Gain in employment will have an effect on immigration policy. There is a good possibility that it will lead to further opportunities for migration to Australia for many individuals who, at one point in time, may appear to have limited options.
The increase in employment wasn’t evenly distributed throughout Australia and New South Wales and Victoria, (2 states less exposed to mining) were the primary beneficiaries of the increase in employment. In New South Wales the jobless rate fell to 5.5% (down from 5.8% in September) and in Victoria it decreased to 5.6% from 6.3%.
Western Australia, a state very much exposed to mining, bucked the trend and reported an increase in unemployment from 6.1% to 6.4%. Although the unemployment rate fell in South Australia (from 7.7% in September to 7.5% in October) South Australia remains the state with the highest rate of unemployment.
Ironically, South Australia with one of the worst unemployment rates in Australia sponsors the most diverse range of occupations in Australia and is one of the most proactive states in terms of state sponsorship.
The fall in unemployment is as a result of the sustained low Reserve Bank interest rate (currently 2%) and the sectors that have benefited the most such as construction, retail spending and tourism are all winners in terms of increased employment.
But increased economic activity will have the effect of increasing interest rates and without a robust mining sector the Australian economy needs to be overhauled so that the twin stimulants of the economy namely mining and low interest rates don’t have to play such a significant role going forward.
It’s probably too early to tell whether these gains in employment will have an effect on immigration policy but we have noticed that the number of occupations available for state sponsorship reduced when the slowdown in the mining sector occurred approximately 18 months ago. Hopefully the increase in employment will, once the trend seems to be sustainable, lead to more occupations being sponsored by state governments.