Australia is poised to experience its largest-ever wave of immigration, with government figures revealing 650,000 migrants expected to arrive this fiscal year and next.
The sudden population explosion is likely to further strain the national housing crisis, but also ease labor shortages, which have led to chronic job vacancies where employers struggle to find staff to fill vacancies.
The revised migration data comes after just 300,000 migrants arrived in the country during the three years of pandemic lockdowns and lockouts.
Finance officials predicted in 2019 that a total of 1.2 million migrants would arrive in the country by the end of 2024, but that number has now been revised to 950,000.
According to the latest analysis, the country is expected to see 650,000 migrants start a new life in Australia by the end of the 2024 financial year.
Australia is predicted to experience its biggest two-year population growth ever, with some 650,000 migrants arriving this financial year (pictured, skilled workers)
At least 350,000 are predicted to settle in Australia this financial year, with another 300,000 in the next 12 months.
The sudden increase in population will provide the government with a budget windfall with a boost to spending and taxes to stimulate economic growth.
But it will contribute to deepening the housing crisis, with housing supply unable to meet tenants’ needs, while rising interest rates and the high cost of living have curbed property sales.
More than half of the expected migrants arrived in Australia as part of the post-Covid boom in skilled workers, international students and working holidaymakers.
A record 106,000 migrants arrived in Australia in the first three months of this fiscal year, from July to September 2022, reports The Australian.
They were part of a migration wave of 304,000. It marks the highest population growth since March 2009.
Jim Chalmers has revealed that net overseas migration is likely to reach 350,000 this financial year, a 50 percent increase over what was projected in the October budget and January’s annual population statement.
He said the sudden growth will be accounted for in the Albanian government’s second budget, due in five weeks.
Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy told a Senate hearing last month that temporary migration had recovered faster than expected.
“Net overseas migration rates are being artificially inflated this year by the resumption of inflows of international students and working holidaymakers,” said Dr Kennedy.
“Combined with a broad-based weakening in labor demand, an increase in net overseas migration should help alleviate skills and labor shortages, particularly for hospitality and retail.”
High numbers of migrants, tourists and working holidaymakers are expected to boost spending, government taxation and demand for services.
Jim Chalmers said the sudden growth will be accounted for in the Albanian government’s second budget (pictured, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon)
In particular, the influx of migrants has raised concerns about Australia’s housing shortage and limited rental market.
“Bigger isn’t better, it’s just bigger,” said economist Chris Richardson.
It’s good for the construction industry. We haven’t built enough houses.
“Covid pushed us to smaller households, but we definitely need more supply.”
After 10 consecutive interest rate hikes, National Australia Bank economists said rents in major cities have risen by about 11 percent.
“This has contributed to a sharp contraction in the rental market, with vacancy rates falling to around or below 1 percent in most cities,” NAB said.
Dr. Chalmers said a key focus of the forthcoming budget will be the cost of living, with the wave of migration being a key factor in the government’s fiscal package.