Slowing migration weighs on population growth

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“Governments don’t need to cut migration, the economy is doing that task for them,” said Geordan Murray, HIA Senior Economist.

“The population grew by 1.6 per cent over the year to June 2018, which is down from 1.7 per cent over the same period in 2017.

“A falling contribution from net overseas migration was the main factor behind the decline. Growth due to overseas migration was down by over 26,000 people in 2018, which is 10.1 per cent less than in 2017.

“Australia needs more skilled workers to sustain ongoing economic growth. Given Australia’s aging population, attracting skilled workers from overseas has become increasingly important.

“The decline in migration that we are seeing now is a consequence of the federal government making it considerably more difficult for skilled migrants to come to Australia at the same time that our economy is losing its competitive edge.

“Australia’s migration policy has become less welcoming at the same time as the opportunities in other parts of the world have improved.

“Over the last twenty years Australia has been very successful in attracting skilled workers to our shores. This has been an important factor underpinning our record run of continuous economic growth. If we are going to extend this run of growth then migration will have a huge role to play,” concluded Mr Murray.

Over the year to June 2018, Victoria saw the strongest growth in population (+2.2 per cent), narrowly ahead of the ACT (+2.2 per cent) and Queensland (+1.7 per cent). New South Wales was fourth fastest (+1.5 per cent) with Tasmania fifth (+1.1 per cent), Western Australia sixth (+0.8 per cent) and South Australia seventh (+0.7 per cent). The population of the Northern Territory has actually declined over the last year, falling by 0.1 per cent.

Source: HIA