Introduction

Employment prospects

Australia has a labour force of 9.8 million (in December 2004), some three-quarters of whom are employed full time, and an unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent (in May 2005) – one of the world's lowest.

You shouldn’t plan on obtaining immediate employment in Australia unless you have a firm job offer or special qualifications and experience for which there’s a strong local demand, for example in accountancy and medicine. If you want a good job, you must usually be well qualified and speak fluent English (if you’re an independent migrant, you won’t be accepted without these attributes).

Unemployment is high among non-English speaking adult migrants, particularly those from the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and North Africa. This mostly applies to those who came to Australia under the Family Reunion Program (although two-thirds have professional qualifications), many of whom believe that they were better off before.

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