University Graduates Drive Jobs Growth
Monday, 2nd May 2016 at 11:05 am
University graduates create new jobs and lift wages for workers who don’t have a university degree, according to new modelling.
The peak body for the sector, Universities Australia, commissioned the research from Cadence Economics, which was released Monday ahead of the federal budget.
The research, The Graduate Effect: Having More Graduates Grows Jobs and Wages, found that for every 1,000 university graduates who enter the Australian workforce, 120 new jobs are created for people without university degrees.
The modelling also found that the wages of people without a degree are boosted by $655 a year – or $12.60 a week – when more graduates join the national workforce.
Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson said the findings show that the federal government can’t afford to cut funding from the sector in the 3 May budget.
“If we want to create more jobs and better-paying jobs for all Australians, we can’t afford to cut investment in the engine room of economic transition: our universities,” Robinson said.
“Ahead of the budget, this confirms the positive effects of new university graduates – not only in the creation of new jobs for those without university degrees but also in their wages, as well as the overall employment and economic growth of the nation.
“Over the coming decades, it will be the skills and smarts of our people – our human capital – that will be central to strengthening the Australian economy and building economic resilience.”
Robinson said graduates contribute to workplace productivity gains that make Australian industries more competitive, as well as higher spending that flows into the economy.
“For the first time, the work done by Cadence Economics – using the same type of model used by Australian governments and the Productivity Commission to assess the economic impact of policies – shows the spillover benefits to workers without a degree from having more graduates in the economy,” Robinson said.
“What this report tells us is that higher education does not just benefit those with the qualification. A highly skilled, highly educated workforce is essential for jobs growth, workforce productivity and the overall competitiveness of Australian industry.”
According to the research, without the entry of new university graduates into the Australian economy, the growth rate in jobs for people without a university degree would have been zero over the last eight years.
It found that in 2014/15 alone, the economic boost from new graduates entering Australia’s workforce created 25,000 new jobs for Australians without university degrees, including 8,064 new jobs for technicians and tradespeople.