Philip Lowe, governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), has said an influx of skilled immigrants to Australia is essential to restarting the country’s economic growth after the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to the Committee for Economic Development (CEDA), RBA governor Lowe suggested Australia should start looking for offshore workers to fill vacancies left by the major slump in the country’s population growth, caused in part by border closures and travel restrictions.
As a result of the global lockdown enforced by the pandemic, Australia’s population growth is set to fall to its lowest level since 1916.
With a lack of capably qualified local employees, Australian industries are crying out for skilled workers, and the best solution lies in inviting and hiring skilled migrants to Australia, according to governor Lowe.
In his speech to CEDA, governor Lowe said a fast population growth over the last decades had shaped Australia’s economy into being one of the leading economies in the world and underpinned a relatively swift GDP growth compared to other countries before the global spread of COVID-19.
However, the pandemic is set to instigate an extended period of high levels of unemployment in the country which will stifle Australia’s economic momentum, thus making the issue an important national priority.
He also said that over the next two years the RBA expects the growth of annual wages to fall to less than 2 per cent, chiefly due to subdued inflation levels.
An influx of skilled immigrants to Australia will substantially assist the recovery of the annual wage level growth, and get the country’s economy back to the level which made Australia one of the most popular migration destinations in the world.