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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The labour force is projected to age quite dramatically, with over 80% of the projected labour force growth occurring in the 45 years and over age group.
Females are projected to increase from 43% to 45% of the labour force.
HOW LIKELY IS IT THAT THESE PROJECTIONS WILL EVENTUATE?
The bulk of the labour force in 2016 will be made up of people who are currently alive and in Australia. The size and age distribution of the current Australian population is the most important factor in determining the size and age distribution of the labour force in 2016. Changes in participation rates, and the components of population growth (birth and death rate and overseas migration levels) will have a relatively small impact on the future labour force.
THE FUTURE WON’T BE LIKE THE PAST
Because of the ageing of the population, population growth will slow. Therefore, it will not be possible for labour force growth to continue at historic rates.
Immigration and labour force participation rates may rise, which would moderate the fall in employment growth. However, any increase in these components is unlikely to be large enough to prevent a significant fall in employment growth from historical levels.
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