Home / Newsroom / Low unemployment and a skills shortage – UDIA calls on Government to focus on Skilled Labour

Low unemployment and a skills shortage – UDIA calls on Government to focus on Skilled Labour

Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics’ announcement of an unemployment rate of 3.9% is a timely reminder of the need to boost skilled workers to take unnecessary pressure off costs.

The Labour Force Survey tells us how many Australians are employed and their participation. Even with the recent floods and ongoing impacts of the pandemic, job creation continues to grow steadily.

“This further reduction in unemployment is a sign of the strength of Australia’s economy, but the ongoing construction skills shortage needs a concerted focus from Government to attract more people to key industries like housing, and particularly as migration rates return to normal,” said Max Shifman, UDIA National President

As the economy continues experiencing escalating costs in delivering new housing, due to a perfect storm of a shortage of land, materials and skilled workers, it will only make it harder still for many Australians, already experiencing the higher cost of living, to find an affordable place to live.

From our industry perspective, population growth is also integral to the housing and construction sector’s strength as a pillar of economic activity.

However, the chronic lack of housing supply will create an economic drag because housing construction currently represents 11% of total workforce and it cannot do its job of boosting the economy if it is remains starved of skilled resources. 

“We need to fast track migrants with the necessary skillset and initiatives to increase apprenticeships and skills training for Australians, otherwise the twin problems of higher cost of living and lower productivity will negatively impact us all,” added Mr Shifman.

The announcement earlier this year as part of a Federal Government pre-election budget of $2.8 billion aimed at helping young Australian tradies complete their apprenticeships, is an encouraging and important step.  

We encourage the Federal Leadership to fast track the expansion of training programs and skilled worker immigration to alleviate labour shortages as soon as possible,” said Maxwell Shifman. 


Media Enquiries:Deanna Lane | National Media & Communications Manager | 0416 295 898 | media@udia.com.au