Monday, May 27, 2013


Australia Announces 2013-14 Migration Program

The Australian government will continue to set 190,000 places for the migration program in 2013-14, the same level as the previous year, according to an announcement by Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O'Connor on 14 May 2013.
Of the total places for the 2013-14 migration program, 128,550 visas will go to skilled migrants and 60,885 visas will be for family migration. There will also 565 places for migration under special eligibility.

In addition, in response to the continuing high demand for visas under family stream from Australians, especially in the partner category, 700 places will be moved from the skilled stream to the family stream.

"Skilled migration continues to make up more than two-thirds of the program because of its obvious benefits to our economy and society," said Minister O'Connor. "Targeted skilled migration enables Australia's economy to grow by addressing skills gaps and bottlenecks."

In the announcement, Minister O'Connor highlighted that the government's top priority will always be jobs for Australians. Skilled migration will continue to be carefully targeted to ensure skilled migrants compliment but not replace the domestic labour force.

"Our regional and state and territory skilled migration program categories are unchanged - we remain committed to helping regional economies and communities grow."

"A regionally focused skilled migration program which targets the best and brightest combined with a family program that enables Australians to live with their close relatives and partners will continue to deliver for Australia," Minister O'Connor stated.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Australian employment rate rises in April 2013

The number of people in employment in Australia rose in April by over 50,000 people, surpassing all predictions.

Over 50,000 people found employment in Australia in April.
The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed 50,100 people had found employment in Australia in April, far exceeding the rather conservative target of just 12,000.
The rise meant that the unemployment rate stayed at a healthy 5.5% and, with almost 35,000 of the total number finding full time employment, forecasts a bright future for the Australian economy and labour market.

Official predictions were initially conservative due to an expected increase in the number of people looking for work, a prediction which, while true, with 65.3% of people looking for work, did little to dampen the positive rates.

"The labour force data continues to surprise, there is clearly a positive pulse in the Australian economy," said Michael Blythe, chief economist at Commonwealth Bank.

The decline in unemployment also spelled good news for the Australian Dollar, which pushed the exchange rate above US$1.02.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the figures proved the Australian economy's resilience in the face of tough global financial times, but that there was still room for further improvement.
"Overall the job market is in good, but probably not great, shape," Mr James said.
"Still the jobless rate remains well below 6%, a level that it has held below for almost a decade. The last time the jobless rate remained below 6% for an extended period was in the 1970s.

Clearly this is a result to be celebrated.