Temporary migrant workers taking jobs from young, says study

Nicholas Falconer

YOUNG Australians are missing out on jobs due to the high number of temporary migrant workers coming from overseas, a new study has found.

The Monash University Centre for Population and Urban Research study revealed huge growth in migrant workers was stripping opportunities from Australia's job market.

Lead author Dr Bob Birrell wrote that Treasury forecasts showed the growth in the number of employed Australians would fall from 259,000 in May 2011 to a likely 110,000 this fiscal year.

At the same time, the permanent entry migration program brought a record 214,000 in 2012-13 and was "encouraging temporary migrants to work in Australia in unprecedented numbers".

"The incompatibility of this migration policy stance with the stated concern about jobs for locals is jarring," he wrote.

"This is because recently-arrived migrants are dominating the growth in the number of employed persons in Australia."

The study also found the number of temporary visa holders, to 1.1 million as at March this year, was rising in part because temporary visa holders are allowed to switch to other temporary or permanent visas after arrival.

"It is young local workers who are the main loses in the competition for employment," Dr Birrell wrote.

"This is especially the case for those without post-school education, who are seeking less skilled, entry-level jobs."

Dr Birrell wrote the result of the conflicting jobs and migration policies was a 14.5% unemployment rate among Australians aged 15-24 and 9.5% for 20-24 year olds, markedly higher than the national 5.7% unemployment rate.

Topics:  careers editors picks immigration politics unemployment

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