Why Global Citizens Should Care
Australia has long welcomed people from around the world, and, as a result, has an incredibly diverse and multicultural society. However, Australia has recently failed to sign the Global Compact on Migrants and Refugees and has become stricter about the number and type of accepted migrants. Take action for a world that is open and just here.

Some of the most common claims associated with immigrants are that they “steal” local jobs and drain the economy. A new report, however, is busting these myths once and for all. 

The latest data from the Committee of Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) shows that temporary skilled migrants have, in fact, not harmed Australian workers and instead pushed up wages and added to the productivity of the nation. 

"Recently arrived migrants have not had a negative impact on the wages or participation rates of Australian-born workers,” the report states. “On the contrary, our results indicate that, in some cases, an increase in migrant concentrations in certain levels of qualification and experience is associated with a positive impact on wages and employment.”

The research reveals 70% of temporary skilled visa holders live in New South Wales and Victoria — the two states which have the lowest rates of unemployment throughout Australia.

This debunks the myth, the report claims, that skilled migrants are displacing local workers.

Similarly, the average base salary for temporary skilled migrants is considerably higher than the average Australian. This dispels the myth that employers are using the temporary skilled migration program to undercut local employment terms and conditions. 

The majority of occupations granted visas in 2017 were developer programmer, ICT business analyst, university lecturer, and cook. The skilled migrants in these occupations were most commonly from the United Kingdom, India, and the Philippines.

Almost a third of Australia’s population was born overseas while nearly half have at least one parent born abroad.

Chief of CEDA Melinda Cilento said migration has undeniably underpinned the nation’s population and economic growth and overall prosperity.

"Skilled migration supports business investment and productivity, which are vital for keeping our economy strong,” she wrote in a media release. “Incomes in Australia have been stagnant, and lifting productivity can help lift incomes across the community.”

Cilento further stated that beyond helping Australia, migrants are often working to increase prosperity in their home nations.

“Some temporary migrants send money overseas regularly to support their family,” she told Global Citizen, before explaining that temporary migrants tend to be employed in jobs with average salaries of around $95,000 AUD.

“Reflecting on that, I would assume that many visa holders would be using the opportunity of their relatively high incomes to provide support back home, at the same time injecting cash into local Australian communities through spending and paying taxes. This is a dual benefit for Australia and for the country where their family members reside.” Cilento added.

The CEDA report has provided the Australian government with five recommendations to improve the migration process.

These include improving the identification of skill shortages, removing the requirement for market testing, introducing a streamlined path for intra-company employee transfers to Australia, improving the Skilling Australia Fund Levy, and undertaking a full review of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa program.


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