15 November 2012

Latest report shows migrants grabbing work in Australia

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The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that over half of the newly created jobs in the past five years went to migrants.

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Migrants taking the majority of new work in Australia is a mark of the country's success not failure.

Just short of one million new jobs were added to the Australian economy between 2006 and 2011 while just over one million new residents moved to Australian in the same period. Of the new jobs added, migrants claimed over 545,000.

The figures show new migrants took 70% of the private industry jobs including the hospitality industry, healthcare and social services, professional and technical services, education and training as well as financial and insurances services. Migrants also accounted for more than a third of federal government jobs and 20% of state or local government jobs.

Most of the newly arrived migrants during the five year period came from India (82,214) followed by the UK (70,895), New Zealand (68,813) and China (37,511).

The statistics, which will come as a surprise to some, reflects Australia's successful economic measures in the midst of a global downturn over recent years.

Australia's much publicised mining boom created thousands of jobs which required foreign skilled labour to work in remote areas while the governing Labor Party's emphasis on health and social care has led to these industries becoming the most popular in Australia.

Leonie Cotton, casework manager at the Australian Visa Bureau, says the statistics are unsurprising and demonstrate the abundance of opportunity on offer in Australia.

"While news that jobs are being taken by foreign nationals is rarely welcome by the local population, in Australia's case it is not a sign of too lax immigration policies or preferential treatment for foreign nationals but rather a marker of the country's success - particularly during a time of economic strife almost everywhere else in the world," said Ms Cotton.

"Much of Europe, the US and the UK slid into recession while Australia rode the wave of the mining boom so efficiently; the growing desire to leave and seek better opportunity abroad in those countries dovetailed perfectly with Australia's need for skilled workers."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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