Australian net immigration reductions

07 December 2010

Australia's rate of net immigration continues to fall as more people leave Australia and fewer people arrive.

The number of permanent and long-term arrivals still outnumbers departures. However immigration numbers fell to 210,400 people this year, compared to 324,700 the previous year.

In October, there were only 9,370 immigrants who settled in Australia, the lowest since March of 2004.

The downturn in immigration could have dire consequences for Australia's economy as it heads into another boom.

"Businesses are shaking their heads," Commonwealth Securities economist, Craig James told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Job markets are tight, with not enough local talent to fill positions," he added. "But while companies are crying out for staff, migrant numbers are plunging."

He said that the annual number of migrants has plunged by a record 35 percent.

"It is in the interests of all Australians to have a balanced job market," he said. "The last thing anyone wants to see is the Reserve Bank keeping interest rates at higher levels than they should be because restrictions on migrant inflows are pushing up wages and prices."

Other statistics show that job advertisements are up 2.9 percent in November of 2010 as business struggle to find skilled labour.

For businesses who need skilled immigration, the future does not bode well. In July of 2011, the Australian government will implement changes to immigration law that will make it harder for certain people, such as tradespeople, to immigrate to Australia.

For businesses looking to hire overseas workers and for people looking to live and work in Australia, applying now may be the best option.