Accounting for skill shortages? Migration and the Australian labour market

Sally A Weller

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Although recent circumstances have rekindled interest in matching skilled migrant intakes to domestic labour needs, the factors contributing to migrant employment outcomes remain poorly understood. Contemporary research tends to focus on the best and worst of skilled migrant outcomes - either integration into elite transnational labour markets or relegation to relatively menial work. By approaching the issue from a perspective attuned to differentiated labour markets and their multiple segmentations, this paper argues that skilled migrant outcomes are best examined at the scale of occupations, with analysis oriented to understanding mobility across groups of related occupations. Using the example of the in demand occupation of accountants migrating to Australia in the years 2005 to 2010, the paper s analysis of data from the Continuous Survey of Australia s Migrants reveals that migrant accountants trickled across and trickled down to a wide range of accounting-related occupations. Individual migrant s positions were conditioned by the intertwined effects of region of origin, gender, and migration pathway. The paper concludes with a discussion of policy implications.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1997
Number of pages14
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • migration
  • skill shortage
  • Australia
  • accounting
  • labour markets
  • transnational labour

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