CommSec: High immigration is lowering wages

CommSec senior economist, Ryan Felsman, has broken rank and linked high immigration levels with slow wage growth:

‘So why is wage inflation contained, despite strong job creation? The simple answer is that Australia has an excess supply of workers,’ he said.

‘Population growth remains elevated and workforce participation has lifted to record highs, driven by a surge in females and older Aussies.’

Australia’s net immigration pace for 2019, with departures factored in, stood at 294,310, ABS data released on Tuesday showed.

While that annual tally was below the all-time high of 353,480 set in April 2009, it was still more than triple the 20th century average of 70,000, which had lasted until the late 1990s.

Welcome to the club, Ryan Felsman. Hopefully your honest observation won’t cost you a promotion.

Paging Phil Lowe

Leith van Onselen


    • TL;DR, but if he neglected to mention immigration, that tells you all you need to know. Dim Chalmers and Andrew Leigh are quantitative peoplers.

        • Jim
          From neighbours lol

          I’ve been trying to make “Dim Chalmers” stick for months alas MB don’t run with it. It’s way more sticky than Albotross

  1. Wait, the law of supply and demand isn’t just macro-economic mumbo jumbo after all? What about Australian exceptionalism?!?!

  2. It’s clear that nobody in power is serious about improving wage growth in Australia. Otherwise they’d call out this mass immigration scam.

    As Harvard economist George Borjas has noted, the primary effect of immigrants on the country receiving them is a massive regressive redistribution of income and wealth among the existing population.

  3. High immigration is doing more than suppressing wages. It is highly damaging to the ability of talented young Australians to develop a career in Australia. My son is an IT engineering grad. Couldn’t find an internship in Australia after many months of trying. Secured an internship with a fintech in London for 6 months, now moved on to his first full time position also in fintech in London. Talented young Australians are having to go offshore for opportunities which in Australia, to the extent they exist, are largely being filled by very second rate imports. It doesn’t bode well for Australia, or any country, to pursue policies that result in a brain drain of its best and brightest young talent.

    • It is by design. When you’re away you have no appartenance to the place you’re in, you keep your mouth shut and you do as you are told.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      My company is competing against coding shops that use jimmy grants doing internships get their Aussie experience hours for PR. From what we’ve heard, the interns pay the company. It’s fvck’n criminal.

  4. It is by design. When you’re away you have no appartenance to the place you’re in, you keep your mouth shut and you do as you are told.

  5. “the all-time high of 353,480 set in April 2009”

    Rudd. Yay. Labor wins the dumping on Australians award.

    • We get you hate labor but that’s one year against the commencement by Howard and continuation apace of LNP