Better migrant job matching could boost Australian economy by $6 billion annually

November 1, 2019 no comment kartik

Improving job matching services for migrants could deliver $6 billion to the Australian economy each year, according to a new report.


The report from the independent Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) suggests helping migrants find a job at a similar skill level to those they had in their country of origin would give the Australian economy yearly multi-million dollar injections.

Report co-author and BCEC Director Alan Duncan said the report sheds light on the extent of which skills mismatch is concentrated toward migrants, particularly those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

“There’s a huge untapped potential. There is a huge human capital here, and if fully realised, it could deliver very strong benefits for the Australian economy,” Professor Duncan said.

“When you look at the number of non-Australian born people in the last census – nearly 6.2 million – it becomes clear the way which we absorb, accept and capitalise on the skills and talents of migrants is really crucial to the future economic and social success of the country.”

The findings were made by comparing changes in the real wages of Australian-born workers with the changes and differences of migrant workers.

“When you take a comprehensive view of the full Australian population, on average, we actually find one percentage point increase in the share of migrant workers leads to an increase of 2.4 percentage point in the real wages of native-born Australians,” Professor Duncan said.

“The entry of highly-educated workers with strong skills from foreign backgrounds [adds] to the productivity and innovation in any given sector in Australia. From that basis, it lifts and drives gains across the entire workforce.

“It’s a small number but it’s significant.”

Professor Duncan said the report disputes the idea migrants have a negative impact on job availability and wage growth.

“We actually find the reverse is true,” he said.

Only 60 per cent of migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds are working in jobs for which they are well-matched, according to the report.

Source: SBS News

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