Adjustment in the market for skilled labour in Australia

  • Michael Corliss

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    In recent decades the forces of structural change and technological change, have had considerable influence increasing the demand for skilled labour in Australia. In addition, while experiencing a full cycle, Australia has also enjoyed 2 decades of positive economic growth, from the recession in the early 1990s to the economic boom of 2006. While the 1990s recession focused attention on the unemployment problem, the boom concentrated attention on skill shortages in Australia and their role in preventing the economy from reaching its full potential level of output and putting pressure on inflation. Overall, these forces have combined to significantly increase the demand for skilled labour in Australia. Here we examine the extent to which the market for skilled labour has adjusted to changed economic conditions. This includes changes in the supply of skilled labour, internal movement and migration, the role of earnings and rates of return to tertiary education and training. The evidence presented in this thesis suggests growth in the demand for domestic skilled labour has outstripped the growth in supply of skilled labour. Overall, it appears the Australian labour market has generally adjusted satisfactorily to changes in the demand for skilled labour with the help of skilled migrants from overseas. This analysis has policy relevance with respect to skilled migration, inequality, education and training as well as contributing to knowledge of the labour market impacts of the business cycle.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorPhil Lewis (Supervisor) & Anne Daly (Supervisor)

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