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Labour demand and jobs growth have peaked: Deloitte

By Shandel McAuliffe | |5 minute read
Labour demand and jobs growth have peaked: Deloitte

Open borders have spurred the fastest population growth in four years, alleviating skill shortages.

Labour demand and jobs growth have peaked and will slow down markedly as the country leaves the pandemic further behind, according to Deloitte’s latest employment forecasts. 

Deloitte Access Economics partner David Rumbens said the labour market remained very tight with the unemployment rate currently at 3.4 per cent, but it had reached a turning point.
“A slowdown has emerged,” he said. “It will likely be more pronounced for blue collar jobs while there are still opportunities for white collar workers, and it may still be some time before the number of unfilled job vacancies returns to more normal levels.”


“Those gains will in large part depend on Australia being able to return to typical, pre-COVID levels of net overseas migration.”

Deloitte Access Economics expected white collar job growth to slow down after a record peak of 357,800 last year, with a forecast of 282,800 for 2022–23.

By 2023–24 that number will be cut in half to 143,100. 

“Promisingly, open borders are starting to help alleviate labour pressures across the country, with migrants starting to come back in strong numbers,” said Deloitte Access Economics director Blair Chapman. 

“Australia’s population grew by 0.5 per cent in the March quarter 2022 — the fastest quarterly growth since March 2018 — with the uptick underpinned by the largest quarterly increase in net overseas migration on record.” 

The report found that the decline in temporary visa holders in Australia had also reached a turning point, with students up by 11,000 compared to the low point in December 2021. 

Deloitte said that a lack of job mobility had also contributed to the nation's skills shortage and misallocation of labour.

“An important issue that is holding Australia’s labour market back is the lack of job mobility,” continued Mr Chapman.

“Part of the extreme skills shortage issue that businesses have faced is a mismatch between those wanting to work and the vacant jobs. A large part of the mismatch is driven by differences in the skills required by employers and the qualifications and experience of the unemployed.” 

“International research has found that low labour mobility can result in a misallocation of labour across cities within a country and, in turn, result in lower aggregate productivity.” 

Mr Chapman also said as the government looks to achieve greater wage growth it should look to promote job mobility. 

“Moving jobs lets individuals understand their worth in the labour market and forces employers to ensure they are re-evaluating employees’ wages — part of the reason we have seen wage growth stagnant (sic) over the last decade.”

This article was originally featured on 25 November 2022 in Accountants Daily.

More information on Deloitte Access Economics Employment Forecasts.

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel has recently returned to Australia after working in the UK for eight years. Shandel's experience in the UK included over three years at the CIPD in their marketing, marcomms and events teams, followed by two plus years with The Adecco Group UK&I in marketing, PR, internal comms and project management. Cementing Shandel's experience in the HR industry, she was the head of content for Cezanne HR, a full-lifecycle HR software solution, for the two years prior to her return to Australia.

Shandel has previous experience as a copy writer, proofreader and copy editor, and a keen interest in HR, leadership and psychology. She's excited to be at the helm of HR Leader as its editor, bringing new and innovative ideas to the publication's audience, drawing on her time overseas and learning from experts closer to home in Australia.

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