A new paper on employment by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) said migration should be promoted to assist the country’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
Part of that platform involves extending JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments to temporary migrants such as students and those on skilled work visas.
The paper found that Australia can benefit from expected tighter restrictions on migration in other countries, by encouraging migration by highly skilled workers.
“This crisis will have long-lasting impacts on migration policy across the world and in Australia,” said CEDA chief economist Jarrod Ball.
“While many countries will try to impose permanent migration restrictions in the wake of COVID-19, Australia should resist such policies and promote migration as part of the national economic recovery.
“Migration has been a key driver of Australia’s economic development and will continue to be so in the decades ahead.”
Another recommendation included state governments being urged to do more to help international students, particularly in Victoria.
“As soon as it is safe to do so, Australia should restart the flow of international students into the country in carefully controlled circumstances,” Mr Ball said.
In addition, the CEDA paper also warned the federal government of the risks threatening Australia’s economic growth and prosperity if it pursues a “gender blind” approach to the COVID-19 economic recovery.
“As Associate Professor Elizabeth Hill from the University of Sydney notes, a gender-blind approach to the COVID recovery will compromise the efficiency of our labour markets, constrain productivity and limit wellbeing, while increasing economic insecurity and reducing labour force participation for women,” Mr Ball said.