Migrant workers and the systemic resilience of regional and seasonal industries

Labour markets are inherently inefficient and prone to market failure and there are certain situations where labour market institutions struggle to address this. For instance, geographical effects can create significant variation in the supply of and demand for workers between urban and regional areas. In essential services such as health and social care as well as seasonal industries such as horticulture and tourism, employers in regional and remote areas face considerable challenges to finding the skills they need. Drawing upon research from Australia, this commentary highlights the critical importance of migrant workers and immigration policy in helping address the challenges of supplying labour to where it is most needed.