Post 39: At a time of unemployment crisis, PM Scott Morrison fails to address Australia’s mass immigration problem.

Introduction.

The latest news on unemployment is grim. And PM Scott Morrison has let the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in no doubt he does not accept their official unemployment estimate of 7.4%. [1]Instead the PM is now issuing an effective unemployment rate of 11.3% and this is guiding his economic response. [2]

Population Research WA welcomes the Australian Prime Minster’s acceptance the unemployment rates are much higher than the ABS are calculating. The PM has responded accordingly with half a billion dollars, matched by the states with 340,000 training places and 180,000 apprenticeship places for Australia’s unemployed.[3]

However, it is concerning that the PM is not contemplating a significant culling of the Nation’s migration program. Once the country begins to ease international travel the doors are left open for the huge migration intake to start up. The impact on the local workforce could be devastating and long lasting. And Australia’s current unemployed are severely handicapped in their quest for work coming up against over 2 million Temporary visa holders currently in Australia. [4]

The cumulative unemployment rate in Australia.

Population Research has conducted an analysis of effective (cumulative) unemployment using ABS Labour Force data from January –June 2020 (see Table 1 below). Here we include Australians that have left the labour Force, don’t have a job and aren’t looking for one (but aren’t officially jobless according to the ABS approach).[5]

The ABS is clearly under pressure to include all those not working as unemployed.  PM Morrison’s use of effective unemployment rates is sign that the ABS needs to change their unemployment methodology and concepts.[6]

The cumulative estimate using the ABS data reveals that 374,000 Australian jobs have gone since the Wuhan coronavirus arrived in Australia from China in late January 2020 (see Table 1 below).[7] Add that figure to the 992,000 Australian’s officially unemployed at June 2020 and the cumulative unemployment rate is 10.3 %.[8]

Table 1: Australian Labour Force data, January to June 2020.

MonthUnemployed total persons (000’s)Labour force total Persons (millions)Labour force change (000’s)
Jan-2020722.213695.2N/A
Feb-2020696.313688.6-6.62
Mar-2020716.113705.316.72
Apr-2020841.913223.7-481.60
May-2020923.013040.6-183.10
Jun-2020992.313320.8280.13
Total (Unemployed & Labour Force change)1366.73N/A-374.46
Cumulative unemployment rate (%)10.3%  

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020.[9])

Conclusion.

A massive 1.36 million Aussies are now without a job therefore it’s time for the Morrison Government to come clean about their immigration plans. Are they going to significantly reduce the Temporary visa program? Cut the permanent migration program? And phase out automatic working rights for Foreign students? It is time for the Australian PM to make the correct immigration decision on behalf of the Australian public. And reset Australia’s immigration intake to much lower levels than the past decade.

References:


[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia, Jun 2020’ (c=AU; o=Commonwealth of Australia; ou=Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020), p. 0 <https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0&gt; [accessed 19 July 2020].

[2] Prime Minster of Australia Scott Morrison, ‘Interview with Sabra Lane, ABC AM | Prime Minister of Australia’, 2020 <https://www.pm.gov.au/media/interview-sabra-lane-abc-am-5&gt; [accessed 19 July 2020].

[3] Prime Minster of Australia Scott Morrison.

[4] Australian Government, ‘Temporary Visa Holders in Australia | Datasets | Data.Gov.Au – Beta’, 2020 <https://data.gov.au/dataset/ds-dga-ab245863-4dea-4661-a334-71ee15937130/details?q=temporary%20entrants&gt; [accessed 21 July 2020].

[5] Shane Wright, ‘Records – Good and Bad – Broken by Jobs Report That Shows Huge Battles Ahead’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2020 <https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/records-good-and-bad-broken-by-jobs-report-that-shows-huge-battles-ahead-20200716-p55cnr.html&gt; [accessed 20 July 2020].

[6] Australian Bureau of Statistics, p. 0.

[7] Australian Government Department of Health, ‘First Confirmed Case of Novel Coronavirus in Australia’, Australian Government Department of Health (Australian Government Department of Health, 2020) <https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/first-confirmed-case-of-novel-coronavirus-in-australia&gt; [accessed 24 July 2020].

[8] Australian Bureau of Statistics.

[9] Australian Bureau of Statistics, p. 0.

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