Immigration and the Financial Crisis
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Immigration and the Financial Crisis

The United States and Australia Compared

  • Monash Studies in Global Movements series

Edited by John Higley, John Nieuwenhuysen and Stine Neerup

Structural needs for immigrant labour in health care, restaurant, tourism, agricultural and other economic sectors, together with harsher economic circumstances in most sending countries, almost certainly ensure the continuation of large-scale immigration to the US and Australia. But in harder times, especially in the US, sustaining this immigration while managing immigrants’ economic and social integration are daunting tasks. This illuminating book analyses how well, and in what ways, the US and Australia will meet these challenges.
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Chapter 9: The Global Financial Crisis, Immigration and Immigrant Unemployment, and Social Inclusion in Australia

Jock Collins

Extract

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...

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