Monday, 4 February 2013

Locals losing out on jobs because of high immigration

HIGH immigration is harming the job prospects of young Australians, says a Monash University study.

The report found about 200,000 migrants who arrived here over the last two years had found work.

This equalled the total number of new jobs created in Australia over the same period.

Monash population expert Dr Bob Birrell said Australians faced ferocious competition from the new arrivals, especially in less-skilled jobs in areas such as manufacturing, retail, construction and food services.

"This had a harmful impact on the level of employment, participation in the labour market and the working conditions of other Australians, particularly young people," he said.

"There is a strong case for a re-evaluation of migration policy in these circumstances."
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Dr Birrell's report, The Impact of Recent Immigration on the Australian Workforce, was co-written by Dr Ernest Healy and will be released today.

It comes as the nation's annual migration program is at a record high of 210,000, and the country is awash with a million temporary entrants, most of whom have work rights.

High immigration has bipartisan political support, despite a recent Galaxy poll, which showed that 70 per cent of Australians don't want the population to hit 40 million by 2050 as projected under current migrant intakes.

The Monash report said that high immigration was continuing as unemployment was worsening - there were 418,000 Australian-born people out of work in November last year compared to 338,000 four years ago.

And the total number of Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients had soared from 501,000 to 672,000 over the same time.

Dr Birrell said that young people without post-school qualifications faced serious problems getting work in the current job market, and they often competed with temporary migrants in the hospitality and retail sectors.

"Yet these are the very industries that have been hardest hit in the recent slow down in employment growth," he said.

The belief that Australia was "importing a highly educated addition to its skilled workforce, which is helping to fill skilled vacancies is largely incorrect", he said. 

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