Source: The Mercury, 6 April, 2001, p.5
By ANNE BARBELIUK TASMANIA'S high unemployment rate will begin to reverse in five years and leave the state with a labour shortage, a report predicts. The turnaround will be part of a national trend but Tasmania will be the first state to feel the effects. The prediction comes from a national report prepared for the federal Department of Aged Care and was backed up yesterday by Tasmanian population expert Natalie Jackson. The Access Economics report says Australia's ageing population will lead to a decline in the working age population those aged 15 to 64. It shows Tasmania's working population will hit a negative growth rate by 2003, followed by South Australia in about 2010 and Victoria in 2012. "There will simply not be enough school leavers to replace retiring 65- year-olds," it says. The report recommends employers retain their ageing workforces as a way of averting the situation, but Dr Jackson said the labour shortage could be good for Tasmania. "Soon we'll see unemployment really start to improve. I think it will be great," said Dr Jackson, social demography lecturer at the University of Tasmania. Dr Jackson's research shows Tasmania has 63,617 people aged 65 and over, but that number will peak in 2035 with 118,000 people in the age bracket. However, the working- age population will have shrunk from its current level of just more than 300,000 to just below 200,000. Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Damon Thomas said the health needs of the ageing population would place a strain on the public purse and could therefore negate possible workforce benefits.
Where to next?
Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Collection and Sampling
Main Index - Numeracy in the News