The United States and Australia Compared
Monash Studies in Global Movements series
Edited by John Higley, John Nieuwenhuysen and Stine Neerup
Chapter 9: The Global Financial Crisis, Immigration and Immigrant Unemployment, and Social Inclusion in Australia
Jock Collins INTRODUCTION This chapter explores the impact of the global financial crisis (GFC) of 2007–8, on immigrants and immigration in Australia, a nation with more immigrants, in relative terms, than most contemporary Western societies today. Globalization has seen an escalation of immigration intakes in most if not all Western societies, many of which were not traditional immigration countries like Australia. But globalization also saw a change in the character of international migration flows as Australian and other Western countries sought to fine-tune immigration policy to import highly skilled labour to fill market shortages, particularly in the expanded services sector. The most outstanding change in Australian post-war immigration history has been the rise in temporary immigrant intakes. Australian immigration has always been pro-cyclical, increasing during booms and declining during recessions. By 2008, the end of the second post-war Australian long boom, immigration intakes reached record levels, with temporary immigrants significantly outstripping permanent intakes. The GFC led to severe economic recession in most Western countries, with many financial institutions and corporate giants like General Motors in the US needing an injection of taxpayer funds to survive. Massive monetary and fiscal stimulus packages in all Western nations and China put a bottom on the decline, alleviating fears of another Great Depression, though the size of this economic stimulus has led to a fiscal crisis in most countries. The Australian government provided a quick and effective fiscal stimulus which, together with sustained demand for minerals exports from China, helped the country stave...
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