Closed borders boosts job opportunities for young and old

Economics Professor Bill Mitchell’s report on the ABS’ labour market survey for June noted that the collapse in immigration has played a key role in lowering Australia’s unemployment rate to a 10-year low of 4.9%:

Given the variation in the labour force estimates, it is sometimes useful to examine the Employment-to-Population ratio (%) because the underlying population estimates (denominator) are less cyclical and subject to variation than the labour force estimates. This is an alternative measure of the robustness of activity to the unemployment rate, which is sensitive to those labour force swings.

The following graph shows the Employment-to-Population ratio, since February 2008 (the low-point unemployment rate of the last cycle)…

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