Automation eliminates need for mass immigration

The business lobby, policy makers and the federal government have for years run the argument that Australia needs to run a mass immigration program to overcome future skills shortages.

The argument generally goes something like this:

  • Australia’s population is ageing fast and with the large baby boomer cohort headed into retirement, Australia is facing an acute shortage of workers.
  • Australia, therefore, needs to import large numbers of workers from abroad to ensure that it has enough workers to fill jobs and support retirees.

These population boosters never acknowledge that the best way to overcome said ‘shortages’ is via using the existing workforce more productively, as well as encouraging firms to adopt labour saving technologies like automation. Nor do they acknowledge that increasing levels of automation globally is inevitable as artificial intelligence and technology is improved, which will inevitably make many jobs redundant.

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