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Geographic labour mobility

Commissioned study

This study has concluded. The final report was sent to Government on 22 April 2014 and publicly released on 6 May 2014.

The Australian Government requested that the Productivity Commission undertake a research study assessing geographic labour mobility within Australia and its role in a well-functioning labour market.

The principal objective of the study was to examine patterns of mobility, impediments and enablers, and their effect on the ability to meet Australia's continually changing workforce and employment needs.

Specifically, the Commission was asked to:

  • examine patterns and trends in geographic mobility, their relative contribution to regional labour supply, and the implications of structural, demographic and technological developments
  • identify the key determinants and drivers of mobility, including the costs and benefits from the perspectives of businesses, individuals, their families and governments, any differences in the determinants and drivers of mobility between groups, and an assessment of the effectiveness of market signals, such as wages
  • identify the major impediments to geographic mobility to support economic adjustment, employment and productivity outcomes
  • assess the current strategies used by employers and governments that affect geographic mobility, and discuss possible options to enable further mobility
  • estimate the prospective economy-wide impacts of reducing impediments to geographic mobility.

In undertaking the study, the Commission consulted with governments and other interested groups.