While most politicians, media and society assume ‘immigration’ drives unemployment, recent Australian research from CEDA contradicts this, as did research presented by left workers’ ‘Solidarity’ in 2012.
Why has it ever been an issue? Political tactics and strategy, amplified by media and societal word of mouth have felt compelled to promote nativist or white nationalist tropes (from the past) as an appeal to native or incumbent citizens, creating fear, anxiety and even anger (see ‘alt right’), as both an electoral strategy and ideology (e.g. blaming immigrants vs. wage rises).
From The Guardian:
Politicians’ ‘revolving door’ response to foreign workers frustrates businesses, industry group CEDA says
Temporary skilled migration has not undercut job opportunities or conditions for Australian workers but the “revolving door” political response to foreign workers has frustrated businesses, an industry report has found.
The report from the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), released on Monday, said that skilled migrants, particularly those on temporary skilled working visas, have been an “overwhelming net positive” for the Australian economy and have not had a negative impact on either the wages or participation rates of Australian-born workers.
However, the report said that despite economic evidence suggesting migration is a positive, “governments have responded to community concern with a seeming revolving door of reviews, reports and frequent policy changes to Australia’s temporary skilled migration program”.’
A new report found immigration has not harmed the earnings of local workers.
Temporary skilled migrants have not displaced Australian workers despite fears immigrants threaten the local job market, new analysis by an independent economic organisation has revealed.
Research by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has also shown immigration has not harmed the earnings of local workers.
The report, “Effects of temporary migration”, showed there are about two million people on temporary visas, including students, working holiday-makers, skilled workers and New Zealand citizens.
The research, released on Monday, showed 70 per cent of temporary skilled migrants reside in NSW and Victoria, which have the lowest rates of unemployment in Australia.’
9 August 2012
The suggestion that bringing 457 visa workers from overseas is coming at the expense of “local jobs” reinforces the myth that immigration causes unemployment and drives down wages.
In fact evidence from Australia and internationally shows that immigration actually creates jobs. In his book, Immigration and the Australian Economy, William Foster’s surveys over 200 studies on immigration and wages. He found there was, “a marginally favourable effect on the aggregate unemployment rate, even in recession”.
In a 2003 paper economist Hsiao-chuan Chang wrote that, “there is no evidence that immigrants take jobs away from the local Australian over the past twelve years… This supports the conclusion from existing research”.
This is because new migrants generate demand for products and services, such as housing and food. Many of them bring savings to help pay for these things, further boosting the economy and jobs.’
Politicians and media commentators could explain more clearly why immigration helps a nation and its economy. Some of these factors include ageing and declining tax paying work forces in permanent population, with increasing proportion (vs. workforce) of retirees and pensioners requires more tax income to fund related services, and higher temporary immigration means (most of) the same temporary cohort will not also be a drag on state budgets in future.