Australia witnessed over 225,000 people migrating to its shores to settle and live there permanently in the financial year 2016-17. Most of them were younger, skillful and well-educated when compared to the average population of the country.
Population researchers aver that because of these aspects, recent migrants become crucial to the Land Down Under’s economy in the future where the ageing population is high.
Out of the migrants who arrived in the last financial year, 126,000 arrived as skilled employees to work in certain industries and 61,000 arrived through the family stream. Only 24,000 were asylum seekers, most of who were from Syria and Iraq, both of which are beset by internal problems.
Of those who arrived with 457 visas to fill skill shortages, 10,000 were trade workers and technicians, 26,000 were professionals and 900 were brought under a subclass visa to tend to the old and disabled.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics released in 2017 showed that unemployment rate among temporary residents and recent migrants was 7.4 percent compared to the Australian average of 5.4 percent at the end of 2016. Participation in the labour force was, however, 66 percent in Australia as against 70 percent in recent arrivals.
Liz Allen, a demographer with Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods, was quoted by The Australian as telling it that migrants were more risk-prone, and they relocate with their family in a country where their language is spoken only by a few, and they employ themselves or pick up English.
Dr Allen said there was clear evidence that if Australia wants to make up for losses from an ageing labour population, it needed migrants. She added that she found it mysterious that politicians were overlooking this and cribbing about infrastructure spending.
The last financial year also saw 448,000 international students arriving in 2016-17, an increase of over 100,000 from 2014. Of them, 100,000 migrants were from India, Britain, China and The Philippines.
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