SA needs migrant workers to keep economy working

SA needs migrant workers to keep economy working

By Leila Reypour
MARN 0848264

The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, at the University of Adelaide, has found that the State may need to rely more heavily on overseas workers to boost skill levels in an ageing population and to maintain population levels which often decrease as working families and young people move interstate.

The report says that South Australia is still feeling the effects of interstate migration and skills loss following the combination of the State Bank collapse and the restructure of the manufacturing sector in the 1980’s and 90’s. This was a time in which a number of headquartered companies and major offices of other companies were shut down, and a wave of manufacturing enterprises also closed their doors.

As a result of this there has been a sharp decline in population growth over the following decades in South Australia. Most notably young people and young families left the State from 1993-2002, adding to other states younger population while depleting South Australia’s. In the 33 years from 1981-2014, South Australia’s population grew by 350,000 or almost 27%, far less than Victoria’s growth rate of 46% and less than half the national rate of 55%.

The report also found that the absolute number of young people who are potentially economically active and contributing to the state is less now than it was in the early 1980’s and their share of the South Australian population has declined.

Source: Migration institute of Australia