The labour market after COVID-19
brings together expert views on the critical issues shaping the jobs market, including for women, the long-term unemployed and young people, and the role of wage subsidies, immigration, training and industrial relations.
The paper calls on the Federal Government to extend the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments to temporary migrants such as students and those on skilled work visas, as other countries have done with their own pandemic payments.
The report finds Australia can benefit from expected tighter restrictions on migration in other countries, by encouraging migration by highly skilled workers.
“This crisis will have long-lasting impacts on migration policy across the world and in Australia,” CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball said.
“While many countries will try to impose permanent migration restrictions in the wake of COVID-19, Australia should resist such policies and promote migration as part of the national economic recovery.
“Migration has been a key driver of Australia’s economic development and will continue to be so in the decades ahead.”
The paper also urges the Federal Government to introduce an intra-company transfer visa to help multinational businesses looking to invest and expand their operations in Australia.
“Australia has been relatively successful in controlling the spread of the virus; this sets us up to be an attractive destination for the world’s best and brightest,” Mr Ball said.
“We should use this period to improve on our skilled migration system to ensure that when the borders open up again, Australia is the destination of choice for the best and brightest.”
The paper also urges state governments to do more to help international students, particularly in Victoria.
“As soon as it is safe to do so, Australia should restart the flow of international students into the country in carefully controlled circumstances,” Mr Ball said.
The paper also warns the Federal Government of the risks threatening Australia’s economic growth and prosperity if it pursues a “gender blind” approach to the COVID-19 economic recovery.
“As Associate Professor Elizabeth Hill from the University of Sydney notes, a gender-blind approach to the COVID recovery will compromise the efficiency of our labour markets, constrain productivity and limit wellbeing, while increasing economic insecurity and reducing labour force participation for women,” Mr Ball said.
In her paper on fiscal policy and gender, Associate Professor Hill notes that the government will have many opportunities to adopt gender-responsive measures in the care sectors. This could be through an overhaul of public funding for childcare and more investment in social infrastructure such as education, health and care services, rather than the current focus on large infrastructure projects that disproportionately employ men.
The paper includes chapters on:
- Fiscal policy after COVID-19: reducing gender inequality while boosting the economy by Associate Professor Elizabeth Hill, The University of Sydney.
- The scramble for jobs: who will be employed when the music stops? by Dr Peter Davidson, Adj Senior Lecturer, Social Policy Research Centre UNSW Sydney
- Australia needs a youth jobs guarantee by Sonia Arakkal, Co-founder, Think Forward
- The use of wage subsidy (hiring credit) programs after COVID-19 by Jeff Borland, Truby Williams Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne; Board Member, CEDA
- Immigration and COVID-19 by Gabriela D’Souza, Senior Economist, CEDA
- Skills and workforce development by Michael Keating, AC
- COVID-19 and the Future of Australian Industrial Relations by Andrew Stewart, John Bray Professor of Law, University of Adelaide.
CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball and Senior Economist Gabriela D’Souza will be appearing before the Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration on Thursday 17 September to present CEDA’s recent research on temporary migration.
CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball is available for further comment and interviews.
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CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, membership-based think tank.
CEDA’s purpose is to identify policy issues that matter for Australia’s future and pursue solutions that deliver better economic and social outcomes for the greater good.
CEDA has almost 700 members including leading Australian businesses, community organisations, government departments and academic institutions. Our cross-sector membership spans every state and territory.
CEDA was founded in 1960 by leading economist Sir Douglas Copland. His legacy of applying economic analysis to practical problems to aid the development of Australia