In an interesting opinion article last week, businesses across Australia are battling labour shortages as the economy lifts out of the Covid slowdown.
Many of the shortages are easily understandable with the lack of working tourists being unavailable with the cessation of international travel, along with restaurants closing a couple of days each week due to lack of staff partly due to a reduction in new international student arrivals, and partly due to demands in remote areas as a result of movements in population away from larger cities.
Some shortages are not easily explainable such as a shortage of train drivers.
The slow rollout of vaccines and delay in opening international borders is exacerbating the problem by robbing many industries of much-needed international workers, as well as the issues with international students moving into entry level jobs such as accounting jobs.
With the international borders continuing to be closed, it is certain Australia’s usual immigration numbers will continue to be low, with the expectation the economic growth must be affected due to the lack of these new Australians participating in the workforce.
And states are contributing to the labour shortage through border closures and lockdowns reducing temporary and permanent movements of workers across borders for seasonal, contract or temporary work.
With a restriction of labour in the Australian market, it’s more than likely there will be increasing pressures on Australian wages.
The focus now is on the rapid shift in this digital world to working from home, and innovation and outsourcing are going to play a major role in the future availability of the workforce required to complete Australian work. In a global environment, it is likely the countries that can manage the epidemic (through vaccination as well as efficient covid outbreak systems) are going to be those countries that move ahead economically.
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