e61 quantifies ‘missing migrants’ behind Australia’s labor shortage

Last September, there were 362,677 fewer temporary migrants living in Australia compared to the same period in 2019, the authors said.

As of June 2022, there were 35 percent fewer international students and 70 percent fewer working holidaymakers in Australia compared to June 2019.

“Missing temporary migrant workers may likely explain a significant portion of the increase in job opportunities in sectors that previously relied heavily on international students and working vacationers, such as hospitality, but seem less relevant elsewhere,” Buckley and Elias said in a statement.

Even in the most conservative scenario, missing migrant workers may be responsible for 83 percent of the increase in hospitality job openings since May 2019.

The decline in temporary migration has also contributed to the eruption of unfilled jobs in the administration and agriculture sectors.

Pick up the slack bite

Hospitality shortages have forced existing workers to work longer hours to make up for the labor shortage, according to a new report from shift platform Deputy.

The findings were based on an analysis of nearly 15 million shifts by nearly 32,000 shift workers using Deputy’s software.

The delegate said 51 percent of hospitality businesses reported problems hiring staff.

“Pre-pandemic, the hospitality industry relied heavily on migrants to fill staff shortages. With many having to go home when borders closed, and with a huge backlog of visa approvals, hospitality businesses are struggling to manage labor shortages,” the report said.

Hospitality companies in Victoria and NSW schedule 30 percent fewer shifts compared to pre-pandemic levels, while states that typically have fewer international students and foreign workers, such as Western Australia, tracked about 10 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

“To fill the gaps left by migrants, locals are working more hours in catering establishments,” the delegate wrote.

“As millennials continue to take up the majority of shift work hours, the generational makeup in the hospitality industry is shifting, with Gen X, Gen Z, and baby boomers taking on more shifts.”

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