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  • Writer's pictureEdwin and George

The (Right) Road to Population and Job Growth?

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

South Australia's economic ranking dropped from 5th to 6th in the Commonwealth Bank’s national economic survey this month. The state’s economic performance is not where we'd like it to be.

While economic growth is good for job creation, it is important that growth occurs in sectors that have the potential to absorb labour at a large scale. Some sectors and activities are more employment-intensive than others.

It's vital for South Australia to examine how we can boost our economy, create the right employment opportunities and use the best supply of talent to fill these jobs.

White Collar Job Creation & Highly Skilled Migrants: SA's carrot for our economy:

“Migrants, particularly skill stream migrants who account for around 70% of Australia’s migrant intake, contribute to GDP per person in a number of ways…

“They offset Australia’s ageing population, improve labour force participation and productivity, and help businesses to source skills that are difficult to develop at short notice,” According to a report from the Treasury Department of Home Affairs.

South Australia under the Marshal Liberal Government is committed to growing its population however, overall, SA’s population growth year-on-year is only 0.8 per cent, compared to 1.8 per cent Queensland and 2.2 per cent for Victoria.

At the center of this is job creation for skilled workers. International Education is a key industry for South Australia and is a key policy for the liberal government - International education is South Australia’s largest service export totaling more than $1 billion.

South Australia could be at risk of worsening our “brain drain” if we are unable to provide the right job opportunities for students once they graduate.

Our most popular course at University is a bachelor of commerce yet the number of entry positions with large corporations lie on the Eastern Seaboard.

Professor of demography at Melbourne University, Peter McDonald, said recently that “the voracious labour appetite of Sydney and Melbourne was causing a brain drain that was increasingly “sucking in” skilled residents from elsewhere.”

What is the solution?

We need to reverse the comments of NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet “No one who comes to Australia goes to Adelaide. They go to Sydney and Melbourne.”

We live in a beautiful state, with great weather, food, wine, beaches and football teams (at times). We have a world-class stadium, amazing history and The Adelaide Fringe.

We need White Collar Job Creation.

This comes with attracting large corporates to utilise the talent we have here in SA.

We’re positioned perfectly between East and West.

Our CBD is minutes from the airport - (you can probably travel from Sydney airport to Adelaide CBD in less time that it takes to drive from Sydney CBD to GWS).

Our Commercial Real Estate costs less than that of Sydney and Melbourne

Salaries in SA cost less than that of Sydney and Melbourne.

There are plenty of examples of large organisations making the most of these attributes in SA (Woolworths, Origin, Santos, Oz Minerals, BAE Systems to name a few). We just need discussions to educate and incentivise more to do the same or risk missing out on our chance to boost growth in the state. Our key to delivering this growth lies in maintaining our skilled workers and attracting highly skilled migrants.

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