Australia’s perspective landscape for the next four decades has been unveiled through the latest Intergenerational Report released by the federal government. This comprehensive analysis paints a vivid picture of the nation’s trajectory, and here are some of the pivotal forecasts along with their potential implications.
A Greying Society: Australia is witnessing an extended lifespan and a decline in birth rates, resulting in a transformational demographic shift. Despite considering net migration, the government predicts a decelerated population growth and reduced workforce participation due to the ageing populace. A telling chart illustrates the projected doubling of individuals aged 65 and above by 2063.
Amplified Workforce Expertise: The ongoing evolution of digital and technological advancements is poised to bolster both income levels and overall quality of life. This transformation is also set to amplify the demand for specialised skills, reshaping the employment landscape. The growth is particularly anticipated within service industries, encompassing health care, education, professional services, and more. This shift is mirrored in the escalating proportion of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher, which has surged from 20% in 1966 to 34% in 2021.
Escalating Thermometer Readings: Projections by the government point to an escalation in temperatures, grounded in data from the Bureau of Meteorology. Under a scenario of global temperature rise of up to 3 degrees Celsius by 2100, Australia’s national average temperature is projected to increase by 1.7°C. Geographical disparities will come to the fore, with certain regions more vulnerable based on the extent of temperature increase. Maps contrasting temperature scenarios illustrate these variances, showcasing the potential impact of 2°C and 3°C warming paths.
Stalling Labour Efficiency: Considering the multitude of impending changes, the government has revised its long-term productivity estimates downward. The previously projected 30-year average of 1.5% annual productivity growth has been adjusted to a 20-year average of 1.2%. This recalibration reflects the intricate interplay between evolving demographics, technological shifts, and economic dynamics.