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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Skills shortages worsen as Australia's working age population shrinks

Media release

Skills shortages worsen as Australia's working age population shrinks

Media release
ABS data released today shows the estimated resident population in all states and territories is shrinking.

This is the compilation of the natural rate of population growth, overseas migration and interstate migration.

“The population of Australians aged between 15 and 64 has fallen since COVID,” stated Nick Ward, HIA’s Senior Economist.

“Migrants to Australia are typically younger than existing residents. With the restriction on new arrivals, the number of working age Australians has fallen by around 83,500 people in 2020/21 financial year,” added Mr Ward.

“This is continuing to make it increasingly difficult for businesses to find skilled workers. The loss of young migrants also accelerates population aging, adding pressure to government budgets over the long term.

“Australia’s population growth remains at the lowest it has been in over 100 years, with growth of just 0.18 per cent over the past year. In 2018/19, Australia’s net migration was around 241,300 people. In 2020/21, Australia lost around 88,800 migrants in net terms. 

“A return to stable and reliable skilled migration pathways is central to a return to stable economic growth,” concluded Mr. Ward.

For more information:

Nick Ward

Senior Economist

Tim Reardon

Chief Economist
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