.

“You get, basically, growth in jobs pretty much anyway — over time, there are more Australians, that typically means more jobs, but it does get more complicated than that,” Mr Richardson said.

“An ageing population means more people are retiring, that makes it harder.

“The migration debate — if it means winding back the number of migrants — that also makes it harder.”

The Department of Jobs’ Employment Outlook, released last year, projects employment to increase by 886,100 over the five years to May 2023.

Mr Richardson said the ratio of new skilled adult migrants to jobs growth was “pretty much one to one”, despite community concerns over migration fuelled by “barbecue logic”.

“People think, ‘well if migrants arrive, surely they’re taking jobs and if other things are equal, that means less jobs for everyone else’,” he said.

“If somebody puts up a hand to take a job — a migrant, a married woman, a Martian — they get the job, they earn the income, spend the income, then create the next job.”

Professor McDonald said if the Government restricted permanent migration, the employees needed by Australian businesses would not come from the ranks of the local unemployed.

“If labour demand is strong, and permanent migration is not filling the demand, then it will come from temporary migration or New Zealanders,” he said.

A reduction in immigration, he argues, would not necessarily lead to more jobs for Australians.

What total drivel. Australia has a large surplus of labour which is why wages are stuck in the gutter:

If migration is cut then we’ll see a shift in the patterns of demand in the economy not the end of the world. There will be less urbanisation and therefore less jobs in that area. That will result in lower interest rates and a much lower currency triggering greater offshore demand and boosting the 40% of the economy that is tradable. Ironically this will prevent any serious shakeout from hitting urbanisation sectors while rising prospects for exporters and import competers will create more jobs in those areas of the economy and they will all go to locals. When the labour market tightens enough and shortages appear then wages will rise. Fancy that!

If these wage rises get excessive then interest rates will rise and job creation slow or firms invest more heavily in automation for greater productivity and the gains be shared with fewer needed workers. these are also the dynamics that will easily resolve any aging population issues.

This is simply called an “adjustment”. The economy is not set in concrete (unless you’re paid by property developers to say so), it is a living system designed to compensate for such shifts.

What this debate is really about is not who gets what jobs but which elements of capital win along the way. McDonald and Richardson are obsessed with supporting the immigration-led urbanisation sectors to the detriment of tradables and wider community living standards as infrastructure fails to keep up, wages are crushed by the rush of cheap foreign labour and house prices shoot to stupid levels. McDonald is a demographer not economist so has no idea. Richardson has simply lost the macro plot.

Before these dills came along with their immigration voodoo Australia and its labour market fared just fine and it will afterwards as well. In fact it will be better in time as the permanent supply shock of cheap foreigners killing wages and productivity ends, boosting income.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. Interesting how many hive-mind demographers are coming out of ANUs… I’d say Dr Demography is kind of like their hive queen.

  2. The economy is not set in concrete (unless you’re paid by property developers to say so)

    The Opal Tower residents would beg to differ on the “concrete setting” bit.
    what… too soon? Sheesh – tough crowd!

  3. As some of you might know, for a long time I have tried to be part of the solution to the Sydney Housing Disaster.
    I’ve tried to explain what the problem is and how to fix it.

    In doing so I have come across all sorts of ridiculous arguments and theories that deny the obvious (when it comes to housing).

    The job situation is even more complex than the housing situation. For example in this article you have all sorts of vested interests spouting drivel.

    The core elements to fixing the “jobs” problem is to stop focusing on jobs. That is a derivative. Just like high house prices are a derivative of the housing situation.

    To solve, look deeper at the core of our society. What should our society do? Do we want to concentrate on having a high immigration and a high GDP, driving cars many miles to jobs, concreting paddocks, and sending shiploads of coal overseas to burn, borrowing money from overseas, hosting rich criminals, and pampering one class of our society?
    If so, our jobs will involve doing just that, and we are doing just fine at it.

    However if we want our society to be a model of sustainability, improvement and human wellbing, doing less and less bad stuff like pollution, doing more and more good stuff, then our jobs should and will become stuctured around doing that.
    In that case, we are not doing so well at all, and need to change.

    Stop talking about jobs and instead talk about what really matters.

    • Let’s start by reforming the monetary system so that it no longer depends on growth just to be stable.

    • We have let monetised utility be the only form of utility. We have completely forgotten to factor in amenity when it comes to the current growth model fixation.

    • Thermal coal exports depend on other nations wanting to import it. Solar panels are not cheap enough yet – but when that happens, thermal coal exports will cease.

      Less than 38% of the IT jobs here are given to Aussies! What an absolute disgrace. All foreign “students” should be deported within 12 months of graduating unless they get a $150k/year salary.


      • Another ‘aren’t these migrants such lovely people’ story. He bakes cakes! He’s such a sweaty! I hope people in his community don’t mistake the cake-baking as a fudge-pack1ng related activity or he’ll be thrown off a building next time he goes back to Pakistan.

        No tough questions of Ali from SMH who loves a Big Australia and wants to bolster readership from New Australians as well.

        Questions not asked: “Ali, do you feel guilty that you’ve taken jobs from locals?” “Ali, why is it really that you happen to live in an area where there are a lot of people of your ethnic background, don’t you like the rest us?” “Ali, did you breach any of your visas since you’ve been here?” “Have you ever worked cash in hand, before or after going into IT?” “Did you meet your wife before or after you got married to her?” “Why can’t you be without your parents and extended family and need them to be here too?”

    • However if we want our society to be a model of sustainability, improvement and human wellbing, doing less and less bad stuff like pollution, doing more and more good stuff, then our jobs should and will become stuctured around doing that.
      In that case, we are not doing so well at all, and need to change.

      Stop talking about jobs and instead talk about what really matters.

      That’s the kind of commie attitude that’ll see you voting Greens.

    • All fair points but this about making a small handful of powerful people extremely wealthy while goosing the GDP numbers and making the pollies look good.

      …. oh, and propping up the various ponzis that the previous Govt policies have helped create.

  4. Is anyone in the media asking how many of the 1.25m jobs will go to people who have undertaken all their schooling in Australia? (i’m not talking about the foreign uni students – scam). If we are creating 1.25m jobs to give to 1.25m migrants, we havent gained in terms of employment and we have gone backwards in terms of standard of living, congestion and infrastructure costs.

    McDonald and others like him (Salt etc.) are a disgrace to this nation and the past sacrifices made to advance it.

    • Plus, with more migrants obtaining these jobs, then there is more money being siphoned out of the Australian economy via remittances (to pay migrant agents / lenders, study agents / lenders, families in the Philippines, the Sub-continent and China).

      • Money will be sent offshore because the immigrants will import television sets, microwave ovens, motor cars, air conditioners, etc.

        We need to have the same immigration rate as South Korea.

  5. Is it vain to hope that immigration will ever be significantly reduced now that it’s gone so far in an upwards trajectory? I hope and I hope that votes will be cast to make this happen, however I feel like it’s only a pipe dream and that the massive Australia is here to stay, sans planning, water and infrastructure!!!

    • If nothing radical happens soon, then we are in serious trouble. Watch as more Indian and Chinese candidates get political positions. Do you think these people will be for more or less migration when their constituents who got them in (the deciding voters in marginal seats), want to get the rest of their family to Australia? The tides are turning. We are going to have a very vocal and powerful minority in power soon.

  6. I’m not sure if that was actually the case for most of the refugees – as I understand it to be, most left secondary safe countries, where they had been for some time. Even their children were born into these safe secondary countries. I have no sympathy for them. However, those that wait in refugee camps in the Middle-East or Africa, that haven’t burnt their papers, follow the requirements – these people I do feel sorry for.